Some large employers interpreted themselves as exempt from new federal laws that say tests for the coronavirus should be free to patients. Large academic medical centers are holding back from sending bills to these patients to avoid a backlash over surprise billing.
Just about anyone who wants a coronavirus test in the state of Tennessee can get one. How? The state got buy-in and lots of participation from private labs by assuring them it will pay them.
A podcast listener who works in the health insurance industry says that when you’re trying to untangle a problem with your health insurance company ask the representative on the phone to slow down. And if need be, don’t hesitate to ask to speak with a supervisor.
House Democrats unveiled legislation that would effectively double what the federal government has spent on relief for the COVID-19 pandemic, but Republicans say they want to wait before even talking about another bill. Meanwhile, a key Republican senator called the GOP court case challenging the Affordable Care Act “flimsy.” Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call and Joanne Kenen of Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more.
In the first quarter of 2020, half the country’s economic devastation happened in the health care sector. Much of the slowdown came after hospitals postponed elective surgeries and as Americans skipped routine doctor’s office visits.
California legislators resume their work Monday after more than a month off. While the coronavirus pandemic has shifted the state’s priorities, many lawmakers say they still intend to push non-COVID health care bills to tax soda, ban vape flavors and more.
Because the public health system mostly operates in the background, it rarely gets the attention or funding it deserves ― until there’s a crisis.
The Supreme Court this week, in an 8-1 decision, ruled that insurers are due the roughly $12 billion that Congress several years ago tried to cut off in payments under the Affordable Care Act’s “risk corridors” provision. And while the COVID-19 pandemic continues to rage in many places around the country, states are starting to reopen their economies at the urging of President Donald Trump and over objections of public health officials. Caitlin Owens of Axios and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss this and more. Also, Rovner interviews KHN’s Carmen Heredia Rodriguez, who wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment about COVID testing that should have been free but was not.
The volunteer medical providers at the Tree of Life Free Clinic in Tupelo, Mississippi, give crucial health care to the uninsured in the best of times, drawing crowds who line up for hours. Amid the current COVID pandemic, clinic staffers were advised to close. Instead, they chose to adapt — even without critical N95 masks to protect themselves — as the economic crisis intensifies the need for free care.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act requires private insurers to pay for certain services related to coronavirus testing at no cost to the patient. But gaps in the protections expose patients to unexpected medical bills.