ICYMI (Week of April 2, 2018)
By: Randy Gerber, Esq., Founder of Pacient.care.
This week I picked a few newsworthy stories applicable to a wide range of health care consumers.
THE EVER CHANGING LANDSCAPE OF WHERE WE GO FOR CARE.
Walmart to buy Humana Insurance Company? Walmart announced it is in preliminary discussions with the health insurance company Humana. If Walmart bought Humana it could become the largest health insurance company in the country. There are many details to be worked out including government approvals, but it gives you a window into how things are changing.
Walmart to buy Pillpack Pharmacy? In a related move, Walmart is also considering buying Pillpack Pharmacy which is a full service pharmacy that manages prescriptions for its customers, such as sorting and delivering medicines, managing refills and providing 24/7 support.
CVS to treat kidney dialysis patients. This week CVS announced plans to treat kidney dialysis patients in its stores. CVS proposes to start a program that helps identify and treat patients with chronic kidney disease. You may recall that CVS pharmacy previously proposed acquiring Aetna insurance company. This service adds to their vision and hearing aid centers and sales of medical equipment.
GIVETH: MEDICARE ADVANTAGE BENEFITS FOR SENIORS; TAKETH: FEWER BENEFITS FROM VITAMINS.
Expanded benefits under Medicare Advantage Plans. Many seniors have Medicare Advantage Plans as an alternative to traditional Medicare. This week the government announced an expansion of its interpretation of benefits under these Medicare Advantage plans which could include rides to doctor’s offices, better food options and perhaps home improvements.
Benefits of Vitamins-Meh! Over one-half of U.S. adults take at least one vitamin supplement. Over ⅔’s of us over 65 take vitamin supplements. Vitamin supplement are a 30 billion dollar industry with over 90,000 products on the market. An interesting read in Kaiser Health News this week that reports on a study which finds that there is no conclusive evidence that vitamin supplements prevent chronic disease and in some cases can actually be harmful.
YOU REMEMBER OBAMACARE RIGHT?
Obamacare not going down without a fight. Final numbers out this week show 11.8 million customers enrolled or re-enrolled in Obamacare policies. While this number is lower than last year by 4%, the total numbers are comparable.
A Kaiser Foundation poll found that:
- The majority of people think the Obamacare market is collapsing;
- Most people aren’t interested in buying short-term insurance policies;
- 9 out of 10 enrollees say they will continue to buy insurance despite the repeal of the individual mandate;
- The majority of people were unclear about the repeal of the individual mandate.
Well that’s all for this week. See you next week and have a nice weekend. Feel free to email with questions/comments at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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