High-Deductible Plan Members Can't Pay Hospital Bills

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clando
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High-Deductible Plan Members Can't Pay Hospital Bills

Post #1 by clando » August 12th, 2013, 2:34 pm

Kaiser Health News wrote:More High-Deductible Plan Members Can’t Pay Hospital Bills

“We have definitely been hearing from members that they are seeing an increase in bad debt and even in charity care for people with high-deductible health plans,” said Caroline Steinberg, vice president for trends analysis at the American Hospital Association. “A lot of these folks tend to not understand the structure of their benefits until they get to the hospital, and they’re not covered as thoroughly as they thought.”

Also known as consumer-directed plans and often paired with tax-favored health savings accounts, insurance policies with family deductibles as high as $5,000 are increasingly offered even by large employers.

Nineteen percent of all employer-covered workers were enrolled in a high-deducible plan last year, more than double the rate of 2009, according to the Kaiser Family Foundation. (Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the foundation.)

Proponents say the policies prompt consumers to pay more attention to health costs, to avoid needless care and to shop for the best deal. Skeptics wonder how patients can shop around when medical prices are unavailable and they might be in an ambulance on the way to the emergency room.

Typically about a quarter of hospitals’ uncollectible accounts have been associated with patients who have some kind of insurance, Steinberg said. She was unable to say whether that has changed in recent years.

http://capsules.kaiserhealthnews.org/index.php/2013/08/more-high-deductible-plan-members-cant-pay-hospital-bills/

John Thomas8
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Re: High-Deductible Plan Members Can't Pay Hospital Bills

Post #2 by John Thomas8 » August 12th, 2013, 6:22 pm

So, mandating insurance then having the product not cover expenses costing up to 5 months of pay is going to fix what exactly?

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optimusprime
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Re: High-Deductible Plan Members Can't Pay Hospital Bills

Post #3 by optimusprime » August 13th, 2013, 7:11 am

It was great to say that everyone need insurance like Congress. However, Congressmen can afford the fees associated with a hospitalization and follow-on home care. The average citizen - not so much.
You're not to be so blind with patriotism that you can't face reality. Wrong is wrong, no matter who does it or says it.
~ Malcolm XImage

John Thomas8
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Re: High-Deductible Plan Members Can't Pay Hospital Bills

Post #4 by John Thomas8 » August 13th, 2013, 8:17 am

It is out of control and NO attempt is being made to stop it:

'Paying Till It Hurts': Why American Health Care Is So Pricey

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clando
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Re: High-Deductible Plan Members Can't Pay Hospital Bills

Post #5 by clando » August 13th, 2013, 10:42 am

I'm tired of reading all these articles comparing "charges" in hospitals (not directed at the article above specifically). Charges are not cost, nor are they representative of what people are actually paying. It's like discussing tuition costs at a college where 85% of the students are on scholarship, and most of the other 15% receive some sort of financial assistance or free tuition. Charges master charges are meaningless and yet everyone discusses and compares them like they are real prices.

If there was a journalist worth a damn, what they would do is try and find patients of different insurers that have the same procedure (CPT's). They could then get copies of their insurance bills and compare what the different insurers actually paid for those procedures, and that would be an accurate story about "costs". Unfortunately even when journalist get copies of insurance bills, all they do is focus on the difference in charges versus what they insurer pays, and completely ignore the real information provided.


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