health insurance

Bram Sable-Smith / Side Effects/KBIA

When 2-year-old Ryan Lennon Fines was born on Christmas day 2014, his mouth wasn’t connected to his stomach, a condition known as esophageal atresia. After three months in a NICU in St. Louis the family flew to Boston, where Ryan had surgery.

President Trump Promotes Revised Version Of GOP Health Care Bill

May 2, 2017

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Karen Shakerdge/WXXI

Mary Rivera knew something wasn’t right, but she still didn’t go to the doctor. 

“I knew that my uterus wasn’t where it should've been, but I didn’t have any insurance at the time. To go to the hospital and have an operation seemed impossible,” Rivera said from her home in Manchester, New York.

Karen Shakerdge

David Hutchinson got health insurance for the first time in his life about a year ago. Now he’s worried he might lose it.

Twice a day, Angela and Nate Turner of Greenwood, Indiana, take tiny strips that look like colored scotch tape, and put them under their tongues.

“They taste disgusting,” Angela says.

Minnesota's Largest Health Insurer Will Drop Individual Plans

Jun 27, 2016

Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Minnesota will retreat from the sale of health plans to individuals and families in the state starting next year. The insurer, Minnesota's largest, said extraordinary financial losses drove the decision.

"Based on current medical claim trends, Blue Cross is projecting a total loss of more than $500 million in the individual [health plan] segment over three years," the insurer said in an emailed statement.

GAO Audit: Feds Failed To Rein In Medicare Advantage Overbilling

May 11, 2016

Private Medicare Advantage plans treating the elderly have overbilled the government by billions of dollars, but rarely been forced to repay the money or face other consequences for their actions, according to a congressional audit released Monday.

That Surgery Might Cost You A Lot Less In Another Town

Apr 27, 2016

Need knee replacement surgery? It may be worthwhile to head for Tucson.

That's because the average price for a knee replacement in the Arizona city is $21,976, about $38,000 less than it would in Sacramento, Calif. That's according to a report issued Wednesday by the Health Care Cost Institute.

Health Insurer Banks On Prevention With Free Primary Care, Counseling, Yoga And More

Apr 6, 2016
Harken Health members get free yoga at the clinic.
Phil Galewitz / KHN

AUSTELL, Ga. — UnitedHealthcare is betting $65 million that it can profit by making primary care more attractive.

With little fanfare, the nation’s largest health insurer launched an independent subsidiary in January that offers unlimited free doctor visits and 24/7 access by phone. Every member gets a personal health coach to nudge them toward their goals, such as losing weight or exercising more. Mental health counseling is also provided, as are yoga and cooking classes, and acupuncture. Services are delivered in stylish clinics with hardwood floors and faux fireplaces in their lobbies.

Should Doctors Get Paid For Keeping Patients Healthy? Vermont Officials Say Yes

Mar 2, 2016
Al Gobeille, chairman of the Green Mountain Care Board
Tony Talbot / Associated Press

State officials say they're hopeful that a new health care payment system can be in place at the beginning of next year. The proposal is designed to reimburse providers to keep their patients healthy and to encourage the expansion of primary care practices.

It's known as the "all payer" system, and it represents a dramatic change in the way that health care is paid for in Vermont.

Currently, under the "fee for service" system, providers are paid for every office visit, procedure or test that's done. Under all payer, providers would receive a set amount of money each month based on the number of patients they have and would be encouraged to work with their patients on prevention programs.