Did you know that 80% of survey respondents worry about receiving access to medical care?
The last few years have seen a lot of upheaval in the health industry, ranging from abortion bans to rising care costs. These issues are still ongoing in 2023, and new health stories have emerged that may affect millions of Americans.
Keep your finger on the pulse and continue reading to learn more about the leading health stories to watch in 2023.
Backlogged Medicare Eligibility Checks
One of the biggest health stories emerging in 2023 is Congress’s order for backlogged Medicaid eligibility checks.
During the COVID-19 pandemic, most states delayed taking people off Medicaid in an effort to assist through the emergency.
Fast forward to 2023, and Congress has given the order for these backlog eligibility checks to be brought up to date. More than 90 million people are due to have three years of backlog checks run.
This could see millions of people losing access to Medicaid coverage. Some may still be able to source coverage through ACA marketplaces or their employers, but there is a real danger that a certain portion will become entirely uninsured.
One of the reasons for this is the rising cost of employer health insurance plans.
Abortion Bans Continue
Another health story that’s sure to continue making headline news is abortion bans. In wake of the Roe v Wade overturn, roughly half of the US states have either banned abortion, taken steps to implement abortion bans, or restricted access to abortion care.
Currently, courts have blocked abortion bans in Indiana, Wyoming, and Ohio, but it’s not the end of the road. These and other states such as Iowa, Montana, and Nebraska may still implement bans in the future.
Besides the public conflict over abortion rights, the wave of abortion bans have also opened up other issues. For instance, in Texas, lawmakers have filed a bill to rescind tax breaks from businesses that pay travel costs for employees seeking abortion care.
Moves Towards Prescription Drug Price Controls
Over the last two decades, there hasn’t been much progress in lowering the costs of healthcare and prescription drugs, but it looks like things are slowly about to change.
Last year saw the Inflation Reduction Act (IRA) passed. This has granted Medicare the power to negotiate and cap prices on prescription drugs. In 2023, Medicare is now founding its Medicare Drug Rebate and Negotiations Group.
Medicare is also due to release a list of 10 high-cost outpatient drugs in September that are due for a price slash. Newly negotiated prices for high-cost medication won’t come into effect until 2026.
There is also likely to be some drug manufacturer pushback over these price drops.
However, some price drops have already come into effect for patents. For instance, seniors on Medicare who have diabetes now pay a max price of $35 for insulin per month.
The IRA is going to affect far more than what patients pay for prescription drugs. It’s also likely to have an impact on the drug supply chain, as the FTC and other entities carry out investigations.
Keep an Eye on These Health Stories
Backlogged Medicaid eligibility checks, changing abortion laws, and drug price negotiations are a few of the top health stories to keep an eye on this year.
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