What We're Reading: Skinny Health Plans; Work Travel Health Issues; Lacking Computer Skills

New skinny plans cause confusion in the healthcare marketplace; the health risks associated with frequent travel need to be studied more; a doctor lacking computer skills loses license to practice.

Confusion Over Skinny Health Plans

With uncertainty over the future of the Affordable Care Act and its rules on health plans, skinny health plans are popping up on the market. According to Kaiser Health News, these plans are not insurance, but consumers might not realize that. The plans cover preventive care and provide limited benefits for doctor visits and lower-cost prescription drugs. However, they do not cover hospital or emergency room care or more expensive treatments. Since the plans aren't insurance, consumers who purchase them are not exempt from the individual mandate penalty, but they might think they are.

Health Problems of Frequent Work Travel

More research on the non-communicable diseases associated with travel is needed to better understand the impact of frequent work travel. There are a range of health problems that occur in frequent travelers, such as insomnia and weight gain, reported The New York Times. What little research has been done found that people who travel the most and the least tend to have the worst health. The consequences of frequent travel, poor eating, and little access to physical activity starts to play out over a decade or more with long-term chronic issues.

Doctor Loses License Over Poor Computer Skills

A physician in New Hampshire surrendered her license to practice over her limited computer skills and has been unable to regain her license. STAT reported that the 84-year-old doctor was unable to use the state’s mandatory electronic drug monitoring program and surrendered her license in October. She has asked to get the license back, but a judge ruled against her. The physician doesn’t have a computer in her office and typically saw 20 to 25 patients a week.