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 this interactive map to find the insurance commissioner in your state and search for rate increases.
By law these requests have to be made public and … read on
When did medicine become “healthcare”?
I recently read Slow Medicine: The Way to Healing by Victoria Sweet, MD.
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 … 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 the current administration wants 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 a subsidy. Short-term health … read on
Have you had unnecessary medical procedures?
If you see a physician on a regular basis and always follow his or her advice regarding routine screening tests or common diagnostic tests for minor illnesses, the answer is probably YES.
I just finished reading a new report published in my state (Washington) about the extent and cost of these unnecessary medical procedures.
This is a problem I’ve posted about before. Many … read on
If you are one of the millions of people suffering under our broken healthcare system, take heart.
Industry leaders who recognize your pain actually exist, and are trying to help.
Changing the system is a huge and thankless task, because the bulk of the industry is profit-driven and resistant to giving up the status quo.
But these individuals and groups are using different ways to connect with increasing numbers of … read on
An ambulance ride is often a hidden (and costly) expense
Kaiser Health News just published an article about patients being stuck with outrageously high bills for ambulance rides.
One patient got a $3,660 bill for a 4-mile ride. Another was charged $8,460 for a trip from one hospital that could not handle his case to another that could.
Several years ago when my husband ended up in an emergency room … read on
Traditional and expensive
This week I received a letter from my health insurance company. My plan’s benefits will remain the same, but the monthly premium will be 21% higher.
That means health insurance for me and my husband now officially costs more than our mortgage. And it’s just a bronze-level plan with a $7,000 deductible (each)!
I really feel for other families receiving similar letters about similar rate hikes. Some … read on
Higher drug prices = higher health costs
Soon we’ll be finding out how much our health insurance will cost next year. Premiums are set to rise by double digits across the country.
Related post: Premium increases for 2018. Ouch
While uncertainty about the future of the Affordable Care Act (ACA) is partly responsible, insurance companies put the biggest blame on the skyrocketing cost of prescription drugs.
Why are prescription … read on