Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the bills, part II: falsely billed and overcharged

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and the bills, part II: falsely billed and overcharged

A Rochester-area woman we introduced you to over the summer has continued to receive hospital bills for a Covid test that never happened. Back in July, Rebecca Oliver and her partner Dan Loncoa went to Rochester Regional Hospital’s emergency room seeking a Covid test, only to be sent home without one and then billed $540 […]

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 long-haulers: Uninsured long-haulers, faced with mysterious symptoms, must navigate financial perils

Filed Under: Patients

Coronavirus (Covid-19) and long-haulers: Uninsured long-haulers, faced with mysterious symptoms, must navigate financial perils

In June, during his second week of having Covid-like symptoms, Andrew Ficker took a turn for the worse. His left arm went numb, he had pain in his chest and he felt dizzy. He went to the emergency room, fearing that he was in the middle of a heart attack. Over the next month and […]

Coronavirus (Covid-19) insurance: Anthem offering $2.5B in financial assistance to members, providers

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

“Anthem will make $2.5 billion in financial assistance available to customers and providers as they weather the coronavirus pandemic, including premium credits for cash-strapped members and funding to assist docs in standing up telehealth programs,” Paige Minemyer wrote for Fierce Healthcare. “Anthem will make premium credits of between 10% and 15% available to select individual market plans […]

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and health insurance: What you need to know

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus (COVID-19) and health insurance: What you need to know

So you’re worried about your health insurance given the coronavirus epidemic. You’re not alone. Whether you have or had job-sponsored insurance, or were on the state exchanges, or were uninsured before COVID-19 hit, it’s a topic of concern. Here are some situations, with answers. You lost your job and need insurance to replace employer-sponsored insurance. […]

Coronavirus may add billions to the nation’s health care bill: The New York Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Coronavirus may add billions to the nation’s health care bill: The New York Times

“With so much still uncertain about how widespread hospitalizations for coronavirus patients will be around the United States, a new analysis says premiums could increase as much as 40 percent next year if the pandemic results in millions of Americans needing hospital stays,” Reed Abelson writes in The New York Times. “Health plans went into […]

Buying health insurance: A handbook

(Posted August 2019; updates planned) How do you buy health insurance? We are frequently asked to help people buy health insurance. Our specialty is the cost of health care, not buying insurance. We don’t do individual consultations on what insurance to buy. We’re not really qualified for that, and also people must be certified and […]

The six-figure cost of being transgender, in medical care and surgery: Business Insider

Filed Under: Costs, Patients

The six-figure cost of being transgender, in medical care and surgery: Business Insider

“In the past six years, Claire, an IT infrastructure engineer living in New York, has spent thousands of dollars on medical care that most Americans never have to think about. There was hormone therapy, hair removal, and what’s known as ‘bottom surgery,’” Benji Jones writes at Business Insider “And that was just the start of […]

Could we be at the edge of health care’s tipping point? Care And Cost

Could we be at the edge of health care’s tipping point? Care And Cost

“Health care wonks play a game where they wonder whether health care really is changing in ways that are palpably better for everyone,” Brian Klepper writes over at careandcost.com and the Valid Points Newsletter. “Everyone, that is, except for the senior executives of the drug and device firms, electronic health record companies, major health plans […]

Medical coding and billing: The inside story of how the sausage is made

Medical coding and billing: The inside story of how the sausage is made

Medical coding and billing seems impenetrable — those strings of numbers on  a bill that purport to show what was done, and what was spent. Sometimes it looks as if chimpanzees are typing in random strings of numbers. The bills and explanations arrive months if not years after the event. The numbers are unfamiliar. Memories […]