Latest California Healthline Stories
Kaiser Health News senior correspondent Markian Hawryluk joined Colorado Public Radio’s Avery Lill on “Colorado Matters” to discuss his recent story on how high-deductible health plans are especially hurting the financial health of patients and hospitals in rural America.
Small hospitals and patients in rural areas have been hit hard by the boom in high-deductible health plans. Often when a patient arrives at a rural hospital needing critical care, the person is stabilized and transferred to a larger facility. But bills from the first site of care generally get applied to the patient’s deductible. When patients can’t afford their deductible, the smaller hospital winds up eating the costs.
A 3-year-old girl put matching doll shoes up her nose. One came out easily. The second required an emergency department visit ― and generated a bill that is not child’s play.
Firms are offering more traditional plans alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been the only option in the past. The change comes as employers are finding that workers like the predictability of a traditional plan and that providing more generous plans can help with recruiting in a tight labor market.
Washington is abuzz with impeachment talk, but what impact would such a move have on congressional action on prescription drug prices and surprise bills? Also, a study out this week shows that health insurance costs for both employers and workers continue to rise. This week, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Findings released Thursday by the Rand Corp. highlight how reimbursement rates vary nationally and the impact the charges have on the nation’s high cost of health care.
An Arizona couple played by the rules and bought employer-provided health insurance. But after they had a baby last year, their out-of-pocket hospital costs and doctors’ bills climbed to more than $12,000 — and medical debt now threatens their new family.
Once viewed as a promising cost-control tool, such insurance faces new competition on benefits menus from more traditional insurance. But, according to new research, none of those choices is getting less expensive.
The decision by California Attorney General Xavier Becerra signals his agreement with health consumer advocates, who argue that patients are still struggling to pay their medical bills, even when they have insurance.
Three years ago, only about a quarter of the nation’s large employers were very confident they would have a health plan in 10 years. That number has now risen to 65 percent.