health insurance

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People Dropping $100K-Plus on Meds Triples: Report

Insurance plans paid almost 98% of the cost for biggest spenders

(Newser) - Prescription drugs are pricey: According to a report released Wednesday by benefits manager Express Scripts, more than 500,000 people in 2014 took home meds costing a total of $50,000 or more per year, while the number of big spenders who took home at least $100,000 worth of... More »

Why Some Employers Are Telling Gay Workers to Marry

If they live in places where gay marriage is legal and want to keep health benefits

(Newser) - As the Supreme Court hashes out whether banning same-sex marriage is unconstitutional, some employers in states where gay marriage is legal are telling gay employees that they must say "I do" to keep their health benefits intact, the Wall Street Journal reports. Although the paper notes that a third... More »

Almost 90% of US Adults Now Have Health Insurance

'No question' that ObamaCare has increased health coverage

(Newser) - Underlining a change across the nation, nearly nine out of 10 adults now say they have health insurance, according to an extensive survey released today. As recently as 2013, slightly more than eight out of 10 had coverage. Whether the new number from the Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index turns out to... More »

'Millions Lose' if Plaintiffs Win Obamacare Case

'King v. Burwell' makes a 'bizarre' argument, says USA Today

(Newser) - Four people are bringing their case against Obamacare to the Supreme Court Wednesday, and USA Today doesn't like it. "As legal challenges go, the latest complaint is bizarre," writes the editorial board. In sum, the plaintiffs say a literal reading of the law only allows states with... More »

The Most Worrisome Part of the Anthem Hack

Thieves could rack up charges, alter medical records

(Newser) - Health insurer Anthem says medical data and credit card details were not taken in a huge data breach , but analysts warn that the stolen medical ID numbers could be an even bigger headache for customers. Identity thieves could use the numbers to rack up their own medical charges—and in... More »

No. 2 Health Insurer Anthem Suffers Historic Hack

'10s of millions' of Anthem customers have details stolen

(Newser) - In what is believed to be the biggest-ever health care data breach and one of the biggest data breaches anywhere, Anthem says hackers may have stolen the details of tens of millions of customers. The company—America's second-biggest health insurer—says hackers broke into a database that held the... More »

No Health Insurance by Feb. 15? Face Wrath of Taxman

Miss that date, get a 2015 ObamaCare penalty in addition to 2014's

(Newser) - With tax time fast approaching, there's a new hoop to jump through: Those without health insurance may be facing ObamaCare penalties for 2014—and for 2015 if they don't nail down coverage by Feb. 15, NPR reports. Those who were uninsured in 2014 may face a tax penalty... More »

Couple Trapped in US Escapes $200K Bill After Early Birth

Brits Kate Amos and Lee Johnston were told they couldn't leave for months

(Newser) - When a British couple vacationing in New York had a baby 11 weeks earlier than expected, they were told they couldn't go home until March because the baby wasn't ready to fly—and that meant a $200,000 medical bill. Good news for Kate Amos and Lee Johnston:... More »

The Wildly Varying Cost of Scanning Our Hearts

NYT investigates how much we pay for echocardiograms

(Newser) - As one cardiologist puts it, "At many hospitals, the threshold for ordering an echocardiogram is the presence of a heart." That statement, made to the New York Times , becomes all the more troubling if you read the Times' full look into the use—and generally wildly varying cost—... More »

Canadian Mom Gives Birth in US, Gets $1M Bill

She was 6 months pregnant when her water broke while on vacation in Hawaii

(Newser) - Jennifer Huculak-Kimmel thought she'd dotted all the i's. Six months pregnant in October of 2013, she was cleared by her doctor to vacation in Hawaii with her husband, and she made sure to get Blue Cross insurance coverage before her trip. Just two days in, though, her water... More »

Dental Coverage Inflated ObamaCare Numbers

Enrollment numbers drop back under projected 7M as a result

(Newser) - The federal government happily announced in September that ObamaCare enrollments were above 7 million, meaning that a projection issued by the Congressional Budget Office last year had been met. Look now, however, and the figure is back below 7 million, reports Bloomberg . Why? To get to the higher figure, the... More »

Insured Woman Treated at 'Wrong' Hospital Billed $50K

In a coma, she couldn't tell paramedics to take her to hospital up the road instead

(Newser) - After suffering a heart attack that nearly killed her at age 29 last year, Megan Rothbauer would love to be celebrating being alive, not to mention planning her wedding and future family. Unfortunately for her, she was in a coma when paramedics arrived and could not ask them to take... More »

Taxpayer Dollars Funding Drugs for Dead People

Medicare payments allowed up to 32 days after patients' deaths: report

(Newser) - Dead men don't wear plaid—and they don't pick up prescription drugs at the pharmacy. Yet Medicare has been paying for medicine for the deceased for up to 32 days after their deaths, the AP reports. A report out today from the Health and Human Services Department's... More »

30K Walmart Part-Timers to Lose Health Insurance

If they're not working an average of 30 hours or more a week, they won't be eligible

(Newser) - As of Jan. 1, Walmart will no longer offer 30,000 of its employees health insurance. Bloomberg notes that's about 2% of its workforce. The move comes as a reaction to the company's rising health care costs as far more of its employees and their families enrolled in... More »

Why Medical Patients Get Huge Surprise Bills

Out-of-network providers work on patients without their knowing it

(Newser) - Peter Drier's neck surgery bills didn't surprise him, even $133,000 from the anesthesiologist and $56,000 from his Manhattan hospital. But what was $117,000 from an "assistant surgeon"? Drier, a bank technology manager, had run into a growing US phenomenon known as "drive-by... More »

ObamaCare Set to Dump 115K From Rolls

They've failed to prove they're citizens or legal immigrants: officials

(Newser) - Some 115,000 people who haven't proven they're citizens or legal immigrants are due to lose their coverage under ObamaCare at the end of the month, the administration says. They were asked several times to provide documentation showing their eligibility but haven't done so, says a rep... More »

Why Are Employers Still Providing Health Insurance?

Hobby Lobby decision should push Congress to end practice, Jon Healey argues

(Newser) - The Hobby Lobby decision still looms large over the opinion pages today. The Wall Street Journal called it "an important vindication of religious liberty," while the New York Times complained that the justices gave "for-profit companies an unprecedented right to impose their religious views on employees."... More »

Way, Way Over Budget: ObamaCare Subsidies

And studies find that it's increased premiums

(Newser) - ObamaCare appears to be on pace to cost the federal government a lot more than it was counting on. So far, the government is on pace to sink $11 billion into subsidies for consumers who bought coverage on the federal insurance exchange, according to a new report from the Department... More »

Hordes of ObamaCare Users Told Info Doesn't Check Out

Officials 'double- and triple-check' provided subsidy data

(Newser) - The White House intends to double-check the documents of hundreds of thousands of ObamaCare users to confirm they qualify for health subsidies, having notified them over the last two weeks that "the information in your application doesn’t match what we found in other records." In fact, government... More »

US Quietly Earmarks Money for ObamaCare Insurers

It's a safety net to cover any losses; Republicans cry foul

(Newser) - ObamaCare just became a win-win proposition for insurance companies. Tucked into hundreds of pages of new rulings on the Affordable Care Act last week was a promise to pay insurers for any losses they incur by providing coverage on government exchanges, the LA Times reports. The Obama administration inserted the... More »

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