Insuring the uninsured: Study finds multiple benefits

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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

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 […]

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

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

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.

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

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]