Category Archive: out of pocket costs

Health Insurers Prosper As COVID-19 Deflates Demand For Elective Treatments

With most nonemergency procedures shelved for now, many health insurers are expected to see profits in the near term, but the longer view of how the coronavirus will affect them is far more complicated and could well impact what people pay for coverage next year.

‘An Arm And A Leg’: Am I Protected If I Need COVID-19 Care?

“An Arm and a Leg” is back sharing stories about the ways COVID-19 intersects with the cost of health care. To tackle a listener’s question about health coverage, Dan Weissmann spoke with one of the country’s top insurance nerds.

In Fine Print, HHS Appears To Ban All Surprise Billing During The Pandemic

Language in the CARES Act says providers who take emergency funding cannot balance-bill coronavirus patients ― and “every patient” is considered a possible COVID-19 patient.

With Federal Nod, Consumers Could Lose The Boost They Get From Drug ‘Coupons’

The proposal being weighed by federal officials would allow employers and insurers to decide that drug companies’ assistance doesn’t count toward their members’ deductible or out-of-pocket maximum spending limits. If plans opted for that approach, only payments made by patients themselves would be included in the calculation toward reaching those limits.

Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

Newsletter editor Brianna Labuskes wades through hundreds of health care policy stories each week, so you don’t have to.

Readers And Tweeters Dive Into Debate Over ‘Medicare For All’

Kaiser Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.

It’s Not Just Hospitals That Sue Patients Who Can’t Pay

Until very recently, the separate company that runs the emergency department at Nashville General Hospital in Tennessee was continuing to haul patients who couldn’t pay medical bills into court.

Analysis: Who Profits From Steep Medical Bills? The People Tasked With Fixing Them.

Surprise bills are just the latest weapons in a decades-long war among health care industry players over who gets to keep the fortunes generated each year from patient illness: $3.6 trillion in 2018. The practice is an outrage, yet no one in the health care sector wants to unilaterally make the type of big concessions that would change things.

Must-Reads Of The Week From Brianna Labuskes

Happy Friday! In news that is technically really good and exciting but is also kind of icky: yarn made from human skin could eventually be used to stitch up surgical wounds as a way to cut down on detrimental reactions from patients. As CNN reports, “The researchers say their ‘human textile,’ which they developed from […]

Women Shouldn’t Get A Bill For An IUD … But Sometimes They Do

The Affordable Care Act requires that insurers cover birth control with no out-of-pocket costs, but the enforcement mechanism is weak and a pending court case could add further complications.

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