Better Insurance Value
Health insurance costs a lot. What drives that cost, and who gets all that money? New requirements make sure more of your insurance dollar is spent on care, but that’s not the only cost driver.
- Realities of being underinsured — or without any coverage — trumps fear of change
Fear of losing what we have. In America, that fear has kept us from fixing our broken health-care system. Opponents nurture that fear by arguing that if we insure more Americans, those of us already with coverage will be much worse off. But the respected National Academy of Sciences own Institute of Medicine (IOM) blew holes in that boogeyman with the release today of its latest report on the uninsured.
- “Reasonable and Customary” – According to who?
Elizabeth from New York City got wrapped up in the twisted world of usual, customary and reasonable charges when she decided to go out-of-network for better medical care. She planned to pay the $2,000 maximum out-of-pocket fee but ended up with a $12,000 bill finding herself in one of the many cracks of our broken health care system.
- Why not find out what works best?
Last night, lawmakers in the House and Senate announced an agreement on the stimulus bill that includes $1.1 billion for research comparing the effectiveness of different treatments for disease.
- COBRA subsidy at 65% in final stimulus plan
The final version of the stimulus bill will help laid-off workers pay for a nine-month extension of their COBRA health insurance.
- Help is on the way for laid-off, but how much?
Laid-off and unemployed Americans will get real help affording health coverage under the economic stimulus plan. The question is, just how much help.
- This week’s real health news: More kids get coverage
- Remembering Julie
Julie and Gene loved each other enough to do whatever it took to get treatment for Julie’s cancer – even if it meant a divorce.
- COBRA – Snake-bit as a health safety net
The latest dreaded unemployment numbers came in last week – another 500,000-plus lost jobs in December. And as many of those former workers are sadly discovering, their hoped-for safety net of COBRA health insurance is just too expensive to afford.
- Daschle lays out the challenge
“We will be guided by evidence and effectiveness, not ideology.”
That one statement by former Sen. Tom Daschle stood out today during his confirmation hearings to head our nation’s health system. The words sum up the immense challenge – and ideal – of health care reform. Get rid of the politics and bickering, the marketing and hype, the TV commercials with their luminescent butterflies, and let’s use science and the evidence to find out what works best in health care.
- Hospitals take indebted patients to court–even if they also get charity payments for their care
This multi-part series in this week’s Baltimore Sun is a must read for anyone who wonders whether health care is really a driving factor behind bankruptcy in America.