November 30, 2023

Health Insurance

Follow Your Health Insurance

Wednesday, October 26, 2022 | California Healthline

Regular Physical Exercise Could Boost The Effectiveness Of Your COVID-19 Vaccine

Hitting the gym after getting your COVID-19 shot may not be on your to-do list, but new research shows that regular physical activity may boost the vaccine’s effectiveness. According to a study published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine, the level of protection a person receives against the SARS-CoV-2 virus that causes COVID-19 rises with the amount of physical activity performed. The study also found evidence that regular physical activity can help mitigate “consequences of serious COVID-19 infection, reducing the risk of hospital admission, intensive care, assisted ventilation, or death,” a press release about the study says. (Payton, 10/24)

ACA’s Preventative Care Requirement Under Attack

Plaintiffs in an Affordable Care Act lawsuit are now asking a federal judge to toss all parts of the law requiring coverage of preventive health services. The filing raises the stakes in the closely watched case, Kelley v. Becerra: If U.S. District Court Judge Reed O’Connor sides with the plaintiffs, millions of Americans could lose coverage for cancer screenings, behavioral counseling and other recommendations made by the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force. (Gonzalez, 10/25)

The Hill:
House Investigation Finds Insurers, Benefit Managers Improperly Limit Access To Birth Control 

Some of the nation’s largest insurers and pharmacy benefit managers (PBMs) impose coverage exclusions and other restrictions on birth control products, contrary to an Affordable Care Act (ACA) requirement, according to a House investigation. Under the ACA, health plans must cover Food and Drug Administration-approved contraceptive products without cost-sharing. But a staff report from the Democrats on the House Oversight and Reform Committee found insurers and PBMs required patients to pay some of the cost or otherwise limited coverage of more than 30 birth control products. (Weixel, 10/25)

The Wall Street Journal:
Health-Insurance Inflation Is Poised To Drop Sharply 

Health insurance has put upward pressure on the main measure of inflation, but is now swinging into reverse. This swing will act as a much-needed, albeit small, drag on inflation currently running at four-decade highs, economists say. … However, this swing—the result of a methodological quirk—might be offset by broader price pressures building in medical services as labor costs climb. (Guilford, 10/25)

The Washington Post:
Justice Alito Says Leak Of Abortion Opinion Made Majority ‘Targets For Assassination’

Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. said Tuesday that the leak of his draft opinion to overturn Roe v. Wade made his colleagues in the majority on the U.S. Supreme Court “targets for assassination.” The leak last spring before the court eliminated the nationwide right to abortion was a “grave betrayal of trust by somebody, and it was a shock,” he said. The threat to the justices, he added, was not theoretical because it “gave people a rational reason to think they could prevent that from happening by killing one of us.” (Marimow, 10/25)

Low-Wage Workers Bear Financial Brunt Of Denied Abortions 

There are wide-ranging reasons why women may seek to terminate their pregnancies but for those struggling to make ends meet, finances are inevitably part of the calculation. Now many of them will be thrust into a circumstance they can’t afford as abortion bans and restrictions take hold in half the country after the Supreme Court overturned the 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling guaranteeing abortion rights. (D’Innocenzio and Olson, 10/26)

A Sanctuary State For Gender Affirming Care

Twenty-one states have attempted to limit, ban, or criminalize access to medical care for transgender and nonbinary youth. California is going in the opposite direction. In September, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law that ensures transgender kids from out-of-state can safely access hormones or puberty blocker. The law also shields families from child abuse investigations or from being prosecuted for seeking gender affirming care. It’s the first law of its kind in the nation. (Montecillo, McClurg and Esquinca)

Voice Of San Diego:
San Diegans Are Falling Into Homelessness Faster Than The Region Can House Them

Thousands of unhoused San Diegans moved into homes in the last year, but thousands more fell into homelessness. The Regional Task Force on Homelessness, which coordinates the countywide response to the crisis, reports that 15,327 people sought homeless services for the first time over the last 12 months – outpacing the 11,861 formerly unhoused people who moved into housing. (Halverstadt, 10/25)

Sacramento Diverts Homeless Shelter Funding To Affordable Housing Projects

A year after passing a comprehensive plan to build shelters and safe ground camp sites for unhoused people, the Sacramento City Council on Tuesday voted unanimously to instead spend the roughly $19 million earmarked for some of those projects on affordable housing. The council approved a total of $32 million for seven affordable housing projects, which will offer more than 800 units across the city. (Nichols and Lam, 10/25)

The New York Times:
Some Breast Cancer Patients Could Skip Surgery, Study Suggests 

The conventional approach to fighting breast cancer is to deploy all the tools modern medicine has to offer. Surgery to excise the tumor is considered a critically important step, along with drugs, radiation, and hormone treatments and immunotherapy when appropriate. A new study questions that approach, suggesting surgery may not always be necessary for all patients. The study, an early-stage clinical trial, found that a carefully selected group of patients who responded remarkably well to chemotherapy could skip surgery altogether. (Rabin, 10/25)

CBS News:
Benzene Behind Latest Shampoo Recall Is A Big Problem, Scientist Says

People should take the benzene-related recalls seriously, as they involve a far more dangerous contaminant than most, according to David Light, CEO of Valisure, an independent lab in New Haven, Connecticut, that alerted the Food and Drug Administration to its findings of benzene in sunscreen sprays last year. (Gibson, 10/25)

The New York Times:
Uterine Cancer Cases Are Rising. Here’s What to Know.

Rates of uterine cancer have been increasing in the United States, particularly for Black and Hispanic women. The number of cases diagnosed each year rose to 65,950 this year, compared to 39,000 15 years ago. Black women are also more likely to have more aggressive cases of the cancer, Dr. White said, and the study showed they were disproportionately more likely to use hair straighteners. (Blum, 10/25)