New Data Shows Health Care Policy and Costs Top of Mind for Consumers Leading Up to 2020 Presidential Election

Sapphire Digital Survey Reveals Consumers’ View of Health Care Price Transparency and How Health Care Policy Will Influence Their Vote

Sapphire Digital, a leader in empowering consumers to make better choices that deliver health care savings, today announced survey results assessing consumer views on the health care system and health care policy leading up to the 2020 presidential election. The findings reveal health care policy will influence 79% of U.S. adults’ votes in the election, with 50% of those consumers reporting health policy will most influence or heavily influence their votes compared to other policy issues. Additionally, more than one-third (34%) of adults surveyed report they would like to see both presidential candidates prioritize lowering care costs leading up to the election.

For years, health care costs have been on the rise and the recent financial impact of COVID-19 has made cost concerns even more prominent. With consumers looking to

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To get teachers back in the classroom, we need to know the costs of coronavirus health care

The BDN Opinion section operates independently and does not set newsroom policies or contribute to reporting or editing articles elsewhere in the newspaper or on

Melissa Szymanski is an elementary school teacher in Windsor, Connecticut. She wrote this column for The Hartford Courant.

Teachers are a keystone of the nation’s economic recovery. We need to return to classrooms so that students can learn, and parents can return to work.

Yet across the country students, teachers and families are in limbo, contending with virtual schooling, which isn’t an ideal learning environment.

To get teachers like me safely back in schools as soon as possible, we must reduce the risk of spreading this disease to our colleagues and students. I want to get back in the classroom just as much as the families whose kids I teach. By routinely taking COVID-19 tests, even if asymptomatic, we can reduce the school outbreak

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Companies Face Uncertain Health Costs as Employees Defer Treatments

People are deferring many routine medical treatments during the coronavirus pandemic, creating unexpected savings for some employers, while making it harder for companies to forecast health-benefit costs in the year ahead.

As U.S. companies prepare to open their enrollment periods for health-care plans, many are uncertain about how much medical care their employees will consume in the year ahead. Health benefits typically account for a large portion of a company’s personnel costs.

Health-benefits costs for global companies that are insured—meaning they purchase a policy to cover their employees’ health-care claims—are expected to rise by 8.1% in the 2021 calendar year over this year, as people rebook medical appointments they postponed, according to a report published earlier this week by advisory firm Willis

Towers Watson.

By comparison, health-care costs are expected to rise 5.9% this year from a year earlier, the report said. The projections are based on responses from

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Chester County workers balk at new insurance costs | News

WEST CHESTER — Some Chester County government employees received what they say was an unpleasant surprise when they opened a recent e-mail from the county Commissioners Office about their proposed medical benefits for 2021.

In the accompanying memo, alongside information about the county’s wellness program, continuation of prescription, dental and vision coverage, and a new web-based physician consultation service, was the alarming news that the out-of-pocket maximum payments for plan participants would be increasing.

And not by just a bit. The new amount that employees would be responsible for will increase by 100 percent in most cases, and by as much as 150 percent in others. The thought that their costs would double came as a shock and an outrage to those who had long seen the benefits package they receive as public employees as the foundation on which their service to the county rested.

“You never came here for

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Added COVID risk for teachers: Potential health care costs

COVID-19’s financial risk for teachers and professional staff cannot be ignored. Here’s how districts can help them survive the financial burden

Photo by airfocus via Unsplash.

Callie McGill oversees content partnerships for LendingTree.

Although nearly two-thirds of surveyed teachers feel remote learning will slow the spread of coronavirus, many school systems are opening their doors for in-person classes. Policymakers are figuring out ways to deliver an educational experience while considering the widespread health concerns.

Yet often missing in the discussion is the significant financial impact COVID-19 could have on teachers and professional staff who contract the virus, and how administrations may have to potentially mitigate those costs.

