National Consumers League

Pages tagged "health"

Preventive care benefits: Your health plan’s best kept secret

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To those who may question the necessity of health insurance, I have two words for you: Preventive care. Seven out of ten deaths among Americans each year are from chronic diseases, many of which are preventable. Preventive health services like physicals, immunizations and other screenings can help find health problems early, when the chances for treatment and cure are better, or even prevent health problems before they start. 


What you need to know about your health insurance benefits

stethoscope_heart_92.jpgIt’s no secret that choosing a health insurance plan isn’t as easy as ordering at a restaurant. Even after purchasing a plan, actually understanding what exactly you’ve purchased is yet another stressful task. Health insurance can confuse even the savviest consumers. Read on for a few tips every consumer should know when it comes to health insurance benefits.


Five commonly asked consumer health insurance questions

doctor_patient_crop.jpgWith the Affordable Care Act (ACA) becoming law in 2010, more Americans now have access to health care coverage than ever before. However, many consumers are still puzzled about how to select a plan, what services are covered, or why they need health insurance altogether. If health insurance talk leaves you disillusioned or just plain confused, don’t give up. Below, we answer five of the most commonly asked consumer questions about health insurance. 


From patient to consumer: Reimagining health care from a consumer perspective

family-on-bikes.jpgThe following Huffington Post op-ed was published August 18, co-authored by NCL's Sally Greenberg and Marilyn Tavenner, the President and CEO of America's Health Insurance Plans.

Navigating our health care system is no easy task. For decades, consumers have been forced to contend with a fragmented health system that makes decision making an all-consuming challenge. Whether it’s choosing a provider, knowing where to get information about cost or quality of doctors, or understanding a dictionary of complex health care terms, many consumers often feel left to fend for themselves in a system that is working against them.


Chipotle's misdirected food safety efforts

92_chipotle_stock_photo.jpgBy Ali Schklair, Linda Golodner Food Safety & Nutrition Fellow 

Back in August, Chipotle launched its ‘G-M-Over it’ campaign. In the name of food safety, it pledged to eliminate all genetically modified ingredients from its food supply. But the hype didn’t last long. By September, Chipotle was facing a class-action lawsuit challenging the validity of their GMO ban. Plaintiffs argued that the meat and dairy products served at the chain come from animals that feed on GMO corn and soy, not to mention the corn syrup used in Chipotle’s juices and soft drinks. 


So Simple, So Hard tackles adherence challenges in CA

“So Simple, So Hard” was the theme of the medication adherence conference the National Consumers League (NCL) held on September 15 in Sacramento, California. Sponsored by the Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality (AHRQ), the speakers and attendees explored the challenges and barriers to medication adherence – why it is so hard – and highlighted the tools and strategies to make it simpler and to improve adherence and health outcomes, especially among underserved populations.


Obesity doesn't discriminate, but should preventive care be more personalized?

obesity.jpgBy Ali Schklair, Linda Golodner Food Safety & Nutrition Fellow 

It isn’t news that obesity is an urgent problem in our country. According to a recent study by the CDC, over one third of US adults are obese. Education and health professionals have presented numerous strategies to combat this growing epidemic. Still, in order to enact real change, there needs to be a greater focus on how overweight and obesity affects specific populations.


Guest Blog: Fixing the Life Insurance Marketplace

b.fetchel.jpgA version of this guest post was originally published in the National Underwriter. The views reflected here are not necessarily those of the NCL.

“The life insurance market is characterized not only by an absence of reliable price information, but also by the presence of deceptive price information...the deceptive sales practices found in the life insurance industry constitute a national scandal.” So testified Professor Joseph Belth, an expert on the life insurance industry, before Congress in 1973. Can this statement, from more than 40 years ago, still be as true today?  And is it possible for such deplorable industry practices to be occurring without being in the spotlight of public attention?


Cutting costs for contraceptives: Saving money and staying healthy under the ACA

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A recent study shows that since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) mandate for insurance plans to cover contraceptives, we’ve seen a large reduction in out-of-pocket spending. In 2013, women saved $1.4 billion! This is important for all American women because too many skip preventive care and other health services due to cost. It appears that free contraception is having a large effect on the rate of pregnancies and abortions in the U.S. But some women are still paying out-of-pocket.


A big win For CA patients and consumers: 'Refill reminders' a 'go'

sg.jpgCalifornia’s Office of Health Information Integrity (CalOHII) just delivered a big victory for patients and consumers by expressly recognizing that sponsored medication adherence programs for a currently prescribed drug (commonly called “refill reminders”) do not require patient authorization in California. In publishing its long-awaited State Health Information Policy Manual, CalOHII takes a step to harmonize the state’s Confidentiality of Medical Information Act (CMIA) with the federal medical privacy laws and regulations (a.k.a., the HIPAA Privacy Rule).


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