(Great Beyond)

Shouldn’t Hip & Knee Replacements Come With Warranties?

Most new products, from cheapo wristwatches to new cars, often come with manufacturers’ warranties. But that isn’t the case for most hip and knee implants, meaning that a growing number of Americans are having expensive devices put in their bodies without any written assurance from the manufacturers. [More]


Health Insurance Marketplace Goes Live Oct. 1, But Most Don’t Have A Clue What That Means

Unless you’ve had wool stuffed in your ears you might’ve heard the words “Affordable Care Act” bandied about for a while now. And starting Oct. 1, open-enrollment season officially begins for people to purchase insurance coverage. But what does that even mean? If you don’t know, you’re not alone: According to a new poll, 51% of Americans say they don’t understand how that will affect them or their families. [More]


Walmart To Offer Employees’ Domestic Partners Health Insurance In 2014

This week, Walmart employees will receive a postcard in the mail with news that could be irrelevant or that could be life-changing. At the beginning of next year, the company will join most of the rest of the Fortune 500 in offering health, vision, and dental insurance benefits to the domestic partners of employees who are eligible. [More]

Some Employers Really Want To Ditch Your Spouse

Some Employers Really Want To Ditch Your Spouse

It’s nothing personal, but some employers really want to ditch their workers’ spouses. They’re not making people get divorced, but are dropping spouses who have access to health insurance benefits through their own employers. It was big news yesterday when UPS announced that they plan to do exactly that, a change that affects about 15,000 people. [More]

Express Scripts Decides Cancer Patient’s Drug Isn’t Approved Yet, Shrugs

Express Scripts Decides Cancer Patient’s Drug Isn’t Approved Yet, Shrugs

Health insurance is supposed to make your life less stressful, not more. It’s supposed to help you treat illnesses, not keep you away from legitimate treatments. Yet mail-order pharmacy kept a life-extending treatment away from a terminal cancer patient, causing her extra stress and costing her time spent on the phone and not receiving treatment. [More]


How Will People Without Bank Accounts Pay For Health Insurance?

Next January, everyone in America will have to have health coverage or run afoul of federal health care law. But what about those 51 million adults who heavily rely on check-cashing stores and money lenders, and who may not have a checking or savings account? If you don’t have a relationship with a bank, it’s going to be tricky to pay for that required coverage. [More]

My Health Insurer’s Idea Of ‘Healthy’ Food Is Mayonnaise And Ice Cream

My Health Insurer’s Idea Of ‘Healthy’ Food Is Mayonnaise And Ice Cream

Should our health insurers try to nudge us toward the healthiest habits possible, like eating fresh, healthy food and exercising regularly? Or should they just give up, accept Americans’ crappy habits and hope that we do less healthy versions of unhealthy things, like eating giant plates of whole-wheat pasta? Reader Scott wonders whether that’s what his health insurance company, Anthem Blue Cross/Blue Shield, is up to with a package of coupons that they sent recently. [More]

White House Cuts Health Care Application From 21 Pages To 3

White House Cuts Health Care Application From 21 Pages To 3

Last month, the Obama administration took a lot of heat when it unveiled a draft application for health insurance that ran some 21 pages in length and included all manner of invasive questions about the applicant’s medical history. Today, the final product was unveiled, and it’s significantly skinnier this time around. [More]


Last Year 80 Million Working-Age Adults Skipped Medical Care Because They Couldn’t Afford It

Can’t afford to seek medical care, even if your’e insured? You’re not alone — a new report says around 80 million people, or 43% of  working-age adults skipped out on getting the treatment they needed last year because they simply couldn’t pay for it. Included in those ranks are the insured as well as the uninsured, a sign that health costs are rising for everyone. [More]


CVS Employees Must Provide Personal Medical Info Or Pay Higher Insurance Premiums

CVS is launching a “voluntary” new program for employees that allows them to avoid paying more for health insurance, if they just share personal medical information — weight, body fat, glucose levels, etc. — with the company. [More]

(The Joy of the Mundane)

Hospital Sends Patient To Collections For Bill His Insurance Company Had Already Paid

We understand that hospitals often get patients using the emergency room as a “free” clinic, and that it may be less of a headache to turn unpaid bills over to a collections agency than it is to chase down debtors on your own. But hospitals shouldn’t be tossing patients to the collections lions if the patients’ insurance provider has already paid the bill. [More]


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]

The results of the Bankrate survey.

More Than 1/3 Of Americans Paid More For Insurance In 2012

If the amount of money you paid for insurance last year went up, you are not alone. According to a new survey, 37% of Americans paid more for home, health, auto, or life insurance in 2012, while only 7% of people saw their insurance bill shrink. [More]

John has filed a Division of Human Rights complaint against NY-based Emblem.

EmblemHealth Won’t Talk To Me About My Husband’s Coverage Because We’re Both Men

John and his husband, who live in New York where same sex marriage is legal, are both covered by John’s employer-sponsored insurance from EmblemHealth. But John says that every time he tries to contact Emblem about anything regarding his husband’s coverage — no matter how trivial — the company refuses to acknowledge the two men are married. [More]

(So Cal Metro)

84-Year-Old Who Wanted To Walk To Get MRI Next Door Charged For $3,000 Ambulance Ride

Ask someone if they’d rather walk 75 yards for free or maybe get pushed in a wheelchair and most everyone is going to say they’d rather do that than shell out $3,000 for an ambulance ride. An 84-year-old man says he doesn’t quite get why nurses told him he had to take an ambulance from the hospital to the medical offices next door to get an MRI. [More]


Woman Moves 10 Miles, Gets Hit With 25% Health Insurance Hike

Health insurance companies are allowed to charge different rates depending on where you live, but one would think that moving within the same region you’ve been in for more than a decade would not have a serious impact on your monthly rate. Try telling that to the woman in California who now faces an additional $1,272 in insurance premiums after moving 10 miles. [More]

(The Consumerist)

If You Haven’t Seen Your Doctor In A Few Years, Expect To Pay ‘New Patient’ Fee

For years, a growing number of healthcare providers have been tacking on fees that most patients didn’t notice because they were being paid by insurance companies. But as insurance companies trim the list of fees they’ll cover — and employers shift to cheaper health plans to keep costs from skyrocketing, consumers are being hit with fees they weren’t expecting. [More]


Darden Experiments With Cutting Worker Hours To Avoid Paying Health Insurance

As more pieces of the Affordable Care Act federal health care law come into effect, employers are evidently beginning to brainstorm ideas to save money and avoid having to provide health care for their employees. Darden Restaurants, owner of chains such as Red Lobster, Olive Garden, and LongHorn Steakhouses is trying out a venerable tactic from the retail industry: keeping employee hours just a hair under “full-time” so they don’t have to provide benefits. [More]