KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': The Long Road to Reining In Short-Term Plans
President Biden made good on a campaign promise this week with a proposal that would limit short-term health insurance plans that boast low premiums but also few benefits. Meanwhile, the Supreme Court’s decision to outlaw affirmative action programs could set back efforts to diversify the nation’s medical workforce. Alice Miranda Ollstein of Politico, Amy Goldstein of the Washington Post, and Rachel Cohrs of Stat News join KFF Health News’ chief Washington correspondent Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Also this week, Rovner interviews KFF Health News’ Bram Sable-Smith, who reported the latest KFF Health News-NPR “Bill of the Month” about how a hospital couldn’t track down a patient, but a debt collector could.
Denials of Health Insurance Claims Are Rising — And Getting Weirder
The Department of Health and Human Services is tasked with monitoring denials both by Obamacare health plans and those offered through employers and insurers. As insurers’ denials become more common, they sometimes defy not just medical standards of care but sheer logic. Why hasn’t the agency fulfilled its assignment?
An Arm and a Leg: Credit Card, Please
What do you do when a medical provider asks you to provide a credit card upfront? In this episode, we hear advice about your options in this situation.
Hollywood’s A-List Health Insurance Is Jeopardized by the Labor Strikes
Hollywood actors and writers who qualify for their union health plans get a very good deal compared with other Americans. But not working during the strike threatens their eligibility in the system.
Giant Health System Almost Saved a Community Hospital. Now, It Wants to ‘Extract Every Dollar.’
A bankruptcy judge will soon decide whether a Central Valley hospital needs to liquidate to repay its creditors. Its largest creditor, St. Agnes Medical Center, is the very entity that backed out of purchasing the Madera Community Hospital last December.
Who Polices Hospitals Merging Across Markets? States Give Different Answers
Increasingly, hospitals are merging across separate markets within states. It’s a move that health economists and the Federal Trade Commission have been closely watching, as evidence shows such mergers raise prices for patients with no improvement in care.
She Paid Her Husband’s Hospital Bill. A Year After His Death, They Wanted More Money.
A widow encountered a perplexing reality in medical billing: Providers can come after patients to collect well after a bill has been paid.
California Governor and Democratic Lawmakers at Odds Over Billions in Health Care Funds
Gov. Gavin Newsom is getting pressure from his political allies to begin spending money on health care that the state raised by fining Californians who go without health insurance. But Newsom says the state can’t afford to.
Expectant Mom Needed $15,000 Overnight to Save Her Twins
Doctors rushed a pregnant woman to a surgeon who charged thousands upfront just to see her. The case reveals a gap in medical billing protections for those with rare, specialized conditions.
Readers and Tweeters Defend the Rights of Adults With Disabilities
KFF Health News gives readers a chance to comment on a recent batch of stories.
KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': Underinsured Is the New Uninsured
The percentage of working-age adults with health insurance went up and the uninsured rate dropped last year, the U.S. Census Bureau reported this week. There isn’t much suspense about which way the uninsured rate is now trending, as states continue efforts to strip ineligible beneficiaries from their Medicaid rolls. But is the focus on the uninsured obscuring the struggles of the underinsured? Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Sarah Karlin-Smith of the Pink Sheet, and Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico join KFF Health News’ Emmarie Huetteman to discuss these issues and more.
Listen to the Latest ‘KFF Health News Minute’
“Health Minute” brings original health care and health policy reporting from the KHN newsroom to the airwaves each week.
Industry Groups in California Vie for New Medicaid Money
State officials have promised to boost funding for California’s Medicaid program by $11.1 billion starting next year, with most of that money earmarked for higher payments to doctors, hospitals, and other providers. But the details have yet to be worked out, and powerful health industry groups are jockeying for position.
KFF Health News' 'What the Health?': A Not-So-Health-y GOP Debate
The first Republican presidential debate of the 2024 cycle took place without front-runner Donald Trump — and with hardly a mention of health issues save for abortion. Meanwhile, in Florida, patients dropped from the Medicaid program are suing the state for not giving them enough notice or a way to contest their being dropped from the program. Margot Sanger-Katz of The New York Times, Joanne Kenen of the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health and Politico, and Victoria Knight of Axios join KFF Health News’ Julie Rovner to discuss these issues and more. Plus, for “extra credit,” the panelists suggest health policy stories they read this week they think you should read, too.
An Arm and a Leg: Mental Health ‘Ghost Networks’ — And a Ghostbuster
What should you do when your search for an in-network mental health care provider comes up empty? Abigail Burman has some expertise to share.
Lose Weight, Gain Huge Debt: NY Provider Has Sued More Than 300 Patients Who Had Bariatric Surgery
The private equity-backed practice has been known to demand more than $100,000 in charges or penalties. One patient is fighting back.
Covered California to Cut Patient Costs After Democratic Lawmakers Win Funding From Gov. Newsom
California’s health insurance exchange will reduce how much some patients pay for care next year, including hospital deductibles, appointment copays, and prescription drugs. Lawmakers pressed Gov. Gavin Newsom to make good on a four-year-old pledge to use proceeds from a tax penalty on uninsured people to help people pay for treatment.
GOP Presidential Primary Debate No. 2: An Angry Rematch and the Same Notable No-Show
Though never framed as a marquee issue, the topic of health care crept into the chaotic seven-way faceoff throughout the evening, highlighting Republican culture-war themes.
Montana Backs Away From Innovative Hospital Payment Model. Other States Are Watching.
Montana has been a national model for how employers could gain control and transparency over medical bills. Upcoming changes to its model have health care price experts wondering whether the state is making improvements or losing focus.
An Arm and a Leg: A $229,000 Medical Bill Goes to Court
Lisa French was told her surgery would cost $1,337. But the hospital sent her a bill for $229,000, then sued her. The case went all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court. The court’s ruling could have major implications for determining a “reasonable price” in health care.