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.
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.
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]
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]
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]
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]
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]