Shopping for health care: A few thoughts on how to do it

Summary: Yes, people are shopping for health care. Some are better at it than others, and some providers and payers (read: doctors/hospitals and insurers) are better than others about revealing information. We’re always interested to hear when people who haven’t encountered these truths come up against the real world. So when Sarah Kliff, the well-respected […]

Breast cancer while uninsured: One woman’s story

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Breast cancer while uninsured: One woman’s story

“I must admit that I chose to be uninsured,” C. wrote to me. “My work does not provide health insurance and I looked into nystateofhealth.ny.gov during the fall of 2014, excited to have real health care options. I am 33 years old, and could comfortably afford an insurance that was $160 per month. I punched in […]

G.O.P. lawmaker asks for criticism of A.C.A., but doesn’t get it

Summary:  Representative Cathy McMorris Rodgers, a Republican from Spokane, Wash., decided to look for negative information about the Affordable Care Act. So she wrote on her Facebook page: “This week marks the 5th anniversary of #Obamacare being signed into law. Whether it’s turned your tax filing into a nightmare, you’re facing skyrocketing premiums, or your employer […]

Saving money: Paying cash for health care even if you’re insured

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

Saving money: Paying cash for health care even if you’re insured

(Updated, March 2019) People are telling us they are paying cash for common medical procedures, even if they’re insured — and getting lower prices. Is this common? Is it legal? Why don’t more people ask for lower cash rates, and why don’t more providers offer? The situation, as described by two of our community members […]

How to shop smart for medications: A simple binder method

Filed Under: Costs, Health plans, Patients

This post about how to buy medications thoughtfully as a smart consumer appeared on one of my online groups. I thought it was so wise that I asked the author if I could post it here, and she agreed. The writer is Moyra Phillips, Huntsville, Ala., who identifies herself as “a wife, mother, grandmother.” The […]

‘Looking through my eyes’ — a saga of lupus and health care

This piece is reposted with permission from Costs of Care, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit based in Boston, which has as its misison expanding the national discourse on the role of doctors, nurses, and other care providers in health care spending, while empowering providers with the information they need to deflate medical bills on a grassroots level. * * […]

An accident and the consequences: Uninsured in Los Angeles

Filed Under: Costs, Patients, Providers

We’re inviting people to share their stories of the health-care marketplace. Here’s one, as told to Elizabeth Celms. While these stories talk a lot about insurance, this site is generally about price transparency — and of course, insurance and price transparency have a lot of overlap. The number of uninsured people is around 50 million in […]