What We're Reading: 1 Million New Sign-Ups for ACA Insurance

December 10, 2015

What we're reading, December 10, 2015: the Affordable Care Act has signed up 1 million new enrollees; Medicare patients spend more on oral cancer drugs than food each year; and the CDC found life expectancy remains at 79 years for the third year in a row.

As the deadline for the third open enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act (ACA) nears, CMS announced that 1 million new customers have signed up for health insurance and overall 2.8 million people have selected plans in the federal marketplace. The New York Times reported that approximately half of the 2.8 million sign ups came from 5 states: Florida, Texas, North Carolina, Georgia, and Pennsylvania.

A study of the cost of oral chemotherapy drugs found that Medicare patients spend more on these treatments than they do on food each year, reported Triangle Business Journal. The research, published in the Journal of Clinical Oncology found that even after the ACA closes the doughnut hole, patients using certain specialty drugs will continue to have very high out-of-pocket spending.

A new report from the CDC found that life expectancy in the US remains unchanged for the third year in a row at 79 years. Women will live an average of 81.2 years and men an average of 76.4 years, and the CDC report found that the top 10 causes of death were the same in 2013, although the number of deaths from unintentional injuries, stroke, Alzheimer’s disease, and suicide increased while the number of deaths from heart disease, cancer, chronic lower respiratory diseases, diabetes, and influenza and pneumonia decreased, according to United Press International. While life expectancy remains static, the infant mortality rate has hit a historic low of 582 deaths per 100,000 live births.