Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

High-deductible plans jeopardize financial health of patients and rural hospitals in Colorado and beyond

By Markian Hawryluk, Kaiser Health News Kristie Flowers had been sick with the flu for four or five days in July before the 52-year-old registered nurse from Genoa, Colo., acknowledged she needed to go to the ER. At Lincoln Community Hospital, about 10 miles from her home on the Eastern Plains of Colorado, doctors quickly diagnosed […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

As the teen mental health epidemic escalates, emergency rooms get innovative and a for-profit hospital sees an opening

Colorado for decades has struggled with a shortage of mental health treatment options, but care for one age group in particular is most dire: teenagers. The adolescent mental health epidemic is escalating — suicide is now the leading cause of death for Colorado teens — and the state’s emergency departments are inundated with young patients […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

What would happen if the Affordable Care Act — also known as Obamacare — went away?

By Julie Rovner, Kaiser Health News Any day now, the 5th Circuit Court of Appeals in New Orleans could rule the entire Affordable Care Act unconstitutional. At least it seemed that two of the three appeals court judges were leaning that way during oral arguments in the case, State of Texas v. USA, in July. Trump administration health officials […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Protect Colorado’s Medicaid, CHP+ enrollees amid federal pressure

Over the past two years, enrollment in the state’s Medicaid program, Health First Colorado and Colorado’s Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHP+) has fallen by over 100,000 participants – an 8% decline. Nationwide enrollment in Medicaid and the Children’s Health Insurance Plan (CHIP) fell by 2.3%, or 1.7 million, in the same period.  Medicaid provides health coverage […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Return to sender: A single undeliverable letter can mean losing Medicaid in Colorado and other states

By Markian Hawryluk, Kaiser Health News COLORADO SPRINGS — Forty-two boxes of returned mail lined a wall of the El Paso County Department of Human Services office on a recent fall morning. There used to be three times as many. Every week, the U.S. Postal Service brings anywhere from four to 15 trays to the office, […]

Posted inCrime and Courts, News

Already under investigation for her body-parts business, a Montrose woman has her state insurance license revoked

Megan Hess, the former Montrose funeral home owner under federal investigation for allegedly selling the body parts of people whose families wanted them cremated, had her state license as an insurance agent revoked this summer. But the reason had nothing to do with the federal investigation, according to disciplinary documents. Instead, state regulators accused Hess […]

Posted inHealth, News, Politics and Government

Which was worse: A Colorado man’s bachelor party hangover or the hangover from his ER bill?

By Markian Hawryluk, Kaiser Health News Two days before his wedding, Cameron Fischer had one heck of a bachelor party, hitting a few bars in the Old Town section of Fort Collins, with his friends into the wee hours. The next morning, the 30-year-old IT professional from nearby Loveland woke up with a killer hangover. “I […]

Posted inOpinion, Opinion Columns

Opinion: Health insurance companies want lower premiums. But here’s why they’re so high.

Gov. Jared Polis recently announced massive reductions in premiums due to the reinsurance program passed by the legislature this year. For some areas of Colorado, residents buying health care coverage on the individual market could see reductions of 18% – 40% in their premiums for 2020. As health plans, we were delighted to see such […]