Health Plans Cut Out Expensive Doctors And Hospitals
The Los Angeles Times reports that thousands of California employers are cutting back on insurance expenses by restricting access to expensive doctors and hospitals. Also, Bloomberg looks at which companies are getting money from the new federal health law for retiree expenses includes some major US corporations.
Los Angeles Times: A Shift Toward Smaller Health Insurance Networks
Thousands of employers in California and across the country are slashing expensive doctors and hospitals from their insurance rosters in a move to hold down rising health care costs - a trend that is gaining favor with corporate bosses, if not the rank and file (Helfand, 4/3).
Bloomberg: AT&T's $140 Million Among Top U.S. Payments For Retiree Health Program
Eight U.S. companies that earned more than $10 billion last year, led by AT&T Inc., were among recipients of a government program that paid $1.8 billion toward elderly retirees' health-care costs, a report shows. The program created by last year's health overhaul sets aside $5 billion to help companies pay health insurance for workers who retire early and aren't yet eligible for Medicare, the U.S. program for the elderly and disabled. The Detroit-based United Auto Workers union received the most, at $207 million, followed by Dallas-based AT&T, at $140 million, and New York- based Verizon Communications Inc., with $92 million, according to the report the government released yesterday (4/1).
WBUR's CommonHealth blog: Medical Sticker Shock: An Infuriating Encounter With A Cost Calculator
This is the story of a patient who tried to be a smart health care shopper. But the system wouldn't let him. The patient, Matt S., works in the health care industry and is a pretty savvy guy. Recently, his company offered a high-deductible health plan, administered by a large national insurer, which he selected. ... A few months ago, Matt's doctor, who belongs to a primary care practice owned by Brigham & Women's Hospital, suggested he get a cardiac stress test (Zimmerman, 4/1).