What we're reading, December 8, 2015: Cigna remains committed to participation in Obamacare exchanges; Puerto Rico demands the US fix healthcare funding disparities; and fewer Americans struggle to pay medical bills.
UnitedHealth Group may regret its decision to participate in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) marketplaces and be ready to jump ship in 2017, but Cigna remains committed. In an interview with Kaiser Health News, Cigna CEO David Cordani explained that the exchanges are a long-term viable market and that the company has been viewing 2014, 2015, and 2016 as Version 1.0 of the marketplace. Currently Cigna is losing money, but Cordani said that Cigna didn’t expect to make money right away.
Puerto Rico may be sending its poor and elderly to the US mainland to get care, according to Bloomberg Business. Although Puerto Ricans are US citizens, the island is a commonwealth, not a state, and as such it gets shortchanged on funding for federal programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. However, almost 70% of Puerto Ricans get their healthcare through Medicaid, Medicare, and Medicare Advantage. Elected officials are demanding that the US fix healthcare funding disparities.
Finally, data from the CDC found that fewer Americans are struggling to pay their medical bills, and that most progress has come from low-income individuals and those with government coverage. This is the fourth year in a row that has seen improvements and the CDC credits most of the last 2 years to coverage expansion under the ACA, reported the New York Times.