The fact is, when you need health care the most, you are least able to “shop around.”
That’s why one of health care reform’s goals of pushing consumers to “have more skin in the game” won’t always work.
Sure, when our health concerns are not urgent we can take time (lots of it) to make phone calls to providers and insurance companies. But when we are sick or injured, we can’t. And sky-high deductibles and narrow provider networks make controlling costs more difficult.
A pediatrician on his blog writes the following post:
In today’s enlightened times, health care isn’t
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An email from a friend this weekend made it clear that many people don’t understand how the much-lauded Obamacare subsidies work.
That’s understandable, if they are not directly affected. However, it seems even those who qualify for and receive subsidies don’t necessarily understand how they work.
The devil is in the details, as they say, and Obamacare is nothing if not full of fine print and unintended consequences.
Unfortunately, not knowing the details of how the subsidies work will result in nasty financial surprises for some families, especially when tax time rolls around next year.
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Lots of data, but not user friendly
Have you ever wondered if your physician receives a substantial amount of money from a pharmaceutical or medical device company?
Is your physician’s decision to write you a prescription for the newest brand-name drug, or replace your knee with a state-of-the-art joint, based on corporate influences? Conflicts of interest run rampant in health care, and it would be nice to know, wouldn’t it?
Earlier this fall, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) launched a new website called Open Payments. It’s part of the Sunshine Act, which in turn … Continue reading
Five years ago, I didn’t think our health care system could get any more complicated. Well, I was wrong.
I have watched it become increasingly tortuous as Obamacare’s rules, regulations and mandates have brought about a seemingly endless stream of unintended consequences.
The major benefit, I think, of Obamacare was to take away the pre-existing coverage clause in insurance policies. The idea was to provide health coverage for everybody, regardless of current health, and to make medical expenses more equitable; that is, some will pay more (the young and healthy) and some will pay less (the older, sicker … Continue reading
We knew they were coming
Yesterday I looked on the website of my state’s (Washington) Office of the Insurance Commissioner (OIC). Health insurance companies are required to submit requests for 2015 premium increases in May. The OIC then posts these requests and the public is allowed to comment.
Insurers also have to file any benefit changes to existing plans, and details of any new plans they will offer in 2015. Actuarial data (what the company paid out in medical claims, administrative costs, enrollee risk profiles, profits, etc.) must be included to support the need for the rate hikes.
Rates are … Continue reading
A few months ago I posted about health-sharing ministries as an affordable alternative to Obamacare’s marketplace.
And recently I read that these groups are enjoying a surge in enrollment.
Since the launch of HealthCare.gov on Oct. 1, membership at each of the ministries has exploded, with nearly 30,000 new enrollees — more than the number of people who selected a plan through ObamaCare in 24 states.
Anyone participating in a health-sharing ministry is exempt from the mandate to buy ACA-compliant health insurance.
For more information about these ministries, read one of my posts on the topic:
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A friend emailed me a link to a recent article about a patient’s experience with the health care system in France.
The writer’s father, a French citizen living in New York, was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer and chose to forego treatment at one of America’s top-notch hospitals and return to his native country for chemotherapy.
The writer was understandably worried for her father: How could a public hospital in Paris possibly improve on Sloan Kettering’s cancer treatment?
Indeed. But what she discovered over the course of her father’s treatment is that the French have a pretty awesome … Continue reading
Losing a job or gaining an opportunity?
I feel compelled to give my perspective on the latest round of Obamacare news (OK, not really the latest, since it seems to be changing every day).
And I’ll give my bottom line here at the beginning, just in case you aren’t interested in the following health care-political gymnastics: Don’t retire early if you’re getting good health insurance at your job!
Last week the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) came out with a report that caused a stir among political and health care reform pundits.
Some highlights from the report include:
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It’s all relative
A few days ago I read something that really annoyed me: “Report Finds That Health Exchange Insurance Purchases Are A Good Deal”
Now, I’m not annoyed that people might be getting a good deal on the health exchanges. I just don’t think they are. I’m not. My neighbors aren’t. Premiums are expensive, deductibles are high, networks are narrow. Even those individuals and families who get subsidies must now always be aware that if their income goes too high or too low, they will lose the subsidy and perhaps their insurance. That sounds really stressful to me.… Continue reading
If Pajama Boy can’t sell health insurance, who can?
Despite ads with Pajama Boy, keggers and casual hook-ups (really?), the 18 to 35 crowd apparently isn’t rushing to buy health insurance.
Or maybe Creepy Uncle Sam is scaring them away. Or the lame technology.
Related news: Jimmy Kimmel Savages ObamaCare and Uninformed Young People Who Support It
Whatever the reason, this week it’s been reported that only about 25% of uninsured young adults have enrolled in Obamacare plans. The administration has said that at least 38% of this age group is necessary to prevent “adverse selection” (too many sick … Continue reading