Trending News Today: National Health Care Spending Growth Overestimated

Top news of the day from across the health care landscape.

To help increase enrollment in the Affordable Care Act health insurance marketplaces, administration officials said they will target young adults especially, who have been slow to sign up, reported Kaiser Health News. The administration plans to send out letters to uninsured individuals, as well as families who paid the individual mandate penalty for not being insured or who claimed an exception about marketplace coverage. In addition to the letters, the administration also plans to send out emails to people who open an account on healthcare.gov but didn’t select a plan and pay a premium, encourage insurers to contact individuals before they turn 26-years-old to inform them about coverage options, and help people pay for transportation to open enrollment events through the ride-sharing service Lyft so they can receive help signing up. Open enrollment begins November 1, 2016, and ends January 31, 2017.

A new study conducted by the Urban Institute predicts that the federal forecast of national health care spending was greatly overestimated by $2.6 trillion over a 5-year period, according to The Washington Post. Actuaries for the US Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) projected that, as the economy recovered the low growth in health care, spending would return to higher levels, reaching $4.6 trillion by 2019. However, the expenditure increases are more modest than initially expected. A study funded by the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation predicts that national health spending is on track to reach $4 trillion by 2019.

Impax Laboratories Inc plans to buy a portfolio of generic drugs from Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd and Allergan PLC for $586 million, reported The Wall Street Journal. This new deal will include 15 generic drugs currently being sold in the marketplace, several drugs in the pipeline, and the rights to the generic form of Concerta that was part of a partnership between Teva and Impax.