Health Highlights: Sept. 5, 201309/05/13
Here are some of the latest health and medical news
developments, compiled by the editors of HealthDay:
Health Insurance Marketplace Premiums Will be Competitive:
There will be numerous options for Americans trying to find
lower insurance premiums under the health care law, according to
two independent private studies.
Government tax credits would lower the cost of a benchmark
"silver" policy to about $190 a month for a single person who earns
about $29,000 a year, regardless of their age, says a study by the
nonprofit Kaiser Family Foundation, the
Some younger people who combine their tax credit with a basic
"bronze" policy could reduce their premiums to between $100 and
$140 a month, and older people could lower their monthly fees to
well below $100 if they opt for higher deductibles and co-payments,
according to the Kaiser study.
A study by the private data analysis firm Avalere Health
averaged the costs of policies with different levels of coverage.
Without tax credits, premiums for a "silver" plan would be about
$270 a month for a 21-year-old, close to $330 a month for a
40-year-old, and $615 for a 60-year-old, the
Beginning Oct. 1, people who don't have health insurance through
work will be able to use new online insurance markets to compare
private plans and learn if they qualify for a tax credit. About 4
of 5 people in the new markets will be eligible for some degree of
As of Jan. 1, nearly all Americans will need to have coverage or
The insurance marketplace will be competitive, but there will be
significant price differences among age groups, states and even
within states, according to Caroline Pearson, a vice president of
Avalere and lead author of the company's study.
"We are seeing competitive offerings in every market if you buy toward the low end of what's available," Pearson told the AP. But for uninsured people who currently don't paying health insurance premiums, "this is still a big cost that they're expected to fit into their budgets," she added.
Chobani Greek Yogurt Recalled
A mold problem has prompted Chobani to recall some of its Greek
yogurt cups. The recall comes a week after the company first
started telling stores to pull the products from shelves because
some cups were "swelling and bloating."
The company had previously said it wasn't issuing a formal
recall, but the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said Wednesday
that it was discussing the issue with the company, the
Some consumers said they became ill after eating the yogurt, but
Chobani CEO Hamdi Ulukaya did not reveal exactly how many reports
of illnesses the company received.
Ulukaya told the
APthat the problem was caused by a type of mold at its plant
in Idaho that is commonly found in dairy environments, and added
that the issue has been "totally fixed."
Rare Brain Disease Kills N.H. Man, Others May be at Risk
A man in New Hampshire has died from a rare, degenerative brain
disease and other people may be at risk, according to state health
They said the victim died of sporadic Creutzfeldt-Jakob Disease
Wednesday at the Catholic Medical Center in Manchester. The patient
had brain surgery at the hospital in May and was later readmitted
with signs of rapidly progressing dementia,
CBS News/Associated Pressreported.
One way that the disease spreads is through surgical tools that
haven't been sterilized for the protein that causes the disease.
The same surgical tools used on the man who died were also used on
eight other patients at the hospital. In addition, five people
outside of New Hampshire may be at risk because the tools used at
the hospital were rented elsewhere.
While it's unlikely that other patients will contract the brain
disease, officials say it is possible,
First U.S. Hospital-Based Internet Addiction Treatment Program
The first hospital-based Internet addiction treatment center in
the United States opens next week and will offer 10-day inpatient
care for people diagnosed with the disorder.
The program at the Behavioral Health Services at Bradford
Regional Medical Center in Pennsylvania will admit up to four
patients at a time. They'll undergo an extensive evaluation and a
"digital detox" that forbids phone, tablet or Internet use for at
least 72 hours, according to
The next steps include therapy sessions and educational seminars
to help them get their addiction under control.
Internet addiction isn't recognized as a mental health disorder
by the psychiatric community, which means the treatment isn't
covered by insurance. Patients will have to pay the $14,000 fee out
of their own pockets,
While most people can balance online activities and their
regular life, people with Internet addiction have trouble with
normal day-to-day functioning.
"Like any other addiction, we look at whether it has jeopardized their career, whether they lie about their usage or whether it interferes with relationships, Kimberly Young, a psychologist and founder of the new program told ABC News.
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Please be aware that this information is provided to supplement the care provided by your physician. It is neither intended nor implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. CALL YOUR HEALTHCARE PROVIDER IMMEDIATELY IF YOU THINK YOU MAY HAVE A MEDICAL EMERGENCY. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider prior to starting any new treatment or with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition.