Wellness


Nicole Robinson, middle, with daughter Riley, 11, and son Cole, 9, work on homework in their home Thursday, Oct. 27, 2016, in Cave Creek, Ariz. Americans in the health insurance markets created by President Barack Obama's law will have less choice next year than any time since the program started, with the Phoenix market being hardest hit by insurer exits, shrinking from nine carriers to one, with many other communities affected, like the Robinson family who will have even higher rising premiums and prescription drug costs announced earlier this week. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

“At this point we are at a loss,” said Ryan Robinson of Phoenix. “We don’t know what the next step is.” He and his wife, Nicole, only have plans from one insurer available next year, and the company doesn’t appear to cover an expensive immune-system medication for their 11-year-old daughter.


“The fact that it shows that two of the most commonly used medications are no more effective than a placebo and have adverse effects makes a very clear statement,” said Dr. Leon Epstein, neurology chief at Ann & Robert Lurie H. Children’s Hospital of Chicago. Epstein said it should lead neurologists to rely on other prevention strategies; he advises lifestyle changes including getting more sleep and reducing stress, which he said can help prevent migraines in teen patients.


The HealthCare.gov 2017 web site home page as seen in Washington, Monday, Oct. 24, 2016. The Obama administration is confirming that premiums will go up sharply next year for health insurance sold to millions of consumers through HealthCare.gov.  (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

“Consumers will be faced this year with not only big premium increases but also with a declining number of insurers participating, and that will lead to a tumultuous open enrollment period,” said Larry Levitt, who tracks the health care law for the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation.