Even researchers don’t know which doctors Medicare Advantage covers: The New York Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Even researchers don’t know which doctors Medicare Advantage covers: The New York Times

“If you try to use Medicare Advantage, figuring out which doctors are available (and where) can be exceedingly difficult, if not impossible,” Austin Frakt writes over at The New York Times. “Medicare Advantage is the government-subsidized, private alternative to the traditional public Medicare program. It has had strong enrollment growth for years. That growth has […]

How much do fertility meds cost? Or how to shop around and get the most for your buck on Gonal-F, Menopur, Cetrotide, Ovidrel, Follistim etc.

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much do fertility meds cost? Or how to shop around and get the most for your buck on Gonal-F, Menopur, Cetrotide, Ovidrel, Follistim etc.

How can you save money on fertility medications for in-vitro fertilization (IVF)  and other assisted reproductive technologies, like intrauterine insemination (IUI), egg freezing, donor eggs and so on? We’ve been hearing a lot about rising costs for these procedures, and particularly about the medications, despite insurance. A couple of stories came our way. This post […]

Individual insurance market performance in early 2019: The Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation

“The early years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) exchanges and broader ACA-compliant individual market were marked by volatility. Markets in some parts of the country have remained fragile, with little competition, an insufficient number of healthy enrollees to balance those who are sick, and high premiums as a result,” Rachel Fehr, Cynthia Cox and […]

So, Trump says he wants health cost transparency. What’s up with that?

So, Trump says he wants health cost transparency. What’s up with that?

So the Trump Administration issued an executive order on June 24, 2019, saying that it would set in place a process to make health prices available to consumers. Historically, of course, the prices people will pay to the doctor or hospital have been shrouded in secrecy — characterized as “trade secrets” by the hospitals, insurers […]

Behind the scenes at a health insurer: How the money is made, or why the Medical Loss Ratio matters

Behind the scenes at a health insurer: How the money is made, or why the Medical Loss Ratio matters

A contributor to one of my online communities, Scott Haas, wrote this to the group the other day in the context of what happens behind the scenes in health insurance. His note primarily concerns the Medical Loss Ratio formula and the way it was changed by the Affordable Care Act — and the role of […]

How much U.S. households with employer insurance spend on premiums and out-of-pocket costs: Commonwealth Fund

How much U.S. households with employer insurance spend on premiums and out-of-pocket costs: Commonwealth Fund

“In the years since the Affordable Care Act (ACA) took effect, public debate over the cost and quality of insurance has focused primarily on health plans sold through the marketplaces established by the law,” Susan L. Hayes, Sara R. Collins, and David C. Radley write for the Commonwealth Fund. “There has been less attention on […]

Nonprofit hospitals’ net worth soars as do Americans’ health care costs: thecentersquare.com

Filed Under: Costs

Nonprofit hospitals’ net worth soars as do Americans’ health care costs: thecentersquare.com

“The average family in the U.S. pays nearly $20,000 in 2018 on insurance premiums, deductibles and out-of-pockets costs, a new report produced by OpenTheBooks.com found,” Bethany Blankley writes over at The Center Square. “At the same time, salaries for administrators and executives at hospitals were as high as $21.6 million. Six CEO’s earned between $10 […]

How much does a blood pressure check with a physician’s assistant cost, $25 or $464?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does a blood pressure check with a physician’s assistant cost, $25 or $464?

A blood pressure check and medication adjustment with a physician’s assistant costs $464? How can that be? The share was from New Orleans, and the provider is University Medical Center, a part of LCMC Health, the big New Orleans chain. “University Medical Center charged a $308 ‘facility fee’ and after insurance discounts I’m out of […]

Ghost networks of psychiatrists hinder patients’ access to care: STAT

Ghost networks of psychiatrists hinder patients’ access to care: STAT

“When I started my training in psychiatry, a senior doctor told me I should have a therapist of my own,” Jack Turban writes over at Stat, about seeking in-network and affordable psychiatric care. “He explained that it’s essential to understand myself so I can better understand my patients. That made sense, so I started calling […]

‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

‘I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions’: How people shop for health care

“I always price out any labs or tests, even prescriptions before hand the price variations are wild, I then choose the lowest’” — she commented on a Facebook post on my TED talk. I queried her: “Thanks for this! This is my TED talk. I’d like to write about your experience for my blog. Can […]