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 […]

How much does Medicare cost? Well, it depends.

How much does Medicare cost? Well, it depends.

So I recently went on Medicare, and wanted to put down some thoughts in case they are of assistance to anyone else. I suggest that anyone who’s doing this consider their own specific circumstances very carefully; I am not a licensed insurance broker, and I am not making recommendations here — rather, I am telling […]

How to negotiate for lower medical bills if you are uninsured or underinsured: Reddit

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How to negotiate for lower medical bills if you are uninsured or underinsured: Reddit

I noticed this piece on Reddit, and found it intriguing. I wrote to the author, who gave us permission to reproduce it here. Hey everyone, I used to work in medical billing/finance and have a pretty good understanding of how the billing system works. I have successfully used this knowledge to negotiate my medical bills, […]

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 […]

Opinion | Democrats are having the wrong health care debate: The New York Times

Opinion | Democrats are having the wrong health care debate: The New York Times

“As this week’s Democratic debates made clear, the party is divided on how to improve health care for Americans,” Ezekiel J. Emanuel wrote over at The New York Times. “Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and others are for a single-payer Medicare for All system. Joe Biden, Pete Buttigieg, Amy Klobuchar and others want an incremental approach […]

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 does Nucala cost? Or how to argue a bill

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

How much does Nucala cost? Or how to argue a bill

A friend writes: “Tufts Medicare Preferred on numerous occasions failed to give me cost and alternative information related to Nucala (asthma) injections that I needed to make a reasonable decision. After three injections, I received a bill for my first injection copay of $576.74 indicating a total of $1730.22. I had had no previous indication […]

Politics, lobying, hospital behavior and health care spending: NBER study

Politics, lobying, hospital behavior and health care spending: NBER study

“When trying to pass sweeping legislation, congressional leaders can attract votes by adding targeted provisions that steer money toward the districts of reluctant legislators,” Zack Cooper, Amanda E. Kowalski, Eleanor N. Powell and Jennifer Wu write in a National Bureau of Economic research paper in August 2017 examining the link between legislative politics, hospital behavior, […]

Medicare Beneficiaries’ High Out-of-Pocket Costs: The Commonwealth Fund

Medicare Beneficiaries’ High Out-of-Pocket Costs: The Commonwealth Fund

“More than a quarter of Medicare beneficiaries spent 20 percent or more of income on health care in 2016. Policymakers should consider how proposals to reform Medicare would affect those with poor health or low income,” a Commonwealth Fund analysis finds. “Abstract: Fifty-six million people — 17 percent of the U.S. population — rely on […]