What we're reading, November 30, 2015: the Spanish language HealthCare.gov is lagging in sign-ups; the overall federal insurance exchange has fewer preferred provider organizations; and many Americans don't understand why they need the flu vaccine.
Federal Insurance Exchange Struggles to Attract Spanish-Speaking Individuals
The Spanish version of HealthCare.gov is signing up fewer people than last year, according to federal figures. During the first 3 weeks of open enrollment, only 153,000 people used cuidadodesalud.gov compared with 244,000 during the same period last year, according to Washington Post. Overall, the federal insurance exchange is having a more difficult time attracting newcomers.
Many Americans Don’t Understand Why They Need the Flu Vaccine
Less than two-thirds of people say they have been vaccinated or intend to get vaccinated against the flu. Of those who have not been immunized and don’t plan to, more than half don’t see the reason either because they believe the flu shot is unnecessary for them (48%) or because they think the vaccination is ineffective (8%). NPR reported age, not income or education, was the biggest differentiator of whether or not people would get vaccinated.
On HealthCare.gov, There Are Fewer PPOs and They Are Increasingly Expensive
Preferred provider organizations (PPOs) that pay for a portion of the costs for out-of-network hospitals and physicians are becoming less common on the health insurance marketplaces. In addition, Kaiser Health News found that premiums for PPOs are rising faster than more restrictive networks, like health maintenance organizations.