Patient medical records found in a garbage bin in England. Good to know other countries have irresponsible people, too. [BBC]
Here’s a scary thought: What if you have health insurance and still get stuck with a million dollar hospital bill? That’s what happened to Jim Dawson after a staph infection spread throughout his body.
The Los Angeles Times reports that Health Net Inc., one of California’s largest insurers, “avoided paying $35.5 million in medical expenses by rescinding about 1,600 policies between 2000 and 2006.” Its senior analyst in charge of cancellations, Barbara Fowler, made $20,000 in bonuses during that period for meeting cancellation goals. We hope for her family’s health that she uses that extra money to buy insurance from a better company than Health Net.
Nothing says “I love you, Mom,” like some more medicine for her diabetes, or “You’re the best, Dad,” like a refill of nitro tablets. That’s why the health insurance company Highmark is offering new Healthcare Visa Gift Cards—for about $5 plus an unspecified shipping and handling fee, you can load it with anywhere from $25 to $5,000 to be used exclusively on medical expenses. After the first 9 months, the card emerges from the womb of “I already paid for this!” and starts charging you a monthly $1.50 maintenance fee. Won’t your kid be excited come Christmas morning when she finds out her staph infection is going to get treated?!
Consumer Reports asked an expert’s opinion on probiotic supplements and live culture yogurt products geared especially toward kids. There’s preliminary evidence out there that says it can help relieve infants and toddlers suffering from diarrhea caused by antibiotics or gastrointestinal illnesses. But there’s also a chance the bacteria can cause illness in infants or those with weakened immune systems.
The end of a strange article about mad cow disease and sperm donors closes with some interesting customer-preferences trivia: “Sperm bank managers have noticed a few trends. Married couples seek donors who resemble the husband so that nonbiological father and child will look roughly alike. Single women, on the other hand, often choose conventionally attractive donors.” [Slate]
The inflation rate for prescription drugs—currently at 1 percent for the past 12 months—is at its lowest ever recorded in the past three decades, and some are speculating that Wal-Mart’s popular $4 generic drugs program is helping drive the costs down across the market.
If you’re a freelancer, temp worker, or hourly worker, you may have already been exposed to the “limited benefit plan,” a rotten insurance scheme which is designed to rake in more profits for insurance companies by offering low cost plans that provide almost no worthwhile coverage for the consumer.
A reader pointed us to a recent article in the WSJ abut CarePayment, a new financing option that provides a way for the uninsured to pay off their hospital bills in monthly installments, without incurring interest rate charges or finance fees.
Phil Hughes is a homeless handy-man who’ll paint your house number on your curb for $5 and some turkey leftovers, says Mary Olsen, a homeowner who hires Hughes for occasional odd jobs.
Just like an error on your credit report can affect your score, an error on your medical records can have an impact when you’re applying for insurance, according to the Wall Street Journal.
We had to take out a loan earlier this year to pay for some dental work that our insurance wouldn’t cover. It sucked. What’s worse is that as we shared dental stories with friends, we quickly realized that our dentist is what you might call a “premium” service provider, in that she charges awesomely high fees for her work. What we should have done was the get a second or third opinion, among other things, says Personal Finance Advice website.
And that’s about all we have to say. This post could end right here. But we want to expand our editorial horizons and that means whipping you into giving up the ghost we parasitically digest and regurgitate in the form of helpful and entertaining information.
A new line of artificial knees has been announced, strong enough for a man, but sophisticated in social nuances and group decision making for a woman.