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Medical Debt Remains a Big Issue for Consumers

In 2019, the American Journal of Public Health published the results of an analysis about bankruptcies in the United States and concluded that medical bankruptcy is still common despite the Affordable Care Act: “Despite gains in coverage and access to care from the ACA, our findings suggest that it did not change the proportion of bankruptcies with medical causes.”

High Cost-Sharing Causes Some to Forego Needed Healthcare

We spend a lot of time talking about the uninsured problem in this country. For a variety of reasons, including 1) high health insurance premiums, 2) confusion about eligibility for financial assistance, and 3) a failure to prioritize health care coverage, millions of Americans remain uninsured.

The No Surprises Act

Everybody likes surprises, right? Wrong! Obviously, there are a lot of good surprises in life, but when the surprise involves bad news, it’s not nearly as fun. Take a surprise medical bill, for instance. When a health plan member does everything he or she can to follow the rules, like visiting in-network facilities and getting any required pre-authorizations before a procedure, it’s easy to see why the member would be unhappy when a “surprise bill” shows up in the mail.

The Way People Get Care is Changing

The United States, as we’ve long been told, has the best health care system in the world. We have the best technology, top-notch medical providers, live-saving prescription drugs, and a free-market system that encourages innovation.

Health Insurance: Fixed vs. Variable Costs

A lot of agents are good at analyzing a client’s options, doing the math, and then recommending a plan that will save the client the most money. After all, that is a big part of the agent’s job: to provide analysis and advice to the client.

Upcoming Executive Order on Price Transparency

In a recent AHCP blog post, we explained that a hospital price transparency law that went into effect January 1 of this year really does very little to help consumers better understand the cost of medical care. Instead, it simply requires hospitals to post their chargemaster data in a machine-readable format on its website. We finished the post by saying that “only time will tell how impactful this particular rule will be, but the movement towards transparency is a step in the right direction.”

Five Percent of People Have Huge Medical Bills

A recent article from Health Leaders Media summarizes the results of a global study from the Institute for Health Metrics and Evaluation (IHME) at the University of Washington. Here are a few of the findings:

New Hospital Transparency Rule

A new rule intended to increase price transparency went into effect January 1st of this year. The rule, issued by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) on August 2, 2018, requires “hospitals to make publicly available a list of their standard charges or their policies for allowing the public to view this list upon request…on the Internet in a machine-readable format.”

Drug Makers Increase Prices for 2019

In 2019, some of the nation’s largest pharmaceutical companies, after holding prices steady for much of 2018, announced they are raising the cost on hundreds of drugs. You probably saw some of the headlines.

Surprise Medical Bills

Not everyone likes surprises. And not all surprises are good. Take surprise medical bills, for instance—it seems that nobody is happy to receive one of those in the mail. Unfortunately, they’re more and more common these days, and that means you should prepare your clients in case they receive a surprise bill following a medical procedure.

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