KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

CDC Survey: One In Four American Families Struggles With Health Care Bills; Lack Of Insurance Adds To Medical Debt Burden

The survey, released by the National Center for Health Statistics, also found that one in 10 families face medical costs they can't pay at all. Meanwhile, in another development related to the cost of coverage, SunTrust cancels its health plan for Medicare-eligible retirees and is offering them an alternative.     

Bloomberg: One In Four U.S. Families Struggles To Pay Medical Bills
One in four U.S. families struggled to pay medical bills in 2012, and 1 in 10 said they had costs they couldn’t pay at all, according to a government survey. The survey released today from the National Center for Health Statistics at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also found the lack of health insurance increased the burden of medical debt (Chen, 1/28).

The Richmond Times-Dispatch: SunTrust Cancels Its Health Care Plan For Medicare-Eligible Retirees, Offers Option
SunTrust Banks Inc., one of the largest employers in the Richmond area, will cancel its health care plan for retirees 65 and older, joining the ranks of other companies that are modifying retiree benefits. The bank is offering a replacement program through a private health exchange that the company says will give retirees more value, flexibility and choices. Retirees have until the end of March to sign up for the replacement plan to ensure continuous coverage. The new program is effective April 1 (Hazard, 1/28).

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