Smart Medical Consumer

News about SmartMedicalConsumer

05/19/2009 Business Week: America"s most promising startups: Declaring War on Medical Billing Errors

05/07/2009 Wall Street Jourmal article "Tallying the Cost to Bring Baby Home" recommends Smart Medical Consumer ( as the service to help you organize your bills and look for errors.

02/25/2008 Press Release: Smart Medical Consumer Enhances Web-Based Medical Expense Management Service to Increase Billing Error Detection and Simplify Record Keeping

02/22/2008 Nikkei: Japan"s leading financial newspaper features an article about Smart Medical Consumer"s Founder and CEO. (scan of Japanese version)

10/25/2007 New York Times: Experience-Based Ventures Help Fight the Frustrations of Fighting Breast Cancer

09/04/2007 Wall Street Journal: New Services Help Unsnarl Medical Bills

03/19/2007 Business Week: Entrepreneurs to Watch

01/31/2007 Press Release: SmartMedicalConsumer Introduces Web Service for Medical Expense Management

News about Consumer Medical Expense Management

06/25/2015 Affordable Care Act passes Supreme Court second time The Supreme Court on Thursday upheld a key part of the Affordable Care Act that provides health insurance subsidies to all qualifying Americans.

05/27/2013 Obamacare is working Law\'s most important test case California suggests that the real Obamacare shock will be one of unexpected success.

02/01/2013 Birth control insurance coverage President Obama offers a compromise to religious leaders over the inclusion of contraceptives in employees\' health insurance plans by proposing to separate birth control from other benefits.

06/28/2012 Obamacare is here to stay The U.S. Supreme Court upheld the health care law enacted by President Barack Obama.

12/14/2011 Dramatic increase in coverage for young Americans that has historically lacked insurance The healthcare law signed by President Obama last year has now helped as many as 2.5 million young adults get health insurance. Since the beginning of 2010, when the law was enacted, the percentage of Americans aged 19 to 25 without health insurance dipped from 34 to 29 percentage.

08/01/2011 Insurers must cover birth control with no copays The Obama administration requires that health insurance plans must cover birth control as preventive care for women, with no copays. The new requirements will take effect January 1, 2013.

06/07/2011 Health insurance cancellations Although Affordable Care Act prohibits insurance companies from rescinding coverage, consumers still need to be careful about termination rules.

03/21/2010 Historic moment! House passed the health care reform bill. Big relief for American people, especially for people with preconditions!

02/21/2010 President Obama\'s new health reform proposal Read what President\'s health insurance reform would mean for you and your family

01/01/2010 Beginning January 1, 2010, changes in the law makes more people on Medicare to qualify for Extra Help with their Medicare prescription drug plan costs Life insurance policy does no longer count as a resource; and the help received regularly from someone else to pay household expenses does no longer count as income. Income limits are $16,245 a year for singles and $21,855 for married couples living together. Assets such as stocks, bonds and bank accounts must be limited to $12,510 for singles and $25,010 for married couples. The value of homes and automobiles are excluded.

09/24/2009 No premium increase for Medicare recipients The House passed the bill to eliminate all premium increases for Medicare Part B patients. The bill now goes to the Senate. Medicare Part B provides coverage for doctor\'s visits. The bill would not affect scheduled increases in premiums for the Medicare prescription drug program, known as Part D. Average monthly premiums for the drug program will increase slightly, from $28 this year to $30 in 2010.

05/11/2009 President Obama announces that several industry groups, including insurers, hospitals and drug industry, signed a commitment for reducing the health care cost. Although it is not clear yet, how this will be accomplished, it is a step forward towards the promised hope that the average family of four could be saving $2,500 in health care costs annually.

05/05/2009 Insurance industry promises not to charge women higher premiums. Women who are covered by individiual health insurance plans pay higher premiums than men. On May 5 2009, the insurance industry told Congress that they would stop this practice.

03/24/2009 Hope for lower insurance premiums for people with preexisting conditions In a letter to the senators, the health insurance industry offered to stop its practice of charging higher premiums to people with preexisting conditions. America\'s Health Insurance Plans and the Blue Cross and Blue Shield Association say they are willing to phase out the practice of varying premiums based on health status in the individual market if all Americans are required to get coverage.

02/17/2009 How will stimulus bill impact your healthcare expenses? If you are eligible for COBRA health insurance continuation, 65 percent of your COBRA premiums might be subsidized for up nine months. Who is eligible? 1- Employees laid off between September 1, 2008 and December 31, 2009. 2- Employees who were laid off since September 2008, and who had initially declined COBRA will have 60 days to elect it. Who is not eligible? Employees whose income in the year they would receive it exceeds $125,000 for individuals and $250,000 for families.

01/20/2009 The promise of affordable and quality healthcare for every American is now at the White House website. President Obama and Vice President Biden promise that under the plan, if you like your current health insurance, nothing changes, except your costs will go down by as much as $2,500 per year. If you don.t have health insurance, you will have a choice of new, affordable health insurance options.

01/13/2009 UnitedHealth and Oxford Insurance are accused for underreimbursing people. One of the nation\'s largest health insurers has agreed to pay $50 million in a settlement announced today after being accused of overcharging millions of Americans for health care.

