One big problem in our healthcare system is its
lack of price transparency.
Different insurance companies negotiate different rates with different networks. Middlemen called pharmacy benefits managers (PBM) similarly control drug prices. Cash pricing is something else altogether.
So it made me laugh to listen to two physicians—who I think are stars in the conversation about REAL healthcare reform—banter about trying to order a meal at McDonald’s…
read on I got caught in a very common healthcare trap, and it could have cost me over $200.
I went in for my “free” annual exam that health insurance plans must cover as part of Obamacare’s preventive health benefits.
Typically, these exams—also known as Adult Wellness Visits (AWV)—are opportunities for the physician to tick a lot of boxes about your health habits (smoking, drinking, sex, etc.) and schedule you for a …
read on If you are one of the 75% of Americans that uses prescription drugs, you know they cost a lot of money. Especially if you’re one of the 1 in 4 that can’t afford their medicine.
A few days ago the government announced that
drug companies must include the price of their drugs in all television commercials if the drugs cost more than $35/month.
Which they will as Big Pharma …
read on aka Single Payer healthcare
Judging from the early noise around the 2020 presidential election, I think healthcare will again be a big issue.
And it should be! Our system is still outrageously expensive and unfair.
There is a growing demand for some sort of universal healthcare coverage, a Medicare-for-all or single payer system like other countries have.
But before we vote to upend the healthcare system (again), let’s take time …
read on Traditional and expensive
Over the next few weeks many families, mine included, will receive the dreaded letter from their health insurance company that tells them how much their premiums will be for 2019.
Last spring my insurance company applied for
a 29% rate hike. They settled for 19%. That still hurts. Especially because the deductible and out-of-pocket maximum are going up, too. I really feel for other families receiving … read on Short-term health insurance plans are coming back
Is there anything about our healthcare system, especially the insurance market, that isn’t confusing?
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) finally phased out most short-term health insurance plans last year, but
. last week the current administration changed the rules to bring them back
The cost of health insurance is really expensive for anyone who doesn’t have an employer-provided plan or doesn’t qualify for …
read on A symptom of a broken system
A recent trip to my primary care physician highlighted one of my biggest complaints as a “healthcare consumer”: a complete lack of transparency about what things cost.
How are patients (I hate the word consumer) supposed to make thoughtful, cost-conscious decisions about healthcare when it’s impossible to know what any service costs before we buy?
Out-of-control costs is just a symptom of underlying illness. …
read on When will these double-digit increases stop?
OK, it’s June and that means it’s time for my annual rant about ever-increasing health insurance premiums.
In my state, Washington, the Office of the Insurance Commissioner just
. posted the proposed rate increases
Not in Washington? Use
to find the insurance commissioner in your state and search for rate increases. this interactive map
By law these requests have to be made public and …
read on When did medicine become “healthcare”?
I recently read
by Victoria Sweet, MD. Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing
The book’s introduction captured my attention immediately. In it, Dr. Sweet describes the downward spiral her elderly father suffered when he was admitted to a hospital.
At 90-something he was in pretty good health; in an ironic turn, the hospital almost killed him with unnecessary diagnostic tests and prescription drugs.
Even though …
read on Surprise medical bills can catch you by, well, surprise Bottom line on top: If you’re the victim of a surprise medical bill, there are resources to help you.
After several years of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), many of us are resigned to high premiums, high deductibles and small provider networks.
We try to be good healthcare “consumers” (as if we really want to buy healthcare!) by reading the fine …