Trending News Today: US Pharma Companies Dominate Stock Rankings

Top news of the day from across the healthcare landscape.

Smokers may be lying about their habits when they buy health insurance from exchanges to avoid monthly tobacco surcharges. According to Kaiser Health News, 17% of adults smoke regularly in Idaho, but less than 3% of those who bought health coverage from an exchange paid the surcharge. By law, insurers are only allowed to rely on the honor system to find out who is a smoker and this could increase rates for everyone.

Maryland has expanded Medicaid in order to make nearly all former inmates eligible for health insurance, but they have encountered some problems signing people up due to all of the questions asked. Maryland is now asking the federal government to approve a simpler process that would give Medicaid coverage to released inmates for 2 months, as long as they answer basic questions, such as residency and citizenship status, according to Kaiser Health News.

US pharmaceutical companies dominated the ranking of stocks with the best 5 year returns, The New York Times reported. Regeneron Pharmaceuticals was ranked number 1 with an annual share return of 75.3%. Allergan was ranked number 2 with an annual share return of 43.3% and was closely followed by Gilead Sciences at 41.4%. Overall, 7 of the 10 spots were US companies, 4 of which were pharmaceutical companies.