Archive for May 9th, 2013

Will COBRA Become Obsolete?

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

“People who purchase coverage through the Marketplace instead of COBRA could cut their premiums by as much as half.  They may also qualify for a new kind of tax credit that lowers monthly premiums right away.  From now on, people leaving their jobs will learn that they may be eligible for affordable insurance through the Marketplace.” – K. Sebelius

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Transparency And The Fallacy of Charge Masters

Thursday, May 9th, 2013

transparent

“The charge masters are totally irrational,” Robert Laszewski, a former health insurance company executive who consults for health care companies as president of Alexandria, Va.-based Health Policy and Strategy Associates, wrote in an email to The Huffington Post.

Hospitals used to base prices on health care costs and on the need for profit that would, among other things, enable them to make investments in their facilities, Laszewski explained. “They became the baseline from which the hospitals started,” he wrote.

But over time, hospitals raised charges in anticipation of negotiating discounts with private health insurance companies while maintaining their revenue streams, he said.

Prices have continued growing over decades to the point where there is no plausible justification for them, according to Laszewski: “Over the years, the charge masters have become more and more disconnected from reality.”

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