January 26, 2009 |
By and large, the chance to change insurance plans came and went for many people several months ago. But new employees of companies offering healthcare get a second chance to choose a plan that best suits them in terms of coverage and cost. Note to those folks: Don't blow it.
May 11, 2012 |
It's tough enough to be without health insurance. But do healthcare providers have to make it even worse by treating you like a moron? Santa Monica resident Tom Wilde recently received bills from a downtown Los Angeles clinic and the L.A. County/USC Medical Center totaling almost $2,500. What exactly were the charges for? The bills didn't say. There was no itemizing of procedures and prices. No diagnosis. No treatment date. No nothing. Just a notation of "new charges" and the amount due. "They certainly wouldn't send such a bill to an insurance company," Wilde, 51, told me. "Insurance companies want to know exactly what they're paying for. " So you'd think.
February 1, 2012 |
A high-stakes ballot measure to give state regulators the power to approve health insurance rates in California has landed a heavyweight supporter: U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein. One of California's most respected politicians, Feinstein has come forward as the chief spokeswoman and No. 1 booster of a proposed initiative to regulate hikes in health premiums. "I am proud to tell you that I was the first person to sign a new ballot initiative petition that will reform the health insurance industry in California," Feinstein, a San Francisco Democrat, wrote in an email sent to about 2 million registered voters.
March 30, 2011 |
It seems like a simple idea: create new marketplaces, called "exchanges," where consumers can comparison shop for health insurance, sort of like shopping online for a hotel room or airline ticket. But, like almost everything else connected with the health overhaul law, state-based insurance "exchanges" are embroiled in politics. Some Republican governors are threatening to refuse to set up exchanges unless they get more flexibility over Medicaid, the state-federal health program for the poor.
March 6, 2012 |
A study comparing prices for hospital stays, physician office visits, drugs and other medical procedures in developed countries shows U.S. prices among the most expensive. The International Federation of Health Plans, a London-based network of 100 insurance companies in 30 developed nations, annually looks at prices, and last week published its 2011 Comparative Price Report on medical and hospital fees by country. Among the results: Cost per day for hospital charges averaged $3,949 in the U.S., followed by Chile at $1,552.
March 29, 2010 |
Most Americans will be affected by the overhaul of the nation's health insurance — some more directly than others. Here is a look at four people — an uninsured woman with a pre-existing condition, a man happy with his current insurance plan, a college student and a self-employed professional — and how the new healthcare legislation will likely affect each of them in both the short and long term. Individual experiences will vary, but some glimpses of the future can be seen already.
January 23, 2005 |
Buying travel health insurance before departure is low on many to-do lists, if it's on the list at all. But neglecting this task can prove expensive. Medical evacuation alone, including an airlift or other transport when appropriate facilities aren't available, can cost as much as $100,000. "The number of people buying these policies has increased because of greater health and safety concerns worldwide," says Brendan Sharkey, spokesman for insurer HTH Worldwide, http://www.
October 18, 2010
The House Energy and Commerce Committee provided more ammunition to supporters of comprehensive healthcare reform last week, issuing a startling report about the market for individual insurance policies. The report found that the four top for-profit health insurers in the U.S. denied coverage to 1 of every 7 applicants from 2007 to 2009 based on their medical histories. This selectivity, which was intended to reduce the companies' costs and protect profit margins, makes sense from a business perspective.
September 11, 2012 |
Have your health insurance premiums gone up this year? If so, you're not alone. Premiums for employer-sponsored coverage rose 4% on average, a new study shows, and they are likely to rise even more next year. The annual tab for families has risen to $15,745, according to a survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust. Employers picked up most of that, but the average worker still paid $4,316, or 27%, of the total bill. Join us for a live video chat about the cost of health insurance later today.