Week of August 3, 2015
After years of only modest growth, health care spending is projected to accelerate over the next decade. In the journal Health Affairs, Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) economists forecast that health care spending will increase by 5.8 percent annually from 2014 to 2024.
A new study published by the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) found that Americans are reporting better insurance coverage, access to primary care and prescription medicine, affordable health care and overall health since the launch of the new health insurance exchanges under the ACA on Jan. 1, 2014
CMS is projecting that Medicare Part D premiums will remain steady for 2016 at approximately $32.50 per month. This comes amid sharp cost increases within the program, which grew by almost 11 percent in 2014.
The Government Accountability Office (GAO) has released a report indicating that the ACA's medical device tax is potentially less consequential for the medical device industry than originally thought. In the first and second years after the 2.3 percent excise tax took effect, industry-wide profits increased by an average of 19 percent and 7 percent, respectively.
The Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Inspector General (HHS OIG) expects that most co-op health plans established through the ACA are losing both money and enrollees too quickly to remain solvent and sustainable. All but two co-ops lost money last year, and over half had enrollment levels significantly below expectations.
From Aetna health reform weekly