Insurance

Excessive Medical Treatment?

Excessive Medical Treatment?

Upon reading Tara Parker-Pope‘s article, “Too Much Medical Treatment,” I was moved to compare and contrast my experience at San Francisco Kaiser Medical Center for the same issue: a moderately-severe sprained ankle that occurred on a Sunday. I checked in to the Emergency Room and was  immediately placed in an examining room. A nurse-practitioner...

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Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Educational Podcasts for the Health Care Consumer

Free podcasts are available to the general public, courtesy of my professional association, the National Association of Healthcare Advocacy Consultants (NAHAC).   For instance, Richard Heasley, director of San Francisco’s Conard House, presented a teleconference on May 16, 2012  entitled “Effective Teamwork with Psychiatric Patients.” Other topics include eldercare, patient safety, Medicare, and many others. You can...

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Caveat emptor*

Caveat emptor*

There is a Catch-22 (well, one of several) for health care consumers trying to manage medical expenses. This is especially galling if you happen to be in a so-called “consumer-directed health plan,” also known as a high-deductible plan. What’s the catch? The idea of the consumer-directed plan is to make you aware of how...

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California’s Criteria for Dual-Eligibles

California’s Criteria for Dual-Eligibles

Well before the PPACA was enacted, certain individuals over age 65 or collecting federal disability payments may be eligible to participate in both Medicare and Medicaid (termed “Medi-Cal” in California). Such an individual is termed a “dual eligible.” The advantages to dual-eligibility include greater financial assistance and access to services which may not be available...

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Shopping for Private Health Insurance – A Brief Primer

Shopping for Private Health Insurance – A Brief Primer

Purchasing medical insurance is much like purchasing a car. There is a host of factors attendant to each transaction which makes it difficult to compare plans and understand how much more or less one particular plan will cost compared to another. It can be done, but takes a bit of work and sometimes even...

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More Profits for Health Insurers

More Profits for Health Insurers

Here we go again. Although California health insurers cannot justify raising premiums, rates continue to grow faster than underlying costs. Premiums for hundreds of thousands of individual policyholders are to increase at 8% to 14%. This is a significant chunk of change. My policy is $1,000 monthly. So a 14% increase is $140. The...

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