Category Archives: Health Insurance

What the ACA Means for Planning Major Medical Issues


This guest post is from Martin Carpenter, a paralegal focusing in the medical field. Nearly 60 million Americans undergo outpatient surgery annually, according to a study by Dr. John Hollingsworth of the University of Michigan. Another 51 million receive inpatient surgery, according to the CDC. These numbers include the 600,000 Americans a year who undergo […]

Why Insurers Cancel Policies, And What You Can Do When It Happens


Health insurance, and specifically the cancellation of existing health insurance policies has certainly been in the news recently. Here is an informative article from Kaiser Health News that will answer many of your questions. The opening paragraphs: News that health insurers are ending the policies of what could be millions of Americans has rattled consumers […]

Tighter Medicare Payments Tend to Lower Fees for All, Except in Dallas?


Maybe some good news for medical patients everywhere except in Dallas? This strange story was reported in the Dallas Morning News recently. The gist of the article is that a reduction in Medicare reimbursements usually results in a reduction of medical costs for everyone, even those not on Medicare. But for some reason this does […]

Health Insurance Premiums Climbing Across the Nation


I hate health insurance. Well, I don’t want to sound mean, so I’ll say I don’t like health insurance. I don’t like shopping for it. I don’t like paying for it. I don’t like using it. I don’t like arguing about what is and is not covered by it. I don’t like the effect it […]

What YOU Can Do to Reduce Your Health Insurance Premiums


Health insurance is an important necessity, but it is also costly if you aren’t careful. Insurance premiums vary in price based on your health conditions and lifestyle factors. In some cases your preexisting conditions may also play a role in how much your bill is. If money is tight, you can follow a few steps […]

Survey Finds Health Insurance Costing More and Covering Less


Major national news outlets including network news gave substantial coverage to a Kaiser Family Foundation report on health insurance coverage and costs. The reports emphasized the higher rates and reduced coverage with one outlet noting that family insurance now costs more on average than a small car. Many also noted the report’s conclusion that the […]

An Insurance Maze for U.S. Doctors


I enjoy reading the New York Times for top-notch reporting on current affairs, and for the great writers who have columns in that paper. But the paper also has several excellent blogs relating to health and medicine. One recent post to a health blog was written by a doctor, and concerned the problems physicians have […]

Administration Unveils Rules for Third-Party Review of Denied Health Claims


The AP reported, “The Obama administration says most Americans will soon have the right to appeal to a third party referee when their health insurer denies a claim for a medical service.” The regulations “released Wednesday carry out provisions of President Barack Obama’s health care law. Insurers generally give customers a couple of chances to […]

Hospital Cost Shifting Adds to Auto Injury Claim Costs


According to a recent study from the Insurance Research Council, low reimbursements from public health insurance programs, such as Medicare and Medicaid, have prompted hospitals to shift costs to automobile insurance companies—raising auto injury claim costs and forcing auto insurers to more closely scrutinize and negotiate hospital bills prior to payment. The IRC estimates that for […]

Health Insurers Making Record Profits as Many Consumers Postpone Care


Health insurance companies have been making record profits the past several years, in part because Americans have been postponing medical procedures because of the shaky economy. Of course, that is not preventing the health insurance companies from charging higher and higher premiums. As a business owner I dread the time each year when our health […]

HHS Initiative Aims to Reduce Medical Errors and Cut Costs


Print media sources widely covered an announcement last week that the Obama Administration was partnering with hospitals, insurers and other groups in order to reduce medical errors. Most sources considered the move a positive for the Administration. The Los Angeles Times reports, “The Obama administration announced a broad new initiative Tuesday to reduce medical errors, […]

Medical Bills Need Reconstructive Surgery


“Prices are almost always inflated before being routinely discounted. Amid such financial flimflammery, it’s virtually impossible for a patient to be a well-informed consumer of healthcare.” That was the subtitle of an article in the Los Angeles Times recently. The gist of the article is that medical bills, especially hospital bills, are almost impossible for […]

Don’t Take “No” As The Final Answer From Your Health Insurance Company


“Don’t take no for a final answer when a health insurer rejects a claim and leaves behind an unpaid medical bill. As many as 50 percent of some appeals prompt insurers to reverse their decisions, according to a report from the Government Accountability Office.” That was the opening of a recent article in the Washington Post. […]

HHS Unveils Preliminary Format for Rate Increase Notices


CQ HealthBeat reports, “The proposed format for notices that insurance companies would have to post electronically when they ask for rate increases of 10 percent or more was unveiled Monday by” HHS. Such notices were mandated by the healthcare law to help prevent “unreasonable” rate hikes. “Under the proposed regulation, the responsibility for scrutinizing those […]

Health Tort Reform Sounds Better Than It Is


A Daily Kos blog argued against healthcare tort reform proposals, noting medical malpractice’s less than 1.5% of healthcare costs “hardly makes tort reform worthy of the attention it receives for cutting health care costs. Furthermore, tort reform has already been implemented in more than half of the states in some form,” so many states would […]

Ten Costly Mistakes to Avoid When Applying for Medicare


The annual enrollment period for Medicare runs through the month of December. For those who have not yet made a decision, here is a list of ten mistakes to avoid, provided by PlanPrescriber, a subsidiary of eHealth, Inc. 10 Costly Mistakes That Seniors May Make During Medicare Annual Enrollment Period (1) Missing the Fine Print: […]

Political Rhetoric Harms Perception and Future of Texas Medicaid Programs


A recent article about Medicaid in the Houston Chronicle repeated some of the political musings of Governor Rick Perry and other politicians. For anyone with even a basic knowledge of Medicaid, the suggestion that Texas could simply “opt-out” is ridiculous. Of course that doesn’t stop politicians from proposing it, and thereby frightening the poor, the […]

Insurers Gave U.S. Chamber of Commerce “Breathtaking” Sum to Combat Obama Health Care Law


Bloomberg News reported that the national insurance member group America’s Health Insurance Plans, armed the US Chamber of Commerce with $86.2 million “that was used to oppose the health-care overhaul law.” Bloomberg notes, “The spending reflects the insurers’ attempts to influence the bill, which the Congressional Budget Office estimates will provide coverage to 32 million […]

Medical Errors Continue Despite Advances in Medicine


The Kansas City Business Journal has an interesting short article this week about the continuing problem of medical errors at hospitals. Here are excerpts: Today, surgeons can operate on a beating heart and use robotic arms to remove kidneys through belly buttons. But even as medicine has advanced, the number of medical errors — conditions and […]

Featured Link – Consumers Guide to the Health Reform Bill


This summary of the health care reform bill passed by the House yesterday is very readable. I can’t vouch for the accuracy of all the information here, but I didn’t notice any glaring errors. It’s a good starting point for those who want more information about the effect on them of this historic legislation. The […]