Carmen Quintero had symptoms of COVID-19, couldn’t get tested and ended up with a huge bill. She also was told to self-isolate and assume she had the coronavirus — which is hard when you live with elders.
Small hospitals and patients in rural areas have been hit hard by the boom in high-deductible health plans. Often when a patient arrives at a rural hospital needing critical care, the person is stabilized and transferred to a larger facility. But bills from the first site of care generally get applied to the patient’s deductible. When patients can’t afford their deductible, the smaller hospital winds up eating the costs.
A 3-year-old girl put matching doll shoes up her nose. One came out easily. The second required an emergency department visit ― and generated a bill that is not child’s play.
Firms are offering more traditional plans alongside or instead of the plans with sky-high deductibles that may have been the only option in the past. The change comes as employers are finding that workers like the predictability of a traditional plan and that providing more generous plans can help with recruiting in a tight labor market.
Washington is abuzz with impeachment talk, but what impact would such a move have on congressional action on prescription drug prices and surprise bills? Also, a study out this week shows that health insurance costs for both employers and workers continue to rise. This week, Joanne Kenen of Politico, Paige Winfield Cunningham of The Washington Post and Rebecca Adams of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more.
Findings released Thursday by the Rand Corp. highlight how reimbursement rates vary nationally and the impact the charges have on the nation’s high cost of health care.