The price of The Pill

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

The price of The Pill

The cost of birth-control pills has been top-of-mind lately for us. This is in the morning’s news: “A leading medical advisory panel recommended on Tuesday that all insurers be required to cover contraceptives for women free of charge as one of several preventive services under the new health care law. “Obama administration officials said that […]

Birth control pills: How do you choose?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Birth control pills: How do you choose?

Things change with the seasons. New shoes. New tunes. New birth control pill. Wait–what? Birth control pills are multi-billion-dollar industry, and, as in many other industries, trends, and prices, shift. We took a look at some data from IMS Health on the most popular birth control pill, and were surprised to see how much it […]

Insuring the uninsured: Study finds multiple benefits

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Insuring the uninsured: Study finds multiple benefits

People with health insurance are happier,  healthier and more financially stable. People without health insurance are more depressed, less healthy and financially stable. These conclusions — from an Oregon study published July 7 by the National Bureau of Economic Research —  may seem obvious. But because of the fraught nature of the debate over health care, it’s […]

Checkup: Charging the doctor, subsidies, spending, strategy

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Checkup: Charging the doctor, subsidies,  spending, strategy

Steaming: “Elaine Farstad got antsy as she waited for her doctor, who was late for her scheduled appointment. Then she got downright impatient. Then, as nearly two hours passed, she got mad. Then she came up with an idea. ‘I decided to bill the doctor,’ she says. ‘If you waste my time, you’ve bought my time.’” Elizabeth […]

Health-care stories: The search for contraception

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Health-care stories: The search for contraception

We’re inviting people to share their stories of the health-care marketplace. Here’s one, as told to Juliet Linderman. Here’s the first. Liz, 25, Medicaid then Family Health Plus When Liz neared the end of her graduate studies in early 2010, she didn’t have a job lined up right away and made sure to visit her […]

Ways to save, Part 3: Do you want to decide solely on price?

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

Ways to save, Part 3: Do you want to decide solely on price?

As part of our mission to help you save money by beating back your health-care costs, we’re running a series  giving practical consumer advice about the marketplace. Here’s the first post about saving money (we suggest that you always ask the price in advance); here’s the second (even in an emergency, ask!);  following is the third. […]

Meet my friend in the billing office, Part 2

Meet my friend in the billing office, Part 2

Did you ever wonder why the bill from your medical provider is $3,000, while the insurance company pays only a paltry few hundred dollars? There’s a reason. Walk with me through the billing office of a self-standing New York radiology center with my friend S. (Here’s our first visit to her office, complete with her […]

The Day: Payments denied, reform

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

The Day: Payments denied, reform

Insurance companies deny payments for treatments doctors recommend, with increasing frequency. “Last month insurance tried to deny another patient of mine an in-hospital kidney biopsy after three years of multiple hospital admissions for uncontrolled hypertension. Finally after approval, the biopsy revealed a condition called IgA nephropathy that was responsible for her kidney dysfunction and high […]

Uninsured patients pay more: A first-person account

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Uninsured patients pay more: A first-person account

A friend came over to fill out our “tell us what you paid” forms. I’ve taken out some of the details, and left others. “Kidnapped by ambulance” might be a better headline for this, a $2,859 unreimbursed emergency room experience (and don’t miss the $1,699 blood test). I did know that uninsured people pay the […]