What We're Reading: Part D Premiums; Molina Exits Some Exchanges; Gene Editing Success

Medicare Part D Premiums Will Decline

CMS announced that the average basic premium for Medicare Part D will decline in 2018. The average premium will be $33.50 per month, down $1.20 from the currently average premium of $34.70. The premium decline will occur despite the fact that spending for Part D continues to grow faster than spending for other parts of Medicare. This growth in spending has largely been driven by high-cost specialty drugs.

Molina Will Exit Utah and Wisconsin Exchanges

Facing losses for a second quarter, Molina Healthcare is reducing its involvement in the Affordable Care Act (ACA)’s health exchanges. The Wall Street Journal reported that Molina will leave the exchanges in Utah and Wisconsin and reduce involvement in the Washington state exchange. For the exchanges it is remaining in, Molina will increase premiums by an average of 55%. Molina’s move leaves 1 Wisconsin county with no exchange insurer.

Scientists Successfully Edit Genes in a Human Embryo

For the first time, scientists have edited the genes in a human embryo to repair a disease-causing mutation. The research represents a hope that babies could be protected from hereditary conditions, but also renews ethical concerns, reported The New York Times. The scientists were able to repair dozens of embryos and fix a mutation that causes a common, and often fatal, heart condition. The hypothesis is that babies born from the repaired embryos would not only not develop the disease themselves, but they would not pass the disease on to descendants.