Trending News Today: All Counties Have Individual Insurance Options for 2018

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

All Americans will have at least 1 option for individual insurance in 2018, according to The New York Times. The last county at-risk of not having any insurers participating in the marketplace has been filled by CareSource, an Ohio-based company. Despite withdrawals in rural areas by major insurers, such as Anthem, the Times reports that the companies are being urged by state regulators to fill the gaps.

Lawyers have recently alleged that health insurer Aetna may have disclosed the HIV status of thousands of patients. The Legal Action Center and the AIDS Law Project of Pennsylvania said that the insurer sent letters to HIV-positive patients in envelopes with a large, clear window that displayed sensitive information, according to The New York Times. The legal organization reports that relatives and neighbors of some patients learned of their HIV status due to the mailing. Aetna responded by saying that the oversight was unacceptable and they will be reviewing their processes, according to the article.

Antibiotic use among commercially-insured Americans has been decreasing. A new analysis showed that prescriptions for antibiotics decreased 16% for children and 22% for infants between 2010 and 2016, The Washington Post reported. Additionally, prescriptions for adults was reduced by 6%. These findings show that physicians and patients have been taking the advice of health experts who warn that the overuse of antibiotics can create drug-resistant bacteria, according to the article.