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[Some] Hospital Procedure Costs for Uninsured July 28, 2014

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous.
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While searching on the web for medical credit and debt resources, I found a published list of estimated costs!  This is from Swedish Medical Center in Seattle, and designed for use by uninsured patients. Sometimes uninsured patients are not offered the same discounts as insured patients. This list shows some sample procedures and the cost after an uninsured or charity care discount.

Here is one entry:  MEDICAL SYMPTOMS – Syncope and Collapse: The sudden loss of consciousness.     Cost after discount $$2,183-$3,811

I’ve always wondered if this  (a syncope) is what happens after you are home from any medical facility and open the bills.

 

Folder.Papers

Open those medical bills!

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One Way to Pay Bills. First, call the Hospital or Medical Providers office.

 

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No More Pre-Existing Conditions! December 24, 2013

Posted by Admin in Diary, Healthonymous.
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January 1, 2014 is a day I’ve been looking forward to for more than 28 years. No more pre-existing conditions for me. The moral of my story is  – “It could happen to you”.

Dear YoungInvincibles @YI_Care : I was once one of you. Healthy, able to get life and health insurance ‘on demand’.  I ran 10k races in college, skied in the winter and hiked in the summer. Then age 26 came along and my medical care changed forever. I found a lump in my breast. 

Off I went to the doctor, who assured me that I was “too young” to worry about this hard, fixed in place, not painful lump. I had to manage up and advocate for myself to get a mammogram. So I finally got a mammogram (not always effective in young women with dense, perky breasts) and what do you know, the lump I had found was real-and could be cancerous. But they were skeptical, due to my age.

About this time, my doctor asked for my health history and I realized I had no idea if anyone in my family had ever had cancer. “Mom, what did your mother die from at age 45 during WW2?” -Oh- lung and breast cancer……gee thanks. Gulp. And why didn’t I know this before?

That didn’t matter, because now we had to biopsy my big lump.  There was no Breast Cancer Fund, no Internet, there was no Susan Love Research Foundation. There were three books on breast cancer available. One was on plastic surgery-scratch that. I was a busy financial advisor and barely had time for this surgery, let alone another one! Yes, I was a Yuppie. Then there was this one- First, You Cry by NBC correspondent Betty Rollins. I read it, but took small comfort from the story. The third one was apparently not memorable, but we bought it.

Here’s my point, YoungInvincibles; you might not get cancer in your 20’s, but anything else can happen. I didn’t ask to get cancer in my 20’s. And although I had some increased family risk, this wasn’t even the worst thing that could have taken me to the hospital. A skiing accident might have made me a quadriplegic; a car wreck could have placed me in rehab, or e.coli could have killed me!

If I hadn’t had health insurance, me or my family might have had to cover the cost of my 2 surgeries (first one didn’t get all the cancer cells), 8 weeks of radiation treatment and follow-ups ourselves. I might have entered my 30’s with unpaid medical debt. Did you know medical bankruptcy is the number one cause of bankruptcy in the U.S.?

#GetCovered for your wallet. #GetCovered for fewer surprises.

#GetCovered for your health and the Ten Essential Health Benefits.

Check New Version of the ACA Site and Beware of False Horror Stories December 4, 2013

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous.
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I visited the new version of the ACA website or www.healthcare.gov today. It’s an entirely new experience; I could easily navigate the site plus read general information on the legislation. If someone around your Thanksgiving dinner table told you a horror story like this one below, please check it out.

Yesterday, a “helpful relative” sent me a an email that contained the following “story”. Or rumor. Or misinformation.

“A recent example is that of a young engineer who has type 1 diabetes and makes between $45,000 and $55,000 per year.  He signed up for a “Silver Plan” and found out that he would pay $597 monthly and have a $13,988 deductible.”

English: The blue circle is the global symbol ...

My guess is that “stories” such as this one are flowing around certain email networks. Here are some problems with this scenario:  (more…)

Shocked, shocked to learn about gambling (I mean Obamacare) November 7, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous, huh?.
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I read this headline in The Atlantic about ACA/Obamacare information and was shocked (as in Casablanca) and for real!
There are multiple states that prevent or limit their ACA navigators (information helpers hired to work in each state) from discussing the benefits of Obamacare (the Affordable Care Act). Is your state one of them? Hint: None are on the West Coast. Some oaf them are red.

“States that resisted Obamacare in the first place seem to be, unsurprisingly, the same ones that are wary of the navigators.”

For a list of states and restrictions, look here.

