For some Louisiana health insurers, explanations of benefits are anything but:

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

“When people go to the supermarket, they expect prices to be clearly posted in the store and then listed in an itemized receipt at checkout. If shoppers notice they’ve been overcharged for a carton of milk, they assume the cashier will issue them a refund on the spot.” our partner Jed Lipinski writes over at I The Times-Picayune in New Orleans. “If only things were so straightforward in the health care industry. To start, patients often have no idea what a procedure will cost before they get it. When they finally receive an ‘explanation of benefits’ in the mail – the document that notes what the insurance company paid and what the patient owes – they may discover that the name of the procedure or the five-digit code assigned to it is missing. ‘It’s a truly maddening phenomenon,’ said Dr. Michael Ellis, a professor of otolaryngology in New Orleans and a former president of the Louisiana Medical Society. ‘By not including the name of the procedure or the code, there’s no way to know if you’ve been overcharged or charged for something that never even happened.'” Jed Lipinski,“For some Louisiana health insurers, explanations of benefits are anything but,”

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