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Healthcare Orgs Starting to Charge Deductables Up Front


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In response to Obamacare and hospitals expecting people not to be able to pay their deductibles, healthcare companies are starting to require payment of your deductibles up front, prior to you being allowed to see a doctor.

 

I wonder how many people signing up for the Bronze plan, are going to come up with $4,000 to $8,000 at the counter before seeing a doctor.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-14/patients-pay-before-seeing-doctor-as-deductibles-spread.html

 

When Barbara Retkowski went to a Cape Coral, Florida, health clinic in August to treat a blood condition, she figured the center would bill her insurance company. Instead, it demanded payment upfront.

Earlier in the year, another clinic insisted she pay her entire remaining insurance deductible for the year -- more than $1,000 -- before the doctor would even see her.

“I was surprised and frustrated,” Retkowski, a 59-year-old retiree, said in an interview. “I had to pull money out of my savings.”

The practice of upfront payment for non-emergency care has been spreading in the U.S. as deductibles rise. Now, the advent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is likely to accelerate that trend.

Many of the plans offered through the law’s insurance exchanges have low initial premiums to attract customers, while carrying significant deductibles and other out-of-pocket cost sharing. The second-lowest tier of Obamacare plans in California, for example, carries a $2,000 annual deductible.

...And unless it’s an emergency situation, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a nonprofit hospital system based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, requires patients with insurance to pay their deductible, copay and co-insurance at the time of service, and the uninsured pay in full. The hospital has financial assistance available and says on its website that it can reschedule appointments if patients aren’t able to pay.

“We’re seeing a shift to patients with more high deductible plans, and it’s causing an increase in bad debt expense,” Dale Maxwell, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said by telephone. “The revenue pressures we are facing here are significant.”

Hospitals provided $41 billion in care for which no payment was received in 2011, up from $3.9 billion in 1980, according to a January report by the American Hospital Association. About 25 percent of uncompensated care stems from insured patients, Caroline Steinberg, vice president of trends analysis at the association, said in an interview.

 

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In response to Obamacare and hospitals expecting people not to be able to pay their deductibles, healthcare companies are starting to require payment of your deductibles up front, prior to you being allowed to see a doctor.

 

I wonder how many people signing up for the Bronze plan, are going to come up with $4,000 to $8,000 at the counter before seeing a doctor.

 

http://www.bloomberg.com/news/2013-10-14/patients-pay-before-seeing-doctor-as-deductibles-spread.html

 

When Barbara Retkowski went to a Cape Coral, Florida, health clinic in August to treat a blood condition, she figured the center would bill her insurance company. Instead, it demanded payment upfront.

Earlier in the year, another clinic insisted she pay her entire remaining insurance deductible for the year -- more than $1,000 -- before the doctor would even see her.

“I was surprised and frustrated,” Retkowski, a 59-year-old retiree, said in an interview. “I had to pull money out of my savings.”

The practice of upfront payment for non-emergency care has been spreading in the U.S. as deductibles rise. Now, the advent of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is likely to accelerate that trend.

Many of the plans offered through the law’s insurance exchanges have low initial premiums to attract customers, while carrying significant deductibles and other out-of-pocket cost sharing. The second-lowest tier of Obamacare plans in California, for example, carries a $2,000 annual deductible.

...And unless it’s an emergency situation, Presbyterian Healthcare Services, a nonprofit hospital system based in Albuquerque, New Mexico, requires patients with insurance to pay their deductible, copay and co-insurance at the time of service, and the uninsured pay in full. The hospital has financial assistance available and says on its website that it can reschedule appointments if patients aren’t able to pay.

“We’re seeing a shift to patients with more high deductible plans, and it’s causing an increase in bad debt expense,” Dale Maxwell, senior vice president and chief financial officer, said by telephone. “The revenue pressures we are facing here are significant.”

Hospitals provided $41 billion in care for which no payment was received in 2011, up from $3.9 billion in 1980, according to a January report by the American Hospital Association. About 25 percent of uncompensated care stems from insured patients, Caroline Steinberg, vice president of trends analysis at the association, said in an interview.

 

 

 

Most clinics I've been to over the years require patients to pay for their visits until the deductible is met. It was that way until I moved to an HMO and even then I've always been required to pay the copay at the time of the visit.

 

Also, I don't believe that someone going in for an antibiotic would be charged the entire deductible. The problem seems to be that these people are getting services that would cost above the amount of the deductible.

 

I don't understand why the ACA would be blamed for this when none of the plans have gone into effect yet?

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Apparently, health care providers have the morals of vipers....... Are they predominantly of YOUR political persuasion, gentlemen??? A chicken for the witch doctor up front or no magic juju for you??? Hate to say it, but single payer is way this is gonna go..... Its gone that way just about everywhere else.... and is simply a matter of time........

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Most clinics I've been to over the years require patients to pay for their visits until the deductible is met. It was that way until I moved to an HMO and even then I've always been required to pay the copay at the time of the visit.

 

Also, I don't believe that someone going in for an antibiotic would be charged the entire deductible. The problem seems to be that these people are getting services that would cost above the amount of the deductible.

 

I don't understand why the ACA would be blamed for this when none of the plans have gone into effect yet?

The dumb a$$ goofyboy seems to be telling us that if you go into the hospital emergency room for a simple procedure that might cost no more than several hundred dollars, their new policy is that they must charge you the whole 4,000 dollar deductible. Goofyboy seems to be mighty confused, but then we all know that he been that way since birth. Where do these cons come up with all this crazy crap?

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