Trending News Today: US Death Rate Spikes for First Time in Decade

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UnitedHealth Group Inc recently announced plans to withdraw from California’s Affordable Care Act health exchanges next year. The insurer will also withdraw from all individual markets outside Covered California as well. However, Kaiser Health News reports that United will continue to offer plans to employers and government workers.

Opioids prescribed for pain relief after medical procedures often are kept in medicine cabinets for years and can be within reach of children, pets, and adults. Leftover drugs that are flushed or thrown away can harm the environment, however. In certain states like California, there are year-round disposal sites for drugs, but not every state has these programs, according to Kaiser Health News.

The death rate rose in 2015 for the first time in a decade driven by deaths from overdoses, suicide, and Alzheimer’s disease. The New York Times reported that there has been documentation of rises in mortality among less educated whites who have largely been part of the prescription drug epidemic, but an increase for the entire US population is quite rare. The death rate increased from 723.2 per 100,000 people in 2014 to 729.5 in 2015.