Even prior to the onset of the economic recession in 2008, nearly one in four American parents with health insurance reported that their coverage was so inadequate they were unable to access the medical care their children needed.
Jennifer Richards of Park Ridge, Ill., is angry that her family's monthly health insurance bill tripled in August to $1,250 after her husband lost his job and health benefits. But as bad as that is, what really upsets her is the inaction of Congress.
Overview: 57 million Americans are estimated to have pre-diabetes, a condition in which a person's blood sugar (glucose) level is above normal but below a level that indicates diabetes. Pre-diabetes may have no outward symptoms, and is diagnosed with a blood glucose test.
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) announced the establishment of a new Pre-existing Condition Insurance Plan (PCIP) that will offer coverage to uninsured Americans who have been unable to obtain health coverage because of a pre-existing health condition.
The definition for a chronic illness is one lasting 3 months or more (U.S. National Center for Health Statistics). Seventy-five per cent of our health care spending is on people with chronic conditions. These persistent conditions - the nation's leading causes of death and disability - leave in their wake deaths that could have been prevented, lifelong disability, compromised quality of life, and burgeoning health care costs. The facts are arresting:
The United States Department of Health and Human Services released The National Action Plan to Improve Health Literacy aimed at making health information and services easier to understand and use. The plan calls for improving the jargon-filled language, dense writing, and complex explanations that often fill patient handouts, medical forms, health web sites, and recommendations to the public.
If you're older, a woman, and suffering from either dementia or diabetes, you are the most likely to be exposed to unsubsidized medication costs in the US. This is known as the coverage gap for enrollees of Medicare Part D - the US federal program which subsidizes the cost of prescription drugs for Medicare beneficiaries. According to Dr. Susan Ettner from UCLA in the US, and her colleagues, these clinically vulnerable groups should be counseled on how to best manage costs through either drug substitution or discontinuation of specific, non-essential medications. This is important so that more essential medication is not discontinued with adverse effects on patients' health, for cost reasons only. Their findings¹ have just appeared online in the Journal of General Internal Medicine², published by Springer.
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