DENVER — D.j. Mattern had her Type 1 diabetes under control until COVID-19’s economic upheaval cost her husband his hotel maintenance job and their health coverage. The 42-year-old Denver woman suddenly faced insulin’s exorbitant list price — anywhere from $125 to $450 per vial — just as their household income shrank.

She scrounged extra insulin from friends, and her doctor gave her a couple of samples. But, as she rationed her supplies, her blood sugar rose so high that her glucose monitor couldn’t even register a number. In June, she was hospitalized.

“My blood was too acidic. My system was shutting down. My digestive tract was paralyzed,” Mattern said, after three weeks in the hospital. “I was almost near death.”

So she turned to a growing underground network of people with diabetes who share extra insulin when they have it, free of charge. It wasn’t supposed to be this way, many thought, after Colorado last year became the first of 12 states — including Illinois — to put a cap on the co-payments that some insurers can charge consumers for insulin.

But, as the coronavirus pandemic has caused people to lose their jobs and health insurance, demand for insulin sharing has skyrocketed. Many who once had good insurance are now realizing the $100 cap for a 30-day supply is just a partial solution, applying only to state-regulated health plans.

It does nothing for the majority of people with employer-sponsored plans or those without insurance coverage. According to the Colorado chapter of Type 1 International, an insulin access advocacy group, only 3% of patients with Type 1 diabetes under 65 could benefit from the cap.

Such laws, often backed by pharmaceutical companies, give the impression things are improving, said Colorado chapter leader Martha Bierut. “But the reality is we have a

  • The number of mortgages in active pandemic-related bailouts plunged as the first wave of forbearance plans hit the end of their six-month term.
  • Over the past week, active forbearances dropped by 649,000, or 18%, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data analytics firm.
  • That brings the total number of plans below 3 million for the first time since April.
  • As of Oct. 6, 2.97 million homeowners remain in pandemic-related forbearance plans, or 5.6% of all active mortgages, down from 6.8% the previous week.



a large brick building with grass in front of a house: Prospective home buyers arrive with a realtor to a house for sale in Dunlap, Illinois.


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Prospective home buyers arrive with a realtor to a house for sale in Dunlap, Illinois.

The number of mortgages in active pandemic-related bailouts plunged in the past week as the first wave of forbearance plans hit the end of their six-month term.

It was the largest decline since the crisis began.

Over the past week, active forbearances dropped by 649,000, or 18%, according to Black Knight, a mortgage technology and data analytics firm. That brings the total number of plans, both government and private sector, below 3 million for the first time since April. In addition, the decline was noticeably larger than the drop of 435,000 when the first wave of forbearances hit the three-month mark in early July.

As of Oct. 6, 2.97 million homeowners remain in pandemic-related forbearance plans, or 5.6% of all active mortgages, down from 6.8% the previous week. The loans represent collectively $614 billion in unpaid principal.

Video: Mortgage rates hit new low as homeowners move to refinance (CNBC)

Mortgage rates hit new low as homeowners move to refinance

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These plans allow borrowers to delay their monthly payments for at least 30 days and up to one year. The plans are generally administered in three-month blocks, with the option to renew

DENVER (AP) — Filings with the Colorado Division of Insurance indicate the monthly cost of health insurance bought through the state’s exchange is expected to drop an average of 1.4% next year.

Costs depend on where someone lives, though, The Denver Post reported Thursday. Residents in some counties on the Eastern Plains will see 12% increases in their monthly premiums, while Park County residents could pay 12% less, on average.

In Denver, the average premium will drop 1.2%, though surrounding counties will see even bigger decreases.

The Post reports that the average can conceal significant differences among companies, however, and customers should consider the trade-off between higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs.


State officials estimate premiums will be about 20.8% lower than they would have been without the reinsurance program, which acts as a backstop for insurers by reimbursing some of the cost of covering customers with higher medical bills.

Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, said reinsurance has helped, but it could be hard to find an affordable plan in the 10 counties where only one insurer is selling on the exchange.

Premiums in the small-group market, which isn’t affected by reinsurance, will rise about 3.8%. The small group market is open to businesses with no more than 100 employees.

Source Article

The monthly cost of insurance bought through the exchange in Colorado will drop an average of 1.4% next year, according to filings with the Colorado Division of Insurance.

Your costs depend on where you live, though. Some counties on the Eastern Plains will see 12% increases in their monthly premiums, while Park County residents could pay 12% less, on average.

In Denver, the average premium will drop 1.2%, though surrounding counties will see bigger decreases. The average can conceal significant differences among companies, however, and customers have to consider the trade-off between higher premiums and higher out-of-pocket costs when they need care.

State officials estimated premiums will be about 20.8% lower than they would have been without reinsurance. The reinsurance program acts as a backstop for insurers, so they’re reimbursed some of the cost of covering customers with higher medical bills. It’s not clear what will happen to that program if the Supreme Court overturns the Affordable Care Act, because the law included a provision allowing states to experiment with ways to lower premiums, including reinsurance.

Adam Fox, deputy director of the Colorado Consumer Health Initiative, said reinsurance has helped, but it may be difficult to find an affordable plan in the 10 counties where only one insurer is selling on the exchange.

“Unfortunately, some carriers are still increasing rates in some areas, and any rate increase during this public health crisis is too much for many Coloradans who are already struggling,” he said in a news release.

Gov. Jared Polis said more needs to be done to lower the cost of health care. It’s not clear what might gain traction when the Legislature returns next year, however, since proposals for sweeping changes were derailed by the pandemic.

“My administration is committed to helping save people money even more on

By Daniel Leussink and Leika Kihara

TOKYO (Reuters) – Japan’s service sector sentiment rose in September to the highest level in 2-1/2 years, government data showed on Thursday, suggesting that the economy is gradually recovering from the devastating impact of the coronavirus pandemic.

A survey of workers such as taxi drivers, hotel workers and restaurant staff – called “economy watchers” for their proximity to consumer and retail trends – showed their confidence about current economic conditions grew 5.4 points from August to 49.3 in September.

It was the highest level since April 2018 and the fifth straight month of increase, boding well for the government’s efforts to prevent a pandemic-driven recession from deepening.

“While conditions remain severe due to the pandemic’s fallout, sentiment is improving,” the government said on the survey. “While there are concerns over the pandemic, sentiment is likely to continue recovering,” it said.

A separate private survey showed the flood of money pumped out by the government and central bank is keeping companies afloat for now, despite the hit to sales from the pandemic.

The number of corporate bankruptcies totalled 3,956 cases in the first half of the fiscal year that began in April, down 5.2% from the same period last year and the lowest level in nearly 16 years, private think-tank Teikoku Databank said on Thursday.

Total liabilities for firms that went under stood at 601.25 billion yen ($5.67 billion), the second-lowest level on record, the report from Teikoku Databank showed.

The Bank of Japan has ramped up stimulus twice so far this year and created a lending facility to channel funds via banks to cash-strapped smaller firms.

The government also deployed two massive spending packages, and offered cheap loans backed by state-affiliated lenders to help companies weather the hit from the health crisis.

Japan suffered