Consumers, Employers Reconsider Insurance Costs
Individuals and businesses are weighing the pros and cons of buying health coverage as a result of the advent of high-deductible policies, as well as the provisions of the health law set to take effect in 2014.
San Francisco Chronicle: Patients Negotiate For Care With Cash
Palo Alto resident Ed Lee routinely negotiates for his own health care services, everything from the cost of a scan to an urgent-care visit - often securing discounts of 30 to 50 percent off the original charges. ee, 61, a self-employed public relations expert in the semiconductor industry, started bypassing his health insurance and paying out of pocket last year when he realized that premiums and deductibles were costing him more than $12,000 before his insurer paid a dime. With that decision, Lee became part of a new breed of health care consumer -- people who pay such a large portion of their health costs that they're questioning the value of insurance. And because they're footing so much of the bill, they feel they owe it to themselves to get a decent price (Colliver, 8/27).
Modern Healthcare: Most Employers To Continue Offering Health Care Plans In 2014: Survey
The overwhelming majority of employers say they will continue to offer health care plans after core provisions of the health care reform law take effect in 2014, but most say they will need to make plan changes later to avoid a new excise tax on the most costly plans, according to a new survey. Eighty-eight percent of employers surveyed by Towers Watson & Co. said they have no plans to terminate coverage in 2014 or after for full-time employees, while 11 percent were not sure. Just 1 percent said they planned to terminate coverage for some employees (Geisel, 8/27).