Checkup: Doctor shortages, lost insurance, etc.

Checkup: Doctor shortages, lost insurance, etc.

Stealthy: “Alarmed by a shortage of primary care doctors, Obama administration officials are recruiting a team of ‘mystery shoppers’ to pose as patients, call doctors’ offices and request appointments to see how difficult it is for people to get care when they need it. The administration says the survey will address a ‘critical public policy problem’: […]

Health-care stories: Uninsured, collapsed lung

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Health-care stories: Uninsured, collapsed lung

We’re inviting people to share their stories of the health-care marketplace. Here’s the first, as told to Juliet Linderman. Chris, photographer, 24, lives in New York City Chris is a 24-year-old freelance photographer living in New York City without health insurance. Two years ago, he was in Chelsea at a crowded networking event when he […]

Massachusetts: Cost-cutting strategies aren’t working

Massachusetts: Cost-cutting strategies aren’t working

Massachusetts has been in the forefront of health reform. So it was dispiriting to learn in a Massachusetts health reform report issued June 22 that the state’s test of one of the most-hoped-for reforms changes has failed to cut costs. In fact, most of the news in the report was relatively gloomy: it suggested that […]

Shopping for insurance, Part 3: A range of choices

Shopping for insurance, Part 3: A range of choices

Welcome to Part 3 of our handbook for people who are shopping for insurance. We’re planning several articles in this series, much as we have started publishing our “Ways to Save” series, and we’ll then  archive them on the site. Here’s Part I of the series, and Part 2. (We started out calling it “If you’re […]

The Day: Insurance errors, premiums dropping

The Day: Insurance errors, premiums dropping

“The overall rate of inaccurate [insurance] claims payments increased since last year among leading commercial health insurers, according to American Medical Association’s (AMA) fourth annual National Health Insurer Report Card. Claims-processing errors by health insurance companies waste billions of dollars and frustrate patients and physicians.” The AMA is not a big fan of insurers, but […]

The price of birth-control pills

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

The price of birth-control pills

“For millions of American women, birth control is beyond their reach,” writes Debra Marcus, chief executive officer of Planned Parenthood of South Central New York. “For uninsured women, out-of-pocket costs are prohibitive; even for women with health insurance, related co-payments are often unaffordable. More than a third of women have struggled with the cost of […]

Best low-cost health insurance picks

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans

Best low-cost health insurance picks

Just another thing Quora is good for: advice about shopping for the best low-cost health insurance, from the commonsensical Art Forrest, who I don’t know (he is an insurance broker in Georgia) and who offers this advice about buying low-cost health insurance: “(1) use a broker you trust who will shop the market for you […]

Ways to Save, Part 2: Even in an emergency, ask the price

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Ways to Save, Part 2: Even in an emergency, ask the price

As part of our mission to help you save money by beating back your health-care costs, we’re running a series of blog posts giving practical consumer advice about the marketplace. Here’s the first post about saving money; following is the second. Even if it’s an emergency, ask the price in advance. If you’re in a […]

The Day: Ambulances, rising costs, insurance

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

The Day: Ambulances, rising costs, insurance

Out-Of-Network Ambulance Rides Can Bring Out-Of-Pocket Expenses. This spring, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts launched a policy aimed at getting more emergency medical services providers to join its network: It began sending checks for out-of-network private ambulance rides directly to plan members rather than to the EMS providers. The move forces these providers to pursue consumers […]