This holiday season, give the people you care about a gift that combines portable consumer electronics with genuine concern for their well-being. Our colleagues down the hall at Consumer Reports say that you can get a well-rated home blood pressure monitor for as little as $40. What’s a more thoughtful gift than wanting to make sure someone stays alive for longer? [Consumer Reports]
Less than two weeks after the nation’s larger retailer and private employer decided it would discontinue health insurance for many part-time employees, the company announced its new health care centers would provide doctor visits for around $40, or as low as $4 for Walmart employees and their families. [More]
Unless you’re allergic to certain non-active ingredients or have you have an unusual sensitivity, generally the brand-name and generic versions of over-the-counter medicines are pretty much the same. Manufacturers keep adding innovations to coax customers away from generic meds, like a film-coated version of Pfizer’s Advil that is supposed to relieve pain faster. Does it? [More]
Welcome to the fourth installment in a “How To Not Suck…” series on buying insurance. Previous posts looked at auto insurance, homeowner’s coverage, and life insurance, and next week we’ll look at disability plans.
No one wants to think they’ll be unable to take care of themselves, but it’s likely to happen eventually, with one study saying there’s a 70% chance you’ll need some kind of care after age 65. Today, we’re thinking to the future. Long-term care insurance will help pay the bills should you need some kind of care, so you had better learn How To Not Suck… At Long-Term Care Insurance. [More]
Earlier this week, Target announced that it would no longer offer health insurance to part-time employees (those who work fewer than 32 hours per week), while at the same time claiming that it would not be trimming employees’ schedules so that they no longer qualify as full-time workers. However, some Target employees tell Consumerist that company execs aren’t telling the truth. [More]
Saying that part-time employees can now get health care coverage through recently launched online insurance exchanges, Target announced yesterday that, as of April 1, it will no longer offer insurance to its part-time staffers. [More]
It should be obvious that the dose of medication that works in one person doesn’t work in all people. So it shouldn’t have been a surprise for women this morning to learn that an emergency contraceptive pill identical to the one sold here in the US as Plan B will carry a new warning label in Europe cautioning women that it doesn’t work if they weigh too much. [More]
When it comes to clinics for women’s health, who counts as a woman? For breast cancer screenings funded by the CDC, there’s a requirement that advocates for transgender Americans find discriminatory and problematic: patients must be “born as women,” excluding women who were identified as male at birth but who now need services like mammograms. Routine health care can become very complicated, and accessing public health services is too. [More]
No one questions the life-saving service that ambulances provide, or the expense of keeping teams of life-saving professionals on call 24 hours a day. One Tennessee man was horrified when he paid almost $800 for an ambulance to fetch him from his third-floor apartment and take him to the hospital when he hurt his back. He didn’t need life support: he would have done just fine with an elevator and a taxi. [More]
Walgreen Co., the parent company of Walgreen’s, is joining the “Let’s change our health care” party, right after Trader Joe’s announced it’d be giving employees money to purchase their own health insurance on the exchange system. The company announced today that it will send eligible employees shopping for coverage instead of using a company-backed system. [More]
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]
If you don’t mind trading your shopping history and personal data for free stuff or discounts, loyalty card programs offer some great benefits if you were going to be loyal to a business in the first place. The question is, how much of your privacy are you willing to give up for some discounts? [More]
It appears that the question “Can anyone spare a quarter?” is not one you need to be worried about when your life is on the line. But one couple found out exactly how dire of a situation a little more than a quarter could get them into after the husband’s health coverage was terminated months before he was scheduled for a bone marrow transplant to treat his leukemia. The reason? A $0.26 shortfall on a monthly COBRA premium. [More]
When you pay off your portion of a hospital bill, you might assume that you’ve fulfilled your financial obligation to the healthcare provider. That is, until nearly two years later when the hospital sends you a new invoice without any further explanation. [More]
Don’t expect your mail-order pharmacy to look out for you or for your health. That’s what reader Kathleen learned when her auto-refill prescription got auto-refilled, in spite of her new and exciting prescription for the same medication in a higher dose. Isn’t the point to having everything run by benevolent computers that they’re smarter than we are, and don’t make silly human errors? [More]
There are no doubt millions of children in the United States right now who would greet a pager with a blank stare, having never witnessed one in action. And yet the country’s hospitals still rely on beepers and other outdated technology for communication between staff members. But being stuck in 1994 isn’t a cheap endeavor, according to a new report — it’s actually costing hospitals billions of dollars a year. So why do they still use them?
Pretending to be a legend of rock in order to rack up a six-figure hospital bill may sound reasonable — to a crazy person — but it’s likely just going to end up with you in a whole mess of trouble. [More]
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.