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Paying More Because You Have Insurance: Is Cash Cheaper?

December 25, 2014 by Jeanne Pinder

Many of us are accustomed to thinking that we pay insurance premiums to get access to a lower cost for health care procedures. But increasingly we are hearing that insured people are paying more than uninsured people — not everywhere, and not all the time, but not infrequently.[read more]

Holly, Jolly Healthcare: Things You Need to Know About Selling Insurance

December 3, 2014 by Michael Sherman

health insurance in 2015

As we near year’s end, many families are searching for the best healthcare coverage for their families in 2015, all while shopping for clever presents, attending holiday parties and whipping up festive feasts. This time around, they’re insurance shopping with some additional skepticism and anxiety.[read more]

Swamped: America's Health Care System Is Drowning in Misery

November 11, 2014 by Christine Kapsa, NP, DNP

Overwhelmed doctors

Value-based care is the insurance industry’s ploy for discounting clinicians’ reimbursement after the care has been given. No one should be surprised that medical students are shunning primary care residencies. How many of us are interested in jobs that don’t reveal the pay until the work is done?[read more]

Insurance Shopping Tools Online: Open Enrollment Nears

October 31, 2014 by Jeanne Pinder

As open enrollment nears, there’s an increase in the number of tools available to help you shop for insurance. Some of them will be better than others; some may try to give you information that lets their creators make money. So pay attention. Here’s a sampling.[read more]

Paying for IVF

September 5, 2014 by David E Williams

Advances in fertility treatment have greatly expanded the number of people who can become parents. But treatment is expensive and – in most states – is not covered by health insurance. Kaiser Health News documents the growing number of options available to fertility patients.[read more]

Meeting the Deductible: Cancer Drugs, Insurance and a Happy Ending

July 29, 2014 by Jeanne Pinder

Denied claims, long arguments, an eternity spent on hold arguing over a bill? Yes. But! Sometimes there are happy endings in the conversation with the billing office and the insurer. As deductibles and co-insurance rise, it’s more important than ever to know how to explore whether that bill is right or that statement is right.[read more]

My Health Plan Made Me Laugh

April 29, 2014 by David E Williams

photo: [phil h] / photopin cc

I really like my health plan, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. My plan has generous benefits, customer service is excellent, and there’s a great provider network. I’ve been a satisfied customer for more than a decade. But every once in a while they send me a letter so ham-handed that I just have to chuckle. It happened this week.[read more]

How One Woman May Die Because of ObamaCare

November 11, 2013 by John Goodman

Obamacare dangers / shutterstock

For the past twenty years I have been trying to convince my colleagues in the health policy community that managed competition contains perverse economic incentives. These incentives do more than misallocate resources. They create ominous risks for the health and safety of patients with serious medical conditions.[read more]

Sometimes, Even If You Like Your Insurance, You Can't Keep It

November 6, 2013 by Brad Wright

Some 3.5 million individuals reported receiving cancellation notices from their insurance company, despite President Obama’s assurance early in the health reform debate that this wouldn't happen. There’s no disputing that the President overstated things, but the issue is a bit more complex than that, and that’s what I’m going to address here.[read more]

Explaining Long Term Care Insurance Costs to the Non-Believers

October 31, 2013 by Maria Castor Handley

Long-term care costs

Long term care insurance may seem unnecessary at times. What if you don’t require in-home care or nursing services later in life? The money you spent paying for your premiums would seem like it’s gone to waste. What naysayers fail to realize is that the longer you live, the more likely you’ll require LTC services.[read more]

New WellPoint Plan Increases Healthcare Consumer's Level of "Skin in the Game"

July 10, 2013 by Kenneth Walz

WellPoint's new group plan

A recent Wall Street Journal article discusses how WellPoint, the nation’s second-largest health insurer, has developed a group plan in which consumers would be responsible for the cost of medical services in excess of that offered by their employer plans.[read more]

Medical Billing: A Paper Blizzard Not Addressed by EHR

May 25, 2013 by Bill Crounse

medical billing problems

Everything we read suggests the day is nearing when all hospitals and doctors will use computers instead of paper. But despite the progress being made to eliminate it in hospitals and clinics, there remains an insidious blizzard of paper in the health industry that seems to be only getting worse--medical billing.[read more]