What We're Reading: Insurer Subsidies; Encouraging ACA Sign-Ups; Universal Flu Vaccine

Bipartisan Market Stabilization Bill Takes Shape

Republicans and Democrats have been negotiating ways to stabilize the individual insurance market, and the first deal may come on insurer subsidies. According to The Hill, Republicans have indicated they are willing to guarantee 2 years of subsidies to insurers offering Affordable Care Act (ACA) plans. Senator Lamar Alexander, R-Tennessee, considers guaranteeing these subsidies a key part of the stabilization plan. Currently, the White House makes the decision every month whether or not it will continue paying the subsidies to insurers, which has created a great deal of uncertainty for insurance companies.

New Campaign Encourages ACA Sign-ups

Since Republicans haven’t repealed the ACA, the White House is pulling back involvement in promoting the health law. To help encourage people to sign up for coverage during open enrollment, former Obama administration officials have launched a new campaign called Get America Covered, reported AP. The campaign will focus on young adults and encourage consumers to sign up to get coverage and use the available subsidies. Open enrollment begins on November 1.

Team Tests Universal Flu Vaccine

The current flu vaccines available can be less effective because they are changed every year to match the strains most prevalent. A new vaccine being worked on could be the first in the world to be effective against all types of the virus, according to Reuters. The vaccine will be tested in a 2-year trial with more than 2000 patients in the United Kingdom. The difference between this universal vaccine and traditional ones is that the universal vaccine will boost virus-killing T-cells instead of antibodies. The vaccine has already been tested for safety in earlier trials.