What We're Reading: Centene's ACA Gamble; Abuse-Deterrent Opioids; Gaining Disability Benefits

Centene Is Expanding ACA Offerings

Just 1 day after Vice President Mike Pence said the Affordable Care Act (ACA) was in a “death spiral,” a big insurer is expanding its ACA offerings. According to The Wall Street Journal, Centene is entering 3 new states even while other insurers are retreating from participating in the ACA exchanges. In addition, it will increase offerings in 6 states where it is already participating. However, Centene did announce it will exit the Massachusetts exchange because of low enrollment.

FDA Increases Scrutiny of Abuse-Deterrent

Opioid

Formulations

The FDA is increasing its scrutiny of opioids. Just a week after it asked a company to remove its opioid from the market, the agency is now ramping up scrutiny of abuse-deterrent formulations of opioids, reported The Washington Post. The FDA is trying to determine whether these formulations are “having their intended impact” and actually limiting abuse, FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb, MD, said in a statement.

Hidden Disabilities Pose Challenges for Gaining Benefits

A story by NPR highlights the challenges that people with non-visible disabilities face when trying to access benefits. Overall, less than half of people who apply for disability benefits through the Social Security Administration are accepted, and getting accepted is more difficult for people whose disabilities stem from diseases that are hard to see or measure. And the agency’s attempt to weed out fraud has led to a rule that does not give special consideration to an individual’s personal, longtime doctor, which could make it more difficult for people with hidden disabilities.