What We’re Reading: New York Postpartum Coverage; 1.7M-Plus Use Health Sharing Plans; Pfizer Anticipates Antibiotic Shortage


HHS and CMS extended postpartum coverage in New York through Medicaid and CHIP for an entire year; a minimum of 1.7 million Americans use health sharing plans, even though they lack protections; Pfizer expects pediatric syphilis drug Bicillin L-A to experience a shortage.

Extended Postpartum Coverage Now Offered in New York

HHS, through CMS, on Tuesday announced New York’s continuation of comprehensive coverage following pregnancy through Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for postpartum people for an entire year, according to CMS.gov. This announcement indicates vital progress in the improvement of maternal health, especially in underserved communities. New York is the 35th state authorized to provide the extended coverage by way of President Joes Biden’s American Rescue Plan and solidified by the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023.

At Least 1.7M Americans Use Health Share Plans, Despite Protection Scarcity

The first reported national count of Americans who depend on health care sharing plans—in which people agree to pay each other’s medical bills—is higher than previously thought, reported KFF Health News. A Colorado Division of Insurance report discovered that more than 1.7 million Americans rely on sharing plans and that a lot of the plans demand members to request charity care prior to submitting their bills. It is expected that the total numbers are even higher. Sharing plans don’t ensure payment for health services and are not held against the same standards and protections as health insurance plans.

Pfizer Anticipates Some Pediatric Antibiotic Shortages

Pfizer has cautioned that supply of a drug used to treat syphilis and other bacterial infections in children could be exhausted by June’s end because it has had to prioritize forms made for adults because of a spike of syphilis infections in that population, according to Reuters. The pediatric form of the drug, Bicillin L-A, is expected to run out by the end of this quarter, according to the company. Pfizer said it is prioritizing adult dosages of Bicillin L-A that are also in shortage but stated that it does not expect them to run out.

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