Hey people with Medicare, you’re about to become a little more attractive to scammers. That’s because this week the government will start sending out its one-time tax free rebate checks to those of you who have already hit the donut hole gap in your Medicare coverage. The main thing to know, advises Medicare, is that you don’t need to provide any information to anyone to get the rebate–it’s automatic. [More]
Craig most definitely can’t hear you now because he’s stuck in a Verizon dead zone. The cell phone provider offered to sell him a coverage extender for $200, but he felt like he was being shaken down and is choosing to bail. He writes: [More]
This summer Californians will be able to vote on Proposition 17, which if passed will allow insurers to bypass some legal restrictions on how much they can charge for auto insurance. Mercury Insurance Group is a big proponent of the proposition, but maybe that’s because it’s been possibly sidestepping the law in recent years anyway. Hey, making it legal will just prevent another state report like the one Carla Marinucci at the San Francisco Chronicle obtained, which contains findings that Mercury “has engaged in practices that may be illegal, including deceptive pricing and discrimination against consumers such as active members of the military and drivers of emergency vehicles.” [More]
Happy Halloween from AT&T! The maligned cellular carrier’s latest ad doesn’t seem to be as concerned with getting Verizon to stop picking on it. Instead, a headless Luke Wilson staggers around the screen, roaring silently and searching for someone to kill. Stick to AT&T or who knows what might happen to you. [More]
Reader Corey checked the 3G coverage map before buying a new iPhone, only to find out that the map was wrong. The story has something of a happy ending, however, because Corey says he’s pleased with the $250 service credit AT&T offered.
Primary Physician Care, a privately-owned insurance company based in Charlotte, North Carolina, has now twice refused to pay for a 3-year-old’s special leukemia treatment recommended by doctors at Duke University Hospital—even after the child’s mother called the insurance company and spoke…
Hannah Devane is 3 years old and is allergic to food. Not certain specific foods. Hannah has a rare disorder that makes her allergic to every kind of food except a certain formula that her insurance company says is a “nutritional supplement.” Feeding Hannah costs $300 a week, but without the formula Hannah can’t eat enough to survive without doing permanent damage to her esophagus.
An insurance trade group today announced a “series of steps” to expand the number of Americans who have health insurance. “The proposals, approved by a board of the industry’s main trade group, would make it harder for insurers to cancel policies or deny coverage to people with pre-existing medical conditions. The steps would also limit the premiums that could be charged for such people.” The trade off? “The trade group also called on states to provide individual coverage for people who were likely to incur very high medical bills.”
Fertility treatment is crazy expensive and there are no guarantees, but a recent NIH-sponsored study “concluded that women who were fast-tracked to IVF [in vitro fertilization] got pregnant three months faster on average, and spent $10,000 less than those who went through the usual preliminaries.” The conclusion: it may not be wise for insurers to require women to run the gauntlet of other treatments before trying IVF.