Latest California Healthline Stories
New research shows how an experience with surprise medical bills can guide patients’ future decision-making.
The latest example is Sutter Health and Anthem Blue Cross, whose failure to seal a deal is causing Anthem members to worry they may not have access to one of the dominant hospital chains in Northern California. Across the U.S., the stakes in such contract fights have risen, as health systems and insurers battle to increase their market share.
Restrictive lists of doctors and hospitals expose people to larger out-of-pocket costs, but trend appears to be slowing.
A California law that takes effect July 1 prohibits out-of-network charges if you visit a medical facility that’s in your health plan’s network.
The California measure would protect consumers and provide better reimbursement for care, supporters say.
Under a new law, you could get money back if you were charged out-of-network prices after going to a medical provider who is listed in your health plan’s network.
In June, California will become the fifth state to allow terminally ill patients to end their lives with prescriptions from their doctors, but getting those prescriptions will require serious effort.
Sutter Health, with dominant market share in Northern California, is insisting that employers sign arbitration agreements or face sharply higher out-of-network rates.
Providers and insurers are balking at a Covered California proposal to eject hospitals with inordinately high costs and low quality from its networks.
“You could get one of these plans, pay the uninsured tax penalty and still pay less.”