This Credit Suisse First Boston report shows subsidies, state by state. Click on image to see report, then scroll down for the charts.
SUMMARY: This list of 10 tips and tools for insurance shopping that I wrote was originally posted on the blog at credit.com, where I am a contributor, and distributed to the credit.com network. The chart of state-by-state subsidies from Credit Suisse drew a lot of attention.
SUMMARY: We’re often asked about the relationship between cost and quality: If it’s more expensive, it must be better, right? A recent piece in Modern Healthcare tries to get to the bottom of what it calls the “disconnects between lower costs and better outcomes” by examining outcomes of angioplasty or coronary angioplasty — sending a balloon through narrowed veins to open them. It’s a procedure called percutaneous coronary intervention, or PCI, by specialists.
Summary: In case you missed them: We did a couple of tweetchats on healthcare price transparency. They are every other Monday at 8 p.m. ET, hashtag #hcpt.
Summary: Revealing prices is one of our missions over here at clearhealthcosts.com. And skyrocketing drug prices are one of the reasons our national health-care tab is so high.
This post about how to buy medications thoughtfully as a smart consumer appeared on one of my online groups. I thought it was so wise that I asked the author if I could post it here, and she agreed. The writer is Moyra Phillips, Huntsville, Ala., who identifies herself as “a wife, mother, grandmother.” The online group is SmartPatients.com, an online community for motivated patients and their families and friends where people can learn at their own level about scientific developments related to disease, share questions and concerns with other members, and use what they have learned in the context of their own lives.
By Moyra Phillips
SUMMARY: As many as 7 million people may qualify for insurance that is entirely or almost entirely paid for by U.S government subsidies.
In some states, as many as 40 percent of the currently uninsured will be able to get health insurance for a $0 monthly premium, because their income level brings a full subsidy from the U.S. government under the Affordable Care Act, we learned the other day from The New York Times.
A new website detailing insurance-buying tips for people with AIDS has been launched by the Kaiser Family Foundation.
People with AIDS can no longer be denied insurance coverage because of a pre-existing condition under the Affordable Care Act; one in four uninsured people have AIDS, the site says, so these people will benefit greatly from the law.
“Starting January 1, 2014, no one can be denied health insurance or charged more because of a pre-existing health condition such as HIV. And insurers can no longer limit how much they’ll spend on your medical care —over a year or your lifetime. These are important changes for someone with HIV,” the site says.
“Many people today get health insurance through an employer. Some purchase coverage on their own. And, others, including many people with HIV, are covered by the government-run health programs Medicaid and Medicare.
“Most Americans are required to have health insurance starting in 2014, or pay a fine if they don’t.
“If you already have coverage that you are satisfied with, you don’t need to do anything and likely you won’t notice any changes. If you are in need of health insurance, there are now some more options available to you.”
Medical tourism is on the rise: people are traveling from their homes to other cities and other countries for medical care.
One thing I just learned: big insurance companies are working on medical tourism programs — something we’re interested in learning more about. We have heard a lot about domestic medical tourism — U.S. patients traveling to other U.S. cities for treatment, often under arrangements made by their companies. Walmart and Lowe’s in particular have been making such deals.
Why are some insurance policies being canceled as the Affordable Care Act rolls out? Sarah Kliff has an excellent discussion on Wonkblog.
The cancellations have caused some consternation because President Obama said many times that people who like their insurance can keep it, which, as she points out, ”is a weird promise to make when one of the key goals of the health-care law is to change individual market insurance coverage.”
First let’s remember that the Affordable Care Act has lots of features: expansion of Medicaid, coverage of people up to 26 on their parents’ policies, coverage of people with pre-existing conditions, a mandate that insurers spend the money they get in premiums actually paying for health care for insured people (whoa!) and a whole host of other things.