Roundup: Insurance, Medicaid, technology, house calls

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Illinois Insurance Chief (Soon to Head U.S. Insurance Office) Sees Market Becoming More Concentrated  —   Kaiser Health News “Are you hearing anecdotal stories from consumers? “We sure are. People in the pre-Medicare age have a lot of trouble receiving individual and family coverage. Historically someone in that group would receive an offer of coverage […]

Ways to save: Beating back health-care costs

Filed Under: Uncategorized

As part of our mission to help you save money by beating back your health-care costs, we’re starting a series of blog posts giving practical consumer advice about the marketplace. These posts are based on things we’ve learned in our reporting that many people may not know. As always, our posts should in no way […]

Health costs: Generics and primary care

Filed Under: Uncategorized

The rising use of generic drugs has led a decrease in out-of-pocket payments, NPR reports, adding that more than three of every four prescriptions fulfilled last year were for generics. “All 10 of the most prescribed medicines in the U.S. last year were generics, led by the defending champion generic equivalents of Vicodin (hydrocodone plus […]

Health cost fraud: The Most Wanted

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans

This is for real: a Web site from the Health and Human Services Department showing the most wanted fugitives committing Medicare and Medicaid fraud. For example: “Carlos, Luis, and Jose Benitez, commonly referred to as the Benitez brothers, allegedly schemed to submit false and fraudulent claims to Medicare, pocketing approximately $110 million from Medicare, according […]

Outsourcing help on health costs

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

Two health-care cost resources came across our radar today. OffYourDesk.net announces  “Dealing with health insurance paperwork can be frustrating and time-consuming, so why not let us do it?  We’ll handle every aspect of your health insurance claims, so you get the maximum reimbursement you deserve quickly, easily and pain-free.” It costs $195 a year, or […]

Fraud, politics and health-care reform

Filed Under: Uncategorized

Fraud and Bribery: “The California Public Employees’ Retirement System is negotiating a lucrative pharmacy benefits management contract with Caremark Rx Inc., a company being sued for defrauding the pension fund of tens of millions of dollars. …In March, the CalPERS board canceled negotiations with Medco Health Solutions Inc., which had been the front-runner for the […]

Test charges: $401 = $24.80

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

It’s not the first time medical bills in my family have seemed really confusing. Take a look at these two bills, for the same procedure, performed not long ago. The top one is from the provider for the actual test, a blood test at a lab. The charge was $401, the mysterious “adjustment” $376.20, leaving […]

Aetna sues in New Jersey, Pt. 2

The Aetna lawsuit in New Jersey seemed so puzzling that we continued reporting on it, following links. Why would Aetna pay such ridiculous rates, including a payment of $56,980 for a bedside consultation and “$59,490 for an ultrasound that typically costs $74”? That just seems absurd; we have a hard time getting $23.40 out of […]