What We're Reading: Consumer Rebates Under ACA Rule; HPV Vaccine Benefits; Testing Apple Watch's Health Monitoring

September 11, 2019

Health insurers will shell out $743 million in rebates to consumers under an Affordable Care Act (ACA) rule; the human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine offers benefits to men who are not vaccinated; Apple is launching 3 studies to assess the Apple Watch’s ability to monitor health and medical conditions.

Insurers to Pay Back Millions in Rebates to Consumers

HPV Vaccine Offers Benefit to Unvaccinated Men

Apple to Test Apple Watch’s Ability to Monitor Health, Medical Conditions

Under an Affordable Care Act rule requiring health insurers to provide consumers rebates if they don’t spend a large enough share of premium dollars on healthcare, 2.7 consumers are expected to get a record $743 million this month, according to an analysis from the Kaiser Family Foundation. The figure is 4 times the amount paid out last year, reported The Wall Street Journal, and consumers who get this year’s rebates are expected to get an average of $270. Insurers will also pay employers $534 million this year under the same rule.Men who have not been vaccinated against human papilloma virus (HPV) may still reap some benefits from the vaccine, according to a new study published in JAMA. The study found that rates of oral cancer—related HPV strains in unvaccinated men dropped from 2.7% in 2009-2010 to 1.6% in 2015-2016, likely reflecting a herd immunity effect from the vaccine. While the findings are not a surprise, they do come as a relief, as HPV-associated head and neck cancers are rapidly increasing among young men, reported NBC News.Apple has announced that it will partner with the National Institutes of Health and the American Heart Association, as well as academic medical centers, to launch 3 studies that will determine if the Apple Watch can effectively monitor women’s medical conditions, hearing health, and mobility signals, such as heart rate. According to STAT News, the observational studies are projected to start enrolling participants later this year and will initially be conducted entirely virtually.