(Jeffrey Beall)

More Readers Crunch The Numbers, Figure Out Pet Health Insurance Doesn’t Work Out So Well

Last week, we shared an account by reader Howard about his dog’s illness and the results of his decision to get a VPI pet health insurance policy. While health insurance is just that–insurance, not an investment vehicle–Howard and other readers have crunched the numbers and found that the policies are a worse deal than just sticking the money in the bank. [More]

(RedandJonny)

10 Things We Learned From Time’s Analysis Of Why We Pay So Darn Much For Healthcare

If you have some time this weekend, sit down and read the fantastic cover story in this week’s Time magazine, “Bitter Pill.” In it, Steven Brill lays out over 36 print pages (11, when laid out for the web) a core question that no one really ever asks in the course of the debate over health care in this country: why are our bills so high? More importantly, why are our bills so high when only un- or underinsured middle-class people seem to pay the sticker price for their medical care? [More]

(blue_j)

Senators Take Another Stab At Eliminating Paid Medical Debt From Credit Reports

This happens all too frequently: Someone with good credit suddenly incurs a large number of medical bills. Sometimes it’s too much money for the person to pay off in time, sometimes one bill will get overlooked and the debt is sent to collections. That person’s credit will now carry that stain for up to seven years. [More]

ProPublica's Dollars For Docs tool already lets you sort through available data from some companies.

Govt. To Publish Data On What Drug & Device Makers Pay To Individual Doctors & Hospitals

Want to know if your doctor is receiving free lunches and other perks from Pfizer, GSK or some other huge player in the pharmaceuticals or medical device business? Starting in Sept. 2014, that information will be made available to consumers courtesy of the federal government. [More]

(Consumerist)

More Than 50 San Francisco Restaurants Accused Of Scamming Customers & Employees By Pocketing Health Care Surcharge

For more than four years, dozens of restaurants in San Francisco have been tacking on surcharges to diners’ bills, claiming that the money was to go toward health care costs. But it turns out that millions of those dollars were just going into restaurant owners’ pockets. [More]

(lungstruck)

Can The Auto Insurance Model Work For Employer-Sponsored Health Insurance?

With most people with employer-sponsored insurance plans, an employee who never visits the doctor pays the same premium as her co-worker who is a regular in his doctor’s waiting room. But what about plans that either reward an employee’s healthy behavior or penalize those with risky lifestyles? [More]

(jking89)

Denny’s Franchisee To Add 5% “Obamacare Surcharge”

The owner of dozens of Denny’s restaurants and the Hurricane Grill chain says he plans on adding a 5% “Obamacare Surcharge” to his menus in 2014 when a number of facets of the Affordable Care Act will kick in. [More]

Maybe A Garbage Truck Garage Is Not The Best Place To Set Up A Wellness Clinic

Maybe A Garbage Truck Garage Is Not The Best Place To Set Up A Wellness Clinic

With more than 200 sq. miles in area, the city of Chicago should have plenty of space to set up a temporary clinic for city employees’ wellness screenings. And yet some city workers had their blood drawn at a clinic set up inside the same garage where garbage trucks rest between trash pickups. [More]

More Uninsured Americans Not Filling Prescriptions, Delaying Doctor's Visits, Skipping Medical Procedures

More Uninsured Americans Not Filling Prescriptions, Delaying Doctor's Visits, Skipping Medical Procedures

While the U.S. economy is arguably inching toward improvement, costs for health insurance continue to climb. Combined with still-high unemployment and a growing number of employers requiring employees to pay a larger share of their insurance premiums, and there are a lot of uninsured and under-insured Americans out there. And according to the Consumer Reports annual prescription drug poll, a growing number of these people are going without needed care or medication. [More]

When Hospital Systems Acquire Private Practices, We All Pay More For Health Care

When Hospital Systems Acquire Private Practices, We All Pay More For Health Care

A growing number of private health care practices are being purchased by hospitals. And even if that practice remains changed in all other ways, you can expect that the costs for procedures and visits will increase dramatically. [More]

Which Strange Home Remedies Do You Swear By?

