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HIV advocates call plans from insurer Blue Cross NC ‘discriminatory’

By Rachel Crumpler More than 35,000 North Carolinians are living with HIV, according to the latest available data from the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services.  Those folks are living longer, healthier lives, thanks to medicines that treat HIV infection. For many, however, cost is a barrier to getting that treatment.  Two HIV…

Want a clue on health care costs in advance? New tools take a crack at it

By Julie Appleby Kaiser Health News Need medical treatment this year and want to nail down your out-of-pocket costs before you walk into the doctor’s office? There’s a new tool for that, at least for insured patients. As of Jan. 1, health insurers and employers that offer health plans must provide online calculators for patients…

Federal settlement ensures NC Medicaid beneficiaries won’t lose coverage improperly

By Clarissa Donnelly-DeRoven  One of the traditional problems with Medicaid is that many beneficiaries cycle on and off of the program frequently as their income changes.  Medicaid – paid for by both the state and federal governments – primarily serves low-income children, some of their parents, people with disabilities and older folks who are very…

New incentives aim to move the needle on blood donations

By Michelle Crouch Co-published with Charlotte Ledger Last month, my daughter Rosie got an urgent email from The Blood Connection, one of three organizations that collect blood in Charlotte. “BONUS $50!!! BLOOD DRIVE URGENT NEED!!” screamed the subject line. For a 16-year-old who is often short on cash, it was an enticing offer. A few…