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The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services announced Tuesday that it is waiving for three years a requirement that insurers spend 80 to 85 cents of every premium dollar on medical care and quality improvement.

One of three insurers offering individual plans in Maine had threatened to withdraw from the state if the requirement remained in place. The insurer, Mega Life and Health Insurance Co., has 37 percent of the state’s individual market.

Maine requires that insurers spend 65 percent of premiums on medical care and quality improvement.

Similar requests are pending for Nevada, Kentucky and New Hampshire.


Leaky insulin cartridges recalled

NEW YORK | Johnson & Johnson, which has been beset by a seemingly endless stream of product recalls, has recalled hundreds of thousands of potentially leaky insulin pump cartridges that could lead to serious health problems and death.

It also has been warned by the Food and Drug Administration about manufacturing concerns for heart devices made at its Cordis unit’s San German, Puerto Rico, facility.

J&J’s Animas unit, the maker of the recalled cartridges and insulin pumps in which they are used by diabetics, said in a letter to patients last month that it found some of the cartridges can leak, resulting in delivery of less insulin than intended.

Insufficient insulin can cause high blood sugar and a serious condition known as diabetic ketoacidosis, which can be fatal. A leaking cartridge also could cause the pump to fail to sound an alarm if there were blockage in the infusion set, Animas said.

There have been reports of two adverse events experienced by patients but neither involved hospitalization or death, company spokeswoman Caroline Pavis told Reuters.

A total of 384,180 2.0 milliliter insulin cartridges were recalled.


Kennedy Center gets another $10 million gift

Billionaire philanthropist David Rubenstein is making a second $10 million gift in less than six months to the Kennedy Center to help reach younger and more economically diverse audiences.

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