December 19, 2011 |
I just received a letter from my cardiologist's medical group saying they will be charging a $350 annual fee for administrative costs. This is the first time I've seen a medical group charging an annual fee to its patients. Is this what the bad economy has come to? The fee appears exorbitant and discriminatory against less wealthy individuals. Though charging for administrative services isn't yet widely common, the practice is growing, says James Doherty, an attorney who works with physician practices in Columbia, Md. There are a variety of reasons why, adds Dr. Glen Stream, president of the American Academy of Family Physicians: the bad economy, a downward trend in physician reimbursement and a growing list of administrative tasks heaped onto physician practices by insurance companies.
August 23, 2013 |
Victoria Barzilai opened her mouth wide so the doctor could look at her sore throat. Not exactly a remarkable event, except that Barzilai was at home and the doctor was hundreds of miles away. Feeling too sick to drag herself to the school health center, the third-year UC Davis student had opted for a cyber-doctor visit, the 21st century version of a house call. A number of websites offer face-to-face consultations of the virtual kind to anyone with a credit card and access to a webcam-equipped computer.
July 6, 2012 |
In the mid-1980s when I was a graduate student in England, my parents came to visit and my mother ended up getting a first-hand look at socialized medicine. It was my dad and mom's one-and-only trip to Europe -- a very big deal -- and I wanted to show them as much as I could. We crossed the English Channel to France and drove to see the cathedral at Chartres. The first night there, Mom slipped and sprained her ankle. By morning, she couldn't walk and was in need of a doctor. We ended up at a hospital where, with no wait at all, she got X-rays and a friendly, highly competent female doctor checked her out and wrapped her leg. As we were leaving, my mother asked where she should pay the bill.
March 12, 2013 |
If it is done right, the Affordable Care Act (a.k.a. Obamacare) may well promise uninsured Americans a lot more than cheap, reliable medical care. It can also open the door to the democratic empowerment of millions of poor people, who are often alienated from much of the nation's civic life, by strengthening the organizations that give them a voice. This year more than 30 million uninsured Americans are to begin signing up for Obamacare, but the vast majority of those eligible for either the expanded Medicaid program, or for subsidized private health insurance through state health exchanges, have no idea how to enroll.
November 16, 2013
Re "Obamacare's dismal stats," Editorial, Nov. 14 With federally fabricated smoke and mirrors, and with the persistent use of unintended consequences as excuses, Obamacare is truly a sinking ship. No amount of spin can save it now. We must look to reparation. The Times' editorial could have noted that many people who are leaving the individual insurance market or who are being dumped by their carriers have policies that conform to the Affordable Care Act. Health insurers have relentlessly increased the individual policy premiums to the point of being unaffordable.
November 14, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - President Obama's plan to help millions of consumers facing health insurance cancellations calmed Democrats on Capitol Hill on Thursday even as its practical effect appeared unclear. The decision could give some consumers who like their health plans the chance to keep them into 2015, allowing the president to say he honored his pledge that his health law would not force Americans to give up their coverage. "This fix won't solve every problem for every person," the president said in remarks at the White House, in which he took responsibility for the law's botched rollout.
September 5, 2013 |
Here's another item to add to the "That costs more in Los Angeles" list, and it isn't pretty: car insurance. The 10 most expensive ZIP Codes for car insurance in the state of California are all in the L.A. metro area. L.A. County is also the most expensive county in the state, while Beverly Hills wins the honor of most expensive city in the state to insure a vehicle. The findings are from a study commissioned by InsuranceQuotes.com. "Where you live is playing a big role in the rate you're paying," said Laura Adams, senior analyst for the website InsuranceQuotes.
March 12, 2012 |
California's doctors, hospitals and insurance companies launched their campaign Monday against a proposed ballot measure seeking tighter regulation of health insurance rates and proponents quickly returned fire. The proposed ballot initiative seeks to give the California Department of Insurance the same rate-setting authority over health insurance that it already holds over auto and property policies. This issue has generated strong interest among many consumers hit with significant rate hikes on their health coverage in recent years.
October 5, 2010 |
The insurance industry is pouring money into Republican campaign coffers in hopes of scaling back wide-ranging regulations in the new healthcare law but preserving the mandate that Americans buy coverage. Since January, the nation's five largest insurers and the industry's Washington-based lobbying arm have given three times more money to Republican lawmakers and political action committees than to Democratic politicians and organizations. That is a marked change from 2009, when the industry largely split its political donations between the parties, according to federal election filings.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
July 5, 2009 |
In the top-floor ballroom of a downtown San Francisco hotel, Steve Slepcevic took the podium to share the story of his success. The son of Serbian immigrants, he began working on construction sites at the age of 12. By 17, he had started his own general contracting business. Soon enough, he was chasing natural disasters, looking to help victims rebuild their property and put their lives back together.