February 15, 2010 |
Nelson Davis runs a video production company in Hollywood with six employees. He used to pay all of his workers' health insurance premiums. As rates continued rising -- they've doubled over the last few years -- Davis cut back to paying only half of healthcare costs and required workers to handle the rest. Now he's thinking about cutting back again and covering only 40% of the insurance premiums. And the way things are going, Davis said, he wouldn't be surprised if his share dropped to 25%. "You have to look at it with a cold, clear eye," he told me. "There's very little you can do -- either scale it back or stop offering it."
May 27, 2012 |
A Long Beach hospital charged Jo Ann Snyder $6,707 for a CT scan of her abdomen and pelvis after colon surgery. But because she had health insurance with Blue Shield of California, her share was much less: $2,336. Then Snyder tripped across one of the little-known secrets of healthcare: If she hadn't used her insurance, her bill would have been even lower, just $1,054. "I couldn't believe it," said Snyder, a 57-year-old hair salon manager. "I was really upset that I got charged so much and Blue Shield allowed that.
August 2, 2013 |
Americans love to look good, but insurers are often reluctant to pay the bills to help us look better. Last year we spent nearly $11 billion on cosmetic procedures, according to the American Society for Aesthetic Plastic Surgery. Of the more than 10 million procedures performed, the most requested was breast augmentation. But Cameo Wichinsky, a 42-year-old investment fund manager living in Santa Monica, wants to take her figure in the opposite direction. Having long lived with the discomfort of breasts large enough to cause shoulder and neck pain and to limit her level of physical activity, she's ready to go under the knife to reduce her breast size and, she hopes, improve her quality of life.
January 29, 2013 |
Nonprofit healthcare giant Kaiser Permanente had a 40% share of California's $59-billion health insurance market for employers and individuals, new data show. A report issued this week by Citigroup analyst Carl McDonald compiled nationwide data on 2011 premiums and enrollment among large and small employers and individuals buying their own policies. Those insurance markets, excluding government healthcare programs and self-insured employers, totaled more than 80 million people and $317 billion in premiums.