What We're Reading: Patients, Physicians Will Face a Number of Hurdles Under Aid-in-Dying Bill

What we're reading, May 5, 2016: obtaining life-ending medications under California's new law won't be easy come June 9; Arizona is now the only state to not participate in CHIP; struggling insurers propose big premiums increases on Obamacare plans.

When California’s aid-in-dying legislation take effects in June, the process for terminally ill individuals to get medications to end their lives won’t be simple. According to Kaiser Health News, the legislation creates a long list of administrative hurdles for both patients and physicians. The reasons for there being so many steps is to ensure the patient has really thought about the decision and is making it voluntarily.

Arizona has chosen not to restore the federal Children’s Health Insurance Program, making it the only state to not participate in the program. The state’s House voted to restart the program with the caveat that the state can suspend it if fewer federal dollars came in, and the Senate let the bill die due to concerns about the provision, reported The New York Times. The state’s lawmakers initially froze enrollment into the program 6 years ago—30,000 children can enroll in the program, which represents 20% of the uninsured children in Arizona.

As some insurers struggle in the Affordable Care marketplaces, they are proposing big premium increases. The Wall Street Journal reported that the picture will vary state by state as some companies, such as Centene, are profitable, while others, like Humana, expect losses. Humana recently announced it would make changes to its exchange offerings next year, which follows from UnitedHealth Group’s announcement that it would withdraw from most state exchanges in 2017.

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