Trending News Today: Bronze Healthcare Plan Enrollment Grows

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Customers are increasingly choosing to enroll in Affordable Care Act bronze plans due to lower deductibles, even if they have a medical condition. Healthy individuals who do not use many healthcare services and those with illnesses who expect to use a lot of services may choose to enroll in these plans, since out-of-pocket spending is similar and premiums are much lower. While out-of-pocket costs are $475 higher in bronze plans, the average monthly premium is about $1056 more for a 50-year-old enrolled in silver plans, according to Kaiser Health News.

A recent lawsuit alleges that Anthem Blue Cross has attempted to renew health insurance policies that are no longer covering out-of-network costs. This new change was not disclosed to current customers in renewal letters that were sent, and will force many individuals into plans with little coverage, the Los Angeles Times reported. Anthem allegedly sent renewal letters rather than a discontinuation notice to inform them of important changes they could be facing.

While it is common for individuals to seek the lowest prices when it comes to gas or groceries, they may not necessarily be shopping around for healthcare services or procedures. Due to an increase in out-of-pocket costs, many large employers are now using tools that allow their employees to compare costs for procedures such as MRIs or blood work, and are also rewarding them if they find lower-cost services, according to The Wall Street Journal. These tools allow patients to spend less money while still receiving quality care.