Shopping for insurance, Part 5: How do I decide?

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Shopping for insurance, Part 5: How do I decide?

Looking for affordable, effective health insurance can seem to start with an impenetrable thicket of questions. And even after you’ve made a decision, you might feel that your consumer comparison-shopping radar didn’t save you from a mistake or two. We’re here to help. Welcome to Part 5 of our handbook for people who are shopping […]

Insuring the uninsured: Study finds multiple benefits

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Insuring the uninsured: Study finds multiple benefits

People with health insurance are happier,  healthier and more financially stable. People without health insurance are more depressed, less healthy and financially stable. These conclusions — from an Oregon study published July 7 by the National Bureau of Economic Research —  may seem obvious. But because of the fraught nature of the debate over health care, it’s […]

Checkup: Charging the doctor, subsidies, spending, strategy

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Checkup: Charging the doctor, subsidies,  spending, strategy

Steaming: “Elaine Farstad got antsy as she waited for her doctor, who was late for her scheduled appointment. Then she got downright impatient. Then, as nearly two hours passed, she got mad. Then she came up with an idea. ‘I decided to bill the doctor,’ she says. ‘If you waste my time, you’ve bought my time.’” Elizabeth […]

Shopping for insurance, Part 4: Subsidized options

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Shopping for insurance, Part 4: Subsidized options

Welcome to Part 4 of our handbook for people who are shopping for insurance. We’re planning several articles in this series, much like  our “Ways to Save” series, and we’re  archiving them on the site. Here’s Part I of the series,  Part 2 and Part 3. (We started out calling it “If you’re uninsured,” but we have […]

Health-care stories: The search for contraception

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Health-care stories: The search for contraception

We’re inviting people to share their stories of the health-care marketplace. Here’s one, as told to Juliet Linderman. Here’s the first. Liz, 25, Medicaid then Family Health Plus When Liz neared the end of her graduate studies in early 2010, she didn’t have a job lined up right away and made sure to visit her […]

Checkup: Stealth poll shelved, insurance denials

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Checkup: Stealth poll shelved, insurance denials

Rolling back: “The Obama administration said Tuesday that it had shelved plans for a survey in which ‘mystery shoppers’ posing as patients would call doctors’ offices to see how difficult it was to get appointments.” Robert Pear, The New York Times. Quality of care: Clearhealthcosts.com concerns itself primarily with prices of care, not with quality. […]

Ways to save, Part 3: Do you want to decide solely on price?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Ways to save, Part 3: Do you want to decide solely on price?

As part of our mission to help you save money by beating back your health-care costs, we’re running a series  giving practical consumer advice about the marketplace. Here’s the first post about saving money (we suggest that you always ask the price in advance); here’s the second (even in an emergency, ask!);  following is the third. […]

Checkup: Doctor shortages, lost insurance, etc.

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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’: […]

Massachusetts: Cost-cutting strategies aren’t working

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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

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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 […]