60% of Anthem’s 2021 revenue was subsidized by American taxpayers: Wendell Potter

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans

60% of Anthem’s 2021 revenue was subsidized by American taxpayers: Wendell Potter

“When I was growing up, it seemed that everybody who had health insurance had a Blue Cross plan,” Wendell Potter writes over at his Substack. “Every state had a Blues plan, every one of them was a nonprofit, and their policies were comparatively cheap and comprehensive. That seems downright quaint when you consider what has […]

In 2021, 72% of UnitedHealth’s $222.9 billion revenue came from taxpayers: Wendell Potter

In 2021, 72% of UnitedHealth’s $222.9 billion revenue came from taxpayers: Wendell Potter

“As I noted in my last post, UnitedHealth Group made more profits last year than any health insurer has ever made for its shareholders — and considerably more than Wall Street financial analysts had expected,” Wendell Potter writes over at his Substack, Wendell Potter NOW. “Investors were so impressed they rushed to buy shares of […]

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 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. […]

Private health insurance costs are skyrocketing: Axios

Private health insurance costs are skyrocketing: Axios

“The cost of private health insurance is out of control, compared to Medicare and Medicaid,” Drew Altman of the Kaiser Family Foundation writes on Axios. “You see that clearly if you take a long-term view of recently released federal data on health spending. This is why the health care industry — not just insurers, but […]

Medicaid patients suffer as layers of private companies profit: The Los Angeles Times

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Medicaid patients suffer as layers of private companies profit: The Los Angeles Times

“Marcela Villa isn’t a big name in healthcare — but she played a crucial role in the lives of thousands of Medicaid patients in California,” Chad Terhune, lately of Kaiser Health News, writes over at The Los AngelesTimes. “Her official title: denial nurse. Each week, dozens of requests for treatment landed on her desk after […]

A Health Economist’s Take on Medicaid: Medpage Today

A Health Economist’s Take on Medicaid: Medpage Today

“Medicaid’s original objective was to provide medical care coverage to the poor. The poor, like the elderly (whose medical care would be covered by Medicare), had been largely left out of the U.S.’s growing employer-based insurance market because, starting in the 1950s, insurers began the practice of risk-rating (i.e., basing insurance premiums more on the […]

Mayo to favor privately insured over Medicaid patients: The Star Tribune

Summary: “Mayo Clinic’s chief executive made a startling announcement in a recent speech to employees: The Rochester-based health system will give preference to patients with private insurance over those with lower-paying Medicaid or Medicare coverage, if they seek care at the same time and have comparable conditions,” writes Jeremy Olson at The Minneapolis Star-Tribune. “The […]

The history of our health care system, and the road not taken

Summary: “It’s that time of year again. Insurance companies that participate in the Affordable Care Act’s state health exchanges are signaling that prices will rise dramatically this fall,” Christy Ford Chapin writes over at The Conversation, in a thorough, thoughtful examination of how our health care system came to be — including an explanation of […]