United Healthcare, representing about 26 million people that could be affected by a change in the law, said it would allow young adults to stay on their parents’ policies up to age 26, wouldn’t reinstate lifetime limits on coverage and would continue to offer cancer screenings and other preventive services without co-payments. It also would maintain a third-party appeals process for treatment denials and wouldn’t cancel policies retroactively.
Later in the day, Humana said it would continue the same provisions. Aetna, said it would retain the young adult provision, the preventive care benefits and a third-party appeals program, but didn’t include a reference to lifetime limits on coverage or retroactive cancellation.
Public opinion polls have shown these provisions to be very popular, even among people who say they don’t like the overall law.No other comments on significant provisions in the law, such as the requirement that applicants with preexisting conditions must be accepted for insurance after 2014.
- Two More Health Insurers Pledge To Preserve Parts Of Obamacare (thinkprogress.org)
- Major Insurers Plan To Keep Portions Of Obamacare, Regardless Of Supreme Court Decision (huffingtonpost.com)
- 3 insurers will stick with some of health law regardless of Supreme Court ruling (miamiherald.com)
- UnitedHealth to Continue Obamacare Provisions (247wallst.com)
- Aetna will retain certain health benefits even if Obamacare struck down (kansascity.com)
- No matter court decision, two insurers will stick with some of health care law (mcclatchydc.com)
There is a new product out called Makena (Ma – Kee – na) which prevents pre-term labor in women who are prone to premature birth. The drug is a form of progesterone, and, for years, has been available to doctors from special compounding pharmacies at a patient cost of $10. to $20. a shot. And it has been pretty effective.
But things can change… and sometimes the change is devastating.
After years of exploration, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in association with The March Of Dimes carried out their program of tests and finally issued their support for the drug. Since it is FDA approved, the drug could be signed to a major manufacturer, in this case KV Pharmaceutical of suburban St.Louis, who won government approval to exclusively sell the drug. That means compounding pharmacists can no longer make Makena (or any similar progesterone) for doctors. So what is wrong with that?
KY has increased the cost per required weekly injection from $10. to $1500.
Nope. That wasn’t a typo. KY has increased the price 150 times, causing a rage among both doctors and patients. Dr. Roger Snow, deputy medical director for Massachusetts’ Medicaid program commented on the price change:
NPR has cited some other doctors at major organizations:
“I’ve never seen anything as outrageous as this,” said Dr. Arnold Cohen, an obstetrician at Albert Einstein Medical Center in Philadelphia.
“I’m breathless,” said Dr. Joanne Armstrong, the head of women’s health for Aetna, the Hartford-based national health insurer.
The thing that concerns doctors the most is that the cost is going to prevent middle and lower-class women from taking Makena, causing an increase in premature births which the standard progesterone compounds have caused to go down.
KY says the cost is justified to avoid mental and physical problems that come with premature births…a premie can add $51,000 in unexpected medical costs to new parents. This is according to KV Pharmaceutical chief executive Gregory J. Divis Jr.:
“Makena can help offset some of those costs. These moms deserve the opportunity to have the benefits of an FDA-approved Makena.”
The FDA plays no part in setting the price for any drug. KY has hired a marketing company to promote it and is supposedly setting up a patient assistance program to help uninsured and low income women. But “uninsured” is the point. Currently insured women will be hit with the $1500 price – which could easily be disapproved by their insurance companies… or else cause the price of insurance premiums to go way up.
In other words, an organization that gets our tax money, the FDA, and a non-profit that we give donations to (and have since we were children in school), The March Of Dimes) have paid to develop a product that has been given to a Corporation, KY, whose major interest is profits over people.
- Cost of drug to prevent premature births stuns health officials (dispatch.com)
- Cost of Preemie Birth Preventive Skyrockets (abcnews.go.com)
- Preemie birth preventive spikes from $10 to $1,500 (sfgate.com)
- Drug price infuriates those who help moms (dispatch.com)
- Why a $10 Pregnancy Drug Could Cost $1,500 (healthland.time.com)
- Cost of preterm birth drug spikes (cbc.ca)
- Retroactive Drug Monopoly Raises Rates From $10… To $1,500 (techdirt.com)
- Premature labor drug spikes from $10 to $1,500 (msnbc.msn.com)
- Preemie birth preventive spikes from $10 to $1,500 (seattletimes.nwsource.com)
- Huge jump in price of prenatal drug has doctors worried ()
- Preemie Prevention Drug Spikes in Price (abcnews.go.com)