What we're reading, April 11, 2016: UnitedHealth calls it quits for 2 Obamacare state exchanges; study finds disparities across country in lifespans of low-income people; and Hillary Clinton and PhRMA agree on one proposal to curb drug costs.
After considering to quit the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges all together, UnitedHealth Group has called it quits in 2 states: Georgia and Arkansas. The insurer won’t sell plans on the ACA exchanges in those 2 states for next year, and it is unconfirmed whether the company will drop out of additional states, reported The Washington Post. UnitedHealth posted losses from the ACA policies last year, as did Aetna. Individuals currently enrolled in UnitedHealth’s ACA plans in Georgia and Arkansas will have to find a new insurance provider next year.
While previous studies have found that the poor have shorter lifespans than those with more money, a new study has found that it’s not just how much you earn, but where you live. NPR reported that big disparities in life expectancy exist across the country with poor people living in expensive, well-educated cities, like San Francisco and New York, live longer than low-income people in other parts of the country. What accounts for the disparity isn’t clear, but may be related to cities that promote healthier lifestyles and have smoking bans.
Hillary Clinton and the pharmaceutical industry don’t usually see eye-to-eye on her proposals to bring down drug costs, but the main trade group for drug companies, PhRMA, agrees with one of her proposals. According to STAT, Clinton’s proposal to cap out-of-pocket costs is one thing PhRMA is in favor of as patients face challenges in accessing medicine. Clinton would cap out-of-pocket costs at $250 a month, which would put health insurers on the hook for covering the remaining costs.