How low will they stoop-I guess this lowers the bar again in the limbo game.

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ACA (Obamacare) Sticker Shock: Fact or Fiction? October 27, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Healthonymous, Money.
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The skyline of Seattle, Washington at dusk. In...

The skyline of Seattle, Washington at dusk. Interstate 5 is the freeway that cuts through downtown and Puget Sound is visible to the left. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Please ask your friends and family a few questions if they are claiming sticker shock. It is possible that they did not collect all the information that was relevant to potential coverage under the Affordable Care Act.

( Don’t you wish we had lots of media video asking politicians why they are against “Affordable Health Care”?)

I found this valuable link from Consumer Reports via a notice from Group Health Cooperative in Seattle. (offering nationally known health care and coverage – Full disclosure-I am a member of ghc.org)

Three scenarios are asked and answered in this column. Check it out; then tell Full Coverage about your experience below.

 

Employee costs up; Employer rate increase less in 2013 October 17, 2013

Posted by Admin in Healthonymous, Money.
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The good news is that employer rate increases for large group plans increased by only 3.3% for 2013. The 2012 rate increase was 4.9% and 8.5% in 2011.

The bad news is that the employee share of costs have increased from $2,011 in 2004 to an expected $4, 969 in 2014, according to AON Hewitt.  Remember, while expensive, an employer’s cost-share of health coverage costs is tax-deductible, while not usually to individuals and families. (Want to know more about why our health care is tied to employment?)

AON Hewitt released its’ annual analysis of health coverage costs on October 17, 2013.

President Barack Obama listens to Safeway Pres...

President Barack Obama listens to Safeway President and Chief Executive Officer Steve Burd during a meeting with business leaders in the Roosevelt Room of the White House to discuss employer health care costs. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Women and the Affordable Care Act October 13, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Women.
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An estimated 7 million will be able to receive premium support when enrolling in plans on the new exchanges.

An estimated 7 million will be able to receive premium support when enrolling in plans on the new exchanges.

The Affordable Care Act requires an expansion of Medicaid that would increase the percentage of U.S. women with health insurance, with the anticipated benefit of improved health.

The Affordable Care Act improves coverage for important preventive services and maternity care, promotes higher quality care for older women, and bans health insurers from requiring women to pay more for the same insurance coverage as men.

 

Why aren’t members of the media asking certain elected officials why they are against these provisions? Why don’t we hear questions like,

Congresswoman, Congressman, or Representative X, why are you against:

  1. health coverage for poor people,
  2. better coverage for women and men,
  3. expanded mental health benefits (as you all wanted after Newtown) and
  4. improved prescription drug and maternity coverage to help poor women and poor mothers?

Why not ask your own House Congressmembers this question!

Democracy and Healthcare October 9, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Quote of the Week, Healthonymous.
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If you want to understand democracy, spend less time in the library with Plato, and more time in the buses with people.  ~Simeon Strunsky

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Dublin buses

Dublin buses (Photo credit: FroZman)

The US Chamber of Commerce Said What? October 7, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Quote of the Week, Healthonymous, Money.
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In this article, the Chamber of Commerce is siding with the President! That doesn’t happen very often, but has happened before with this President.

The letter circulated by the Chamber of Commerce urges lawmakers to raise the debt ceiling “in a timely manner and remove any threat to the full faith and credit of the United States government.”

No mention of the Affordable Care Act in this letter whatsoever.

 

The ACA: Bad for American Business? October 4, 2013

Posted by Admin in Health Insurance, Money.
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Wall_Street_-_New_York_Stock_Exchange

There are allegations that the Affordable Care Act is bad for American businesses. The key questions are  more nuanced – which ones and when?  The ACA will prove to be disruptive, says  former insurance executive Wendell Potter.  But the last 4 years have been good for people holding insurance stocks on their retirement plans and mutual funds. According to a report shared across the country by the AP, 5 major health insurance companies have benefitted greatly since the recession and with the prospect of millions of new customers. For example:

The good news: CIGNA stock up 477% since 3/9/2009 (as reported by the AP-not a solicitation to buy or sell shares). For comparison, the Standard and Poor’s 500 index was up 151% in the same time period.

The bad news: According to Wendell Potter (formerly of CIGNA), this may not continue as the exchanges alter the traditional insurance marketplace.

English: Wendell Potter in 2010

English: Wendell Potter in 2010 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

And what if the American public benefits as a whole because of fewer ER room visits, with more people insured and using preventive care?

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