The Day: Insurance errors, premiums dropping

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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 […]

Best low-cost health insurance picks

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans

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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

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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

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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 […]

Meet my friend in the billing office, Part 2

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Meet my friend in the billing office, Part 2

Did you ever wonder why the bill from your medical provider is $3,000, while the insurance company pays only a paltry few hundred dollars? There’s a reason. Walk with me through the billing office of a self-standing New York radiology center with my friend S. (Here’s our first visit to her office, complete with her […]

The Day: Payments denied, reform

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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The Day: Payments denied, reform

Insurance companies deny payments for treatments doctors recommend, with increasing frequency. “Last month insurance tried to deny another patient of mine an in-hospital kidney biopsy after three years of multiple hospital admissions for uncontrolled hypertension. Finally after approval, the biopsy revealed a condition called IgA nephropathy that was responsible for her kidney dysfunction and high […]

If you’re uninsured, Part 2: The options

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If you’re uninsured, Part 2: The options

Welcome to Part 2 of our handbook for people who are uninsured. 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 uninsured series. The best way to start shopping for insurance is to know […]

Around the marketplace: Quick hits

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans

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Around the marketplace: Quick hits

  I just picked up a prescription for one of my twin daughters. The CVS pharmacy first thought the prescription was for her twin sister, who’s in their computer; the charge was $10. When the person at the counter finally figured out it was a different daughter, who wasn’t in the computer, and changed the […]

The day: Reform, unnecessary tests, rising costs

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The day: Reform, unnecessary tests, rising costs

Ezra Klein on the future of health care: “Republicans have a plan that has been tried repeatedly but that has never worked. Democrats have a plan that might work in theory, but it is untested at the scale they’ll need for it to work in practice. And both parties are too scared to talk about […]

Meet my friend in the medical billing office, Part 1

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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Meet my friend in the medical billing office, Part 1

“I spend all my time arguing with insurance companies and telling doctors they’re pansies,” said my friend S. She works in the business office of a self-standing New York radiology center, and she agreed to give me her  view of rising health-care costs and the health-care marketplace if I granted her anonymity. Because she is […]