Trending News Today: Forty Percent of Americans Not Worried About Needing Long-Term Care
Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.
State officials confirmed on Tuesday that UnitedHealth Group Inc will be leaving California’s insurance exchange at the end of 2016. Although UnitedHealth announced in April that they were dropping out of all but a handful of the 34 health insurance marketplaces they participate in, the company made no mention about California, reported Kaiser Health News. The withdrawal will have an effect on individual policies sold outside the Covered California exchange, which will stay in effect until the end of December. “The smaller overall market size and shorter term, higher-risk profile within this market segment continue to suggest we cannot broadly serve it on an effective and sustained basis,” said Stephen Hemsley, chief executive at UnitedHealth Group. Executive director of Covered California exchange, Peter Lee, criticized UnitedHealth for placing blame on the federal health law instead of taking responsibility for their own mistakes. “Instead of saying, ‘we screwed up,’ they said, ‘Obamacare is the problem and we may not play anymore,” Lee said. “It was giving an excuse to Wall Street and throwing the Affordable Care Act under the bus.”
After numerous investigations into Valeant Pharmaceuticals International’s business practices, former chief executive J. Michael Pearson, who left the company in early May, will receive a $9 million severance package and continue to work as a consultant through 2017. According to The New York Times, under the agreement, Pearson will receive more than $83,000 a month through the end of 2016 and $15,000 monthly in 2017, as well as expenses and health insurance benefits. In order to revamp the company and give it a fresh start, Valeant and major investor William A. Ackman have distanced themselves from Pearson. Valeant Pharmaceuticals is currently facing investigations from Congress, United States attorneys in New York and Massachusetts, and the Securities and Exchange Commission.
An Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research survey revealed that 4 in 10 Americans do not believe that they will ever require long-term care despite the expected increase in its demand, reported The New York Times. “I’m very healthy at 68 and I really don’t have any impending and current problems. I’m self-sufficient,” said small community resident near San Francisco, Brad Woolsey in the report. A majority of Americans age 40 and older lack the confidence in being able to afford long-term care. Genworth Financial states annual costs range from $17,680 for adult day care to over $92,000 for a private room in a nursing home. The survey also revealed that one-third of Americans in this age bracket have made no efforts in planning for their own long-term care needs, such as setting aside money to pay for home aide and help with daily activities.