March 27, 2010 |
Californians with health insurance spent a smaller share of their incomes for medical care than insured people in most other states from 2001 to 2006, research has concluded. Just 12% of those with insurance in the state faced a "high financial burden" for healthcare during that time, meaning they spent more than 10% of family income on insurance premiums and healthcare services, according to a report this week by the Center for Studying Health System Change. That put California in the bottom rung of 29 states in the study, which looked at care received by people under age 65. The 12% figure was the lowest among the states from 2004 to 2006.
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.
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, 2001 |
Cigna Corp. reported a decline in second-quarter profit due to rising medical costs that could also hurt results for the rest of the year. Cigna, the third-largest U.S. health insurer, said earnings fell 6% to $262 million, or $1.73 a share, missing lowered expectations, as revenue also declined 6%, to $4.7 billion. Cigna had lowered its profit forecast in May, citing higher-than-expected medical costs and a weak stock market that was hurting its retirement-plan business.
April 19, 2002
Any comedian can wring out empathetic laughs with an HMO horror story. Any politician can bring a tear with tales of managed-care mismanagement. It's hard to resist wanting to punish HMOs, to try to force them to give better care. That doesn't mean it's the right thing to do, since one of the aims of managed care has always been to dampen spiraling medical costs. Consider the raft of health coverage bills--18 of them--now pending in the California Legislature.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
November 4, 2004 |
In an effort to offset the skyrocketing cost of unpaid hospital and emergency room bills, the Santa Barbara County Board of Supervisors voted to increase traffic fines and fees for other violations by 12%. Supervisors voted 4-0 to implement an emergency services fund that would levy an estimated $1 million annually in fines and other charges related to traffic violations to cover unpaid medical costs.
June 24, 1991 |
Secretary of Health Louis W. Sullivan appealed on Sunday to the nation's largest organization of doctors to curb soaring U.S. medical costs and improve availability of care or risk a virtual popular revolt. "Unless we act now to meet these goals, we could find ourselves with a critical mass of our citizens demanding a total government takeover of health care," Sullivan told hundreds of doctors at the opening of the American Medical Assn.'s annual meeting.
October 14, 2007 |
Congress is scheduled to vote this week on overriding President Bush's veto of legislation that would expand health insurance for children of low-income families. The outcome remains up in the air. Bush called the bill "an incremental step toward [lawmakers'] goal of government-run healthcare for every American," which he said would be "the wrong direction for our country."
October 17, 1994 |
When the city of Sacramento went shopping for medical insurance for its 4,000 employees this year, it got a pleasant surprise: rate rollbacks of up to 22%. Many other employers across the state--from giant manufacturers to neighborhood retailers--are also enjoying rate cuts, or significantly smaller increases. It is a striking turnabout from just three years ago, when California industry was bemoaning medical cost increases of 10% to 15%--far higher than overall inflation.