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Vaccines Are Free. Covid Care Is Not. Who Should Pay?

In this commentary for Barron’s, Cynthia Cox explores the impact to the American public as the U.S. health insurance system adjusts to the COVID-19 pandemic. She uses the experience of the past year and a half to raise questions about broader issues of fairness in the distribution of health care costs in the country.

Unvaccinated COVID patients cost the U.S. health system billions of dollars

This updated analysis for the Peterson-KFF Health System Tracker estimates that the preventable costs of treating unvaccinated patients in hospitals total $3.7 billion in August, almost twice the estimates for June and July combined. The three-month total now stand at an estimated $5.7 billion.

Most private insurers are no longer waiving cost-sharing for COVID-19 treatment

This analysis finds nearly three quarters of the largest health plans in each state are no longer waiving enrollees’ cost-sharing requirements for COVID-19 treatment as of August 2021. Insurers largely waived those costs early in the pandemic, before safe and effetive vaccines were available.

Early 2021 Data Show No Rebound in Health Care Utilization

This analysis finds hospital admissions remained below expected levels in early 2021, suggesting much of the care people put off during the early months of the COVID-19 pandemic may have been forgone altogether.

10 FAQs on Prescription Drug Importation

These FAQs discuss recent efforts related to prescription drug importation, the history of this approach, challenges that previous efforts to carry out importation proposals have faced, and stakeholder views.

The Sleeper Health Cost Policy

In this Axios column, Drew Altman unpacks President Biden’s recent executive order on promoting competition, exploring its significance for new efforts to control health costs by addressing consolidation in the health care industry.

Insurer Filings Suggest COVID-19 Pandemic Will Not Drive Health Spending In 2022

This brief reviews initial 2022 premium rate filings for Marketplace-participating individual market insurers in 13 states and the District of Columbia. Most expect health utilization patterns to return to pre-pandemic levels and therefore not factoring in any impact on their 2022 premiums.

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Filling the need for trusted information on national health issues, the Kaiser Family Foundation is a nonprofit organization based in San Francisco, California.