How Aetna, Anthem, Humana, Cigna and UnitedHealth performed in the fourth quarter

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How Aetna, Anthem, Humana, Cigna and UnitedHealth performed in the fourth quarter

“Many of the nation’s largest commercial insurers saw their profits fall in the fourth quarter of 2020 as expenses related to the COVID-19 pandemic increased,” Becker’s Hospital Review wrote. “Here is how Aetna, Anthem, Humana, Cigna and UnitedHealth Group fared: “1. Fourth-quarter revenues for Aetna parent CVS Health totaled $619.6 billion, up from $66.9 billion […]

The new hospital transparency rule: The deadline for posting price lists is on Jan. 1, so how did they do?

The new hospital transparency rule: The deadline for posting price lists is on Jan. 1, so how did they do?

The new federal price transparency law is rolling out Jan. 1, 2021, mandating that hospitals have to list prices on their web sites. Describing the new rules, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services say on their website: “Hospital price transparency helps Americans know the cost of a hospital item or service before receiving it. […]

Coronavirus (Covid 19) and telemedicine: Will my insurance still cover my appointments?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid 19) and telemedicine: Will my insurance still cover my appointments?

Many of the country’s insurers are bringing back patient fees for telemedicine visits after waiving them for several months because of the coronavirus crisis. But how much you’ll have to pay and when you’ll have to pay it depends on which plan you have. Throughout the pandemic, insurance companies have varied widely on what they […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the insurers: Big insurance companies report big profits, benefiting from the pandemic, The New York Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the insurers: Big insurance companies report big profits, benefiting from the pandemic, The New York Times

“The nation’s leading health insurers are experiencing an embarrassment of profits,” Reed Abelson writes over at The New York Times. “Some of the largest companies, including Anthem, Humana and UnitedHealth Group, are reporting second-quarter earnings that are double what they were a year ago. And while insurance profits are capped under the Affordable Care Act, […]

How much does Lialda (mesalamine) cost, $25, $255 or $1,008?

Filed Under: Costs

How much does Lialda (mesalamine) cost, $25, $255 or $1,008?

A friend writes: “What a PIA… I read that article back then… How much time do I spend researching this? “Here it goes – Lialda 1.2g DR Tab – 120 tablets, generic mesalamine $710 retail price at Costco, $324.80 with free coupon through GoodRx https://www.goodrx.com/lialda $517 retail price at CVS, $346 with free coupon through […]

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 does IVIG (IV Immunoglobulin) cost? Or, no wonder healthcare is so expensive: Morgan Gleason

How much does IVIG (IV Immunoglobulin) cost? Or, no wonder healthcare is so expensive: Morgan Gleason

By Morgan Gleason I am thinking that we might really need to just burn the healthcare system to the ground and completely start over. Although I am pretty experienced with healthcare, the financial piece is one that I haven’t really been as involved in since I am still on my parents’ insurance and they pay […]

How much do Focalin and Adderall cost? When patients have to ‘fail’ treatments to get the right meds

How much do Focalin and Adderall cost? When patients have to ‘fail’ treatments to get the right meds

“Step therapy” is the seemingly innocuous name that insurance companies give to the practice of insisting that patients try and fail treatment on less expensive drugs before moving on to more expensive ones. A friend writes: As a parent of two children diagnosed several years ago with ADHD, I have come to find that there […]

Hey, Humana! Can we help you figure out how much an X-ray costs?

Hey, Humana! Can we help you figure out how much an X-ray costs?

Humana, the big health insurer, came visiting the other day to ask ClearHealthCosts how much an X-ray costs. They spent 8 minutes and 46 seconds reading this blog post. You can see on the screenshot here of our analytics program. Interestingly, they came to us via the sketchy informationvine.com search. They came lots of other […]

Under one roof: Narrow networks, and provider-owned insurers

Summary: Very, very narrow networks are rising in popularity. These often seem to be formed by an incumbent insurance company (think Aetna or UnitedHealthcare) with a local health care system. This is an interesting phenomenon, especially given the statements by UnitedHealthcare that it’s not making enough money on the health insurance plans under the Affordable […]