COVID-19: The perfect storm of costly recovery and high deductibles

Up to 20% of COVID-19 patients require a hospital stay, according to a FAIR Health study, and the average bill comes to $38,221 if the patient has health insurance and stays in-network. Most

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Modifiable Health Risks Linked to more than $730 Billion in US Health Care Costs

University of Washington and Vitality study found that 27% of US personal health care expenses were attributable to risk factors like obesity and smoking

CHICAGO and SEATTLE, Sept. 30, 2020 /PRNewswire/ — Modifiable health risks, such as obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking, were linked to over $730 billion in in health care spending in the US in 2016, according to a study published in The Lancet Public Health. Researchers from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME), an independent global health research center at the University of Washington School of Medicine, and Vitality Group, found that the costs were largely due to five risk factors: overweight and obesity, high blood pressure, high blood sugar, poor diet, and smoking. Spending associated with risk factors in 2016 constituted 27% of the $2.7 trillion spent on health care that was included in the study.

Vitality Group. (PRNewsFoto/Vitality Group) (PRNewsfoto/Vitality Group)
Vitality Group. (PRNewsFoto/Vitality Group) (PRNewsfoto/Vitality
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more virtual care, more mental health help and higher costs for 2021 health plans

The pandemic, which has disrupted so much of our lives, has shaken up health benefits, too — and sometimes for the better.

Over 150 million Americans, including nearly half the population of Texas, get health coverage through an employer. And next month, many workers will select their health benefits during open enrollment.

They’re likely to see a big increase in coverage for virtual care, most commonly used for smartphone visits with doctors and other providers. While virtual care has been available for years, the approach took off after the pandemic forced many practices to lock down in the spring.

Consumers have embraced its convenience, and health plans are responding. The No. 1 health priority for large employers in 2021 is to implement more virtual care solutions, according to a survey released last month by the Business Group on Health.

Many employers are increasing virtual access to mental health services, too,

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Prescription Drug And Healthcare Costs Are Rising

Over the last 100 years, the practice of medicine has come a long way. More focus on evidence-based research, new innovations in medical technology, and novel therapeutic and treatment methods are just some of the ways that modern medicine has been able to increase both quality of life and the average life expectancy of society. However, one major area of concern in the last decade has been prescription drug pricing.

Late last week, famed pharmaceutical information and discount company GoodRx published a report titled “Prices for Prescription Drugs Rise Faster Than Any Other Medical Good or Service.” After comparing The Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index to the GoodRx Drug List Price Index, the comprehensive report found that “while prices for most medical goods and services are rising, prescription drugs have seen the largest increase. Since 2014, prescription drug prices have increased by 33%. During the same period, other

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A Complete Breakdown Of Invisalign Costs for Langley Orthodontic Patients

The cost of Invisalign treatment is close to that of traditional braces. However, unlike metal or even clear braces, Invisalign clear aligners are removable and practically invisible. This allows you to continue caring for your teeth as normal throughout your entire treatment. Sounds great, but how much will it cost? Below is a breakdown of what you can expect to pay for Invisalign clear braces.

Breaking Down The Cost of Invisalign Treatment

It’s important to talk with an experienced orthodontist. They are responsible for your professional fitting and in-office visit charges. It is also necessary to come in occasionally so that your orthodontist can track your progress and ensure that everything is going according to schedule. Things that could determine the cost of treatment include:

  • The experience and knowledge of your orthodontist
  • The complexity of your bite and misalignment
  • How long you will be in treatment
  • Your dedication and commitment
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Are You Ready to Rethink Major Medical Insurance Costs?

If you believe you are paying too much for health insurance or if you are currently uninsured, it might be time to shop around. Most major health insurance plans cost a lot. Then, you end up paying for benefits you do not use, and high deductibles and co-pays make it difficult for your plan to pay you any benefits at all. Something needs to change. Maybe you should try fixed indemnity hospital insurance or minimum essential coverage.

A fixed indemnity hospital insurance plan pays pre-set dollar amounts for specific health care services. The benefits you receive for health care service is the same regardless of where you receive your care or how much your provider charges. This makes you a consumer because you will need to shop around to find providers that offer the best prices. Some plans are more robust than others but they are not meant for people … Read More