Good morning. Today's word count is 807, or ~3 minutes.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Premiums for Affordable Care Act coverage are going down in some places, and barely rising in others, Axios' Bob Herman reports.
Driving the news: Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina is reducing the average premium for ACA plans by 5.5% in 2020.
Between the lines: Insurers jacked up ACA premiums after the Trump administration cut off cost-sharing subsidies and nullified the individual mandate, and as Republicans threatened to eradicate the entire law, among other things. Now, they're correcting for that overpricing.
The bottom line: ACA plans for many middle-class people remain prohibitively expensive — often around $600 a month for individuals who get no subsidies. But for those who get financial help, "this is a stable, functional, mature market," said David Anderson, a health policy researcher at Duke University.
Wyoming has come up with a unique way to make air ambulances — a common source of huge surprise medical bills — more affordable, according to the Georgetown University Health Policy Institute's blog.
The big picture: The state is essentially proposing to turn air ambulances into a public utility.
What we're watching: To go into effect, the proposal first has to be approved by CMS. State lawmakers would then have to make the necessary policy changes.
Yes, but: The blog's author, Sabrina Corlette, correctly warns that "both federal officials and state lawmakers will likely be lobbied extensively by the air ambulance industry, which has a vested interest in maintaining the status quo."
The rise of consumer DNA testing has led to revelation after revelation of fertility specialists secretly using their own sperm for artificial insemination, the NYT reports.
Why it matters: Beyond this being creepy and highly unethical, some states are taking action to criminalize such behavior.
Details: Texas has passed a law that defines the use of sperm, eggs or embryos from an unauthorized donor as a form of sexual assault, which some experts say goes too far.
My thought bubble: New biotech has brought us new problems, and in this case, they're highly disturbing. We're only just beginning to figure out how to address them.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The demand for home health aides is expected to skyrocket over the next decade, but the job often isn't a very good one, Vox reports.
Between the lines: As my colleague Sam Baker reported earlier this week, the need for long-term care is going to dramatically increase as baby boomers age.
By the numbers: The economy is expected to add 1.2 million home caregiver positions by 2026, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics — a 41% increase from today.
The bottom line: If being a home health aide continues to be undesirable and workers have other job options available, we could have a big problem on our hands in a few years.
The National Institutes of Health on Wednesday announced a $4.6 million award in initial funding to health tech company Color to provide results and genetic counseling when desired to the participants in its huge research project, All of Us, Axios' Eileen Drage O'Reilly reports.
Why it matters: The All of Us project aims to create the largest health database that's inclusive of diverse communities to improve precision medicine.