Which Strange Home Remedies Do You Swear By?

I spent the better part of a day last week attempting to keep chicken soup and ginger ale down as my system fought off some mysterious one-day bug. I’d thought about mentioning my illness to my friends on Facebook (I don’t have kids, so what else am I going to post about?) but didn’t want to be inundated with hundreds of tips on sure-fire home-brewed remedies. [More]

Will Affordable Care Act Lead To More Or Less People With Employer-Sponsored Insurance? (Hint: No One Knows)

Will Affordable Care Act Lead To More Or Less People With Employer-Sponsored Insurance? (Hint: No One Knows)

With the clock ticking down to 2014, when many of the controversial portions of the Affordable Care Act start kicking in, the folks at the Government Accountability Office thought they would look into whether or not certain provisions in the law would cause some employers to stop offering health insurance to employees, or cause them to add benefits, or lead consumers to look for cheaper options elsewhere. After sifting through available studies, the GAO came to a conclusion that we’ll probably just have to wait and see. [More]

Photographic Evidence That Hospitals Should Maybe Rethink How They Bill Patients

Photographic Evidence That Hospitals Should Maybe Rethink How They Bill Patients

Twice a week for the past three months, Consumerist reader P. has been going to her hospital’s gym for brief, doctor-ordered cardio workouts. Her insurance isn’t footing the bill and each session is only $9.00, so she’s been assuming that the hospital was wisely waiting until her tab reached an amount worth billing before it sent an invoice. Not exactly… [More]

What's To Come Of All The Space Left Over By Shrinking Big Box Stores?

What's To Come Of All The Space Left Over By Shrinking Big Box Stores?

In recent years, a number of big box retailers and department store chains have begun the process of closing stores and cutting the size of some existing outlets. But since there isn’t exactly a huge rush by other retailers to snap up those spaces, are we going to inundated with empty ghost stores that stand as a reminder of the big box boom? [More]

Cancer-Stricken Student Convinces Aetna CEO To Pay Off His Medical Bills Via Twitter

Cancer-Stricken Student Convinces Aetna CEO To Pay Off His Medical Bills Via Twitter

Talk about the power of social media — one graduate student battling Stage IV colon cancer in Arizona found out his Aetna health insurance plan had exceeded his $300,000 limit.He took to Twitter to express his frustration as his medical bills continued to grow and it turns out someone very influential was listening — the CEO of Aetna, who has subsequently agreed to pay “every last penny” of the man’s medical expenses and agrees that the healthcare system is broken. [More]

Wide Array Of Women's Health Care Costs Must Be Covered By New Insurance Plans As Of Today

Wide Array Of Women's Health Care Costs Must Be Covered By New Insurance Plans As Of Today

A few months ago the Obama administration announced new rules as part of its health care reform plan requiring U.S. insurers to cover a wide swath of preventative health services for women at no extra cost to women, including contraceptives, breast-feeding supplies and gestational diabetes screening for pregnant women, prenatal care, routine breast and pelvic examps and pap tests. Starting today, all of those things will be covered in new plans as well as renewed plans. [More]

Report: Supreme Court Ruling Means Affordable Care Act Will Be Cheaper But 3 Million Will Go Uninsured

Report: Supreme Court Ruling Means Affordable Care Act Will Be Cheaper But 3 Million Will Go Uninsured

The Congressional Budget Office has been busy crunching numbers since President Obama’s health-care initiative was upheld by last month’s Supreme Court ruling, and it seems there’s a little bit of both good and bad news as a result. The bulk of the Affordable Care Act was upheld in the ruling and it turns out it’ll be cheaper to execute than previously thought, but the decision also means it will leave millions of people without insurance. [More]

Shortages Force Paramedics To Use Expired Drugs

Shortages Force Paramedics To Use Expired Drugs

Many of us have probably popped a pill or two that we knew had passed its expiration date. But when you get medical care from professionals, there is usually the expectation that you’re getting the freshest stuff available. But a conspiracy of conditions has led to some emergency responders stocking their ambulances with out-of-date drugs. [More]