- An Alabama couple turned to fertility medication after suffering a miscarriage in January. Few weeks later, they were shocked to learn they’re now expecting sextuplets.
- Oregon Governor Kate Brown signed into law a bill expanding coverage on abortions and other reproductive services to thousands of people in Oregon, regardless of income, citizenship status or gender identity.
- A number of Rhode Island health-insurance companies have been granted permission for double-digit rate increases to their premiums for 2018. The new rates released Thursday by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner range from increases of 5 percent to 12.1 percent.
News on Health Professional Radio. Today is the 23rd of August 2017. Read by Tabetha Moreto. Health News
An Alabama couple hoping to give their three boys a sibling turned to fertility medication after suffering a miscarriage in January, and just a few weeks later learned that they’re now expecting sextuplets. “It was the shock of our lives,” Courtney Waldrop, of Albertville, told The Gadsden Times. Waldrop and her husband, Eric, were in for another shock when a second ultrasound revealed eight sacs. “We were distraught, worried, scared,” she told the news outlet, before adding that a third appointment showed two of the sacs were empty. In addition to the health risks, Waldrop, who is thirteen weeks pregnant, now faces, doctors are hoping the babies make it to twenty eight weeks gestation before they are born. She is scheduled to deliver at Huntsville Hospital, which has never delivered sextuplet siblings before, The Gadsden Times reported.
The family, which includes an eight-year-old big brother and five-year-old twins, is hosting a gender reveal party and Glow Run five K fundraiser on August twenty six at a local park. While there’s no cost to register, any donations will go toward caring for the sextuplets.
Oregon Governor Kate Brown on Tuesday signed into law a bill expanding coverage on abortions and other reproductive services to thousands of people in Oregon, regardless of income, citizenship status or gender identity. Proponents called it America’s most progressive reproductive health policy. The Pro-Choice Coalition of Oregon said it is the first legislation in the United States to comprehensively address systemic barriers to accessing reproductive health care. Chris Pair, Brown’s press secretary, confirmed Brown signed the bill Tuesday.
Opponents have noted it will force taxpayers, even those who object morally to abortions, to assume some of the costs.
Oregon’s legislation was introduced largely in response to Republican congressional attempts to repeal former President Barack Obama’s healthcare law, which includes minimum coverage requirements for reproductive services. The law allocates almost five hundred thousand dollars from Oregon’s general fund over the next two years to expand cost-free reproductive health coverage, including abortions, to immigrants who are otherwise ineligible under the state’s Medicaid program, which currently spends nearly two million dollars a year to pay for roughly three thousand five hundred abortions statewide. The bill passed in July by the Legislature requires insurance companies to cover abortions at no cost to the patient. The voting was generally along party lines, with Democrats in favor and Republicans opposed. Two other states, California and New York, require all private health insurance plans to cover abortion.
A number of Rhode Island health-insurance companies have been granted permission for double-digit rate increases to their premiums for two thousand eighteen. The new rates released Thursday by the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner range from increases of five percent to twelve point one percent. In six of twelve cases, the rates approved are less than the increases requested by the insurance companies. Collectively, the two thousand eighteen premium approvals are sixteen point seven million dollars lower than what insurance companies requested. The rate increases approved for the individual market, which covers roughly forty seven thousand people, are: Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, twelve point one percent; and Neighborhood Health Plan of Rhode Island, five percent.
These rates reflect averages. Final rates will differ based on age and benefits chosen.
Key factors driving the rate increases include annual hikes in prescription drug costs ranging from nine point seven percent to thirteen point seven percent across insurers; higher hospital outpatient use; and the reinstatement of a federal health-insurance tax, which adds up to two percent to most premiums, according to the Office of the Health Insurance Commissioner.
A report released by the Kaiser Family Foundation in August showed that insurers in several states are seeking increases to premiums of twenty percent or more.