$2,700 Ambulance Bill Pulled Back From Collections
After reporting from KHN, NPR, and CBS News, a patient’s $2,700 ambulance bill was pulled back from collections.
Shattered Dreams and Bills in the Millions: Losing a Baby in America
On top of fearing for their children’s lives, new parents of very fragile, very sick infants can face exorbitant hospital bills — even if they have insurance. Medical bills don’t go away if a child dies.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Judge Takes Aim at the Affordable Care Act’s Preventive Care Benefits
A federal judge in Texas — the same one who tried to strike down the Affordable Care Act as unconstitutional in 2018 — has ruled against some of the ACA’s preventive benefits, including the requirement that employers cover medication to prevent HIV. Meanwhile, the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs tries to make abortions slightly more available to veterans and their dependents. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Lauren Sausser, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” installment.
Watch: Crashing Into Surprise Ambulance Bills
Three siblings were in the same car wreck, but their ambulance bills were very different.
The $18,000 Breast Biopsy: When Having Insurance Costs You a Bundle
An online calculator told a young woman that a procedure to rule out cancer would cost an uninsured person about $1,400. Instead, the hospital initially charged almost $18,000 and, with her high-deductible health insurance, she owed more than $5,000.
The Ambulance Chased One Patient Into Collections
After a car wreck, three siblings were transported to the same hospital by ambulances from three separate districts. The sibling with the most minor injuries got the biggest bill.
His-and-Hers Cataract Surgeries, But His Bill Was 20 Times as Much
Whether a simple operation is performed under the auspices of a hospital or at an independent surgery center can make a huge difference in cost.
Journalists Delve Into Vaccine Mandates and Surprise Billing
KHN and California Healthline staff made the rounds on national and local media this week to discuss their stories. Here’s a collection of their appearances.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Washington’s Slow Churn
Stemming gun violence is back on the legislative agenda following three mass shootings in less than a month, but it’s hard to predict success when so many previous efforts have failed. Meanwhile, lawmakers must soon decide if they will extend current premium subsidies for those buying health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, and the Biden administration acts, belatedly, on Medicare premiums. Margot Sanger-Katz of the New York Times, Sandhya Raman of CQ Roll Call, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat News join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Michelle Andrews, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a too-common problem: denial of no-cost preventive care for a colonoscopy under the Affordable Care Act.
Her First Colonoscopy Cost Her $0. Her Second Cost $2,185. Why?
Preventive care, like screening colonoscopies, is supposed to be free of charge to patients under the Affordable Care Act. But some hospitals haven’t gotten the memo.
Even When IVF Is Covered by Insurance, High Bills and Hassles Abound
Only 15 states require insurance to cover in vitro fertilization, a common path to parenthood for people who have trouble getting pregnant. And even for those whose insurance covers IVF, the expensive procedures and required drugs can lead to unexpected bills.
After Medical Bills Broke the Bank, This Family Headed to Mexico for Care
The Fierro family owed a Yuma, Arizona, hospital more than $7,000 for care given to mom and dad, so when a son dislocated his shoulder, they headed to Mexicali. The care was quick, good, and affordable.
Luego de enfrentar terribles cuentas médicas, familia decide cruzar la frontera para recibir atención
La familia Fierro le debe a un hospital de Yuma, Arizona, más de $7,000 por dos situaciones médicas. Así que cuando uno de los hijos se dislocó el hombro, fueron a Mexicali, México. La atención fue rápida, buena y económica.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Funding for the Next Pandemic
In his proposed budget, President Joe Biden called for a boost in health spending that includes billions of dollars to prepare for a future pandemic. But that doesn’t include money he says is needed immediately for testing and treating covid-19. Also this week, federal regulators authorized a second booster shot for people 50 and older yet gave little guidance to consumers about who needs the shot and when. Amy Goldstein of The Washington Post, Jennifer Haberkorn of the Los Angeles Times, and Rachana Pradhan of KHN join KHN’s Mary Agnes Carey to discuss these issues and more. Plus, Julie Rovner interviews KHN’s Julie Appleby, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a very expensive air ambulance ride.
The Case of the $489,000 Air Ambulance Ride
Diagnosed with aggressive leukemia on a Western trip, a young man thought his insurance would cover an air ambulance ride home to North Carolina. Instead, questions about medical necessity left him with an astronomical bill.
An $80,000 Tab for Newborns Lays Out a Loophole in the New Law to Curb Surprise Bills
The insurance company said that the birth of the Bull family’s twins was not an emergency and that NICU care was “not medically necessary.” The family’s experience with a huge bill sent to collections happened in 2020, but it exposes a hole in the new No Surprises law that took effect Jan. 1.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Paging the HHS Secretary
Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra is drawing criticism for his hands-off handling of the covid crisis even though the heads of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, National Institutes of Health, and FDA report to him. Meanwhile, the Department of Labor looks to enforce mental health “parity laws” that have failed to achieve their goals. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Noam N. Levey, who reported and wrote the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode about a large emergency room bill for a small amount of medical care.
Watch: ER Charged $1,012 for Almost No Care
KHN Editor-in-Chief Elisabeth Rosenthal weighs in on the January installment of KHN-NPR’s Bill of the Month, in which a family gets burned over a visit to the emergency room.
The Doctor Didn’t Show Up, but the Hospital ER Still Charged $1,012
A St. Louis-area toddler burned his hand on the stove, and his mom took him to the ER on the advice of her pediatrician. He wasn’t seen by a doctor, and the dressing on the wound wasn’t changed. The bill was more than a thousand dollars.
KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Contagion Confusion
It’s 2022 and the covid-19 pandemic is still with us, as are congressional efforts to pass President Joe Biden’s big health and social spending bill. But other issues seem certain to take center stage on this year’s health agenda, including abortion, the state of the health care workforce, and prescription drug prices. Tami Luhby of CNN, Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico and Mary Ellen McIntire of CQ Roll Call join KHN’s Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KHN’s Victoria Knight, who reported the latest KHN-NPR “Bill of the Month” episode.