10/15/2008 California forbids hospitals and physicians to bill patients for the balance of emergency care not covered by insurers When patients use emergency care doctors and hospitals that are not in \ntheir insurer\'s network, these hospitals and physicians are not allowed to\nbill them for more than what their health plan determines is a\nreasonable and customary dollar amount. Effective on October 15, 2008, \nthis ban will save consumers money and time and frustration spent in disputing these charges.

10/03/2008 Bailout Includes Better Mental Health Insurance More than one-third of Americans will soon receive better insurance coverage\nfor mental health treatments, required by a new law, included in the economic\nbailout bill signed on October 3, 2008.

09/08/2008 Facing Veto, Democrats Drop Plan for Vote on Child Bill It might be better for Congress to vote on the SCHIP legislation next year rather than this year. Democrats say they have shifted course, after concluding that President Bush would not sign their legislation and that they could not override his likely veto.\nWhy would you pass a bill now when, in six months, you could get a better bill covering more uninsured children.

09/08/2008 United States Presidential Elections 2008 and Healthcare: Barack Obama

09/08/2008 United States Presidential Elections 2008 and Healthcare: John McCain

09/08/2008 Presidential Election 2008 and Healthcare Learn more about the solutions for healthcare issues being offered by the candidates for the US Presidency.

06/24/2017 Cross-border healthcare in European Union European Union citizens will be able to shop for medical care around the 27-nation bloc without prior authorization from their insurer, under the new proposal.

05/27/2008 New York Times: S.E.C. Backs Health Care Balloting The Securities and Exchange Commission, shifting its position, has told companies they must allow shareholders to vote on a proposal for universal health insurance coverage.

05/06/2008 Wall Street Journal: Wal-Mart Widens Drug Discounts Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is expanding its cut-rate prescription-drug program and will sell 90-day supplies of more than 300 generic drugs for only $10.

04/19/2008 New York Times: Medicare Plans Affected by Rising Drug Costs Employers and patients in corporate health plans are not the only ones affected by the soaring prices of specialty drugs. Enrollees in Medicare drug plans are also feeling the pressure.

04/19/2008 New York Times: President is Rebuffed on Program for Children The Bush administration violated federal law last year when it restricted states. ability to provide health insurance to children of middle-income families, and its new policy is therefore unenforceable, lawyers from the Government Accountability Office said Friday.

01/17/2008 New York State Child Health Plus New York Governor Eliot Spitzer\'s Executive Budget expands the State Children\'s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP). The budget provides funding to expand the State\'s version of SCHIP, Child Health Plus, by increasing income eligibility levels from 250 percent to 400 percent of the Federal Poverty Level, making New York\'s program one of the most comprehensive in the nation. Governor Spitzer made this announcement during his State of the State address and full details of the plan will be outlined in Governor Spitzer\'s Executive Budget Presentation on Tuesday, January 22, 2008.

01/15/2008 Wall Street Journal: Insurers Stop Paying for Care Linked to Errors As insurers roll out the policy across the country, they say they are structuring their contracts with hospitals so that the hospitals also won\'t be able to charge patients for care made necessary by medical errors. Given the high rate of medical billing errors, however, consumer advocates advise patients to examine their bills carefully, especially if they are aware of errors or problems that occurred during their stay. People with health insurance should check their bills against the explanation of benefits they receive from the health plan, or press their insurers to make sure they haven\'t been overcharged.

01/04/2008 Wall Street Journal: Major insurance companies claim that they\'ll pay for second-opinion breast-cancer tests Breast-cancer patients may be getting the wrong treatment because of errors in two laboratory tests widely used to determine which drugs are prescribed. Several major private insurers, including UnitedHealth, Aetna Inc. and WellPoint Inc., say they will generally pay for second-opinion breast-cancer tests. However, few doctors order them.

06/24/2017 The Basics: 8 most common hospital billing errors Make no mistake about it: Making sure that all the charges on your hospital bill are justified and reasonable is a formidable undertaking. But it can be easier if you know what to look for.

11/01/2007 New York Times: Expecting Presidential Veto, Senate Passes Child Health Insurance

10/18/2007 New York Times: House Sustains President\'s Veto on Child Health

10/14/2007 Seattle Times: Families held hostage by health-care costs

10/17/2007 Los Angeles Times: Child health: to compromise or stand firm

10/04/2007 CNN Money: Health care: Fighting denied claims If your health insurer refuses to reimburse you for a claim, you\'re not alone. Denial of health care claims happens all the time. But we\'ll tell you how you can fight back against your insurer to get the coverage you deserve.

06/14/2007 CNN Money: Correcting medical billing snafus Should you notice something amiss in an invoice, she says, don\'t pay it. Instead, initiate a dispute by phoning the billing office, making sure to write down the time, date, name of person you speak with. Follow up with a letter, sent via certified mail, to the highest person in the department. (Once they have a written complaint, most providers halt the collections process until the case is closed.)

04/18/2006 NPR: Americans Paying for Medical Billing Errors The high cost of health care in America may be even higher than you think. Day to Day personal finance contributor Michelle Singletary speaks with Alex Chadwick about medical billing errors, and what consumers can do to make sure that they\'re not paying for those mistakes.

02/09/2006 CNN Money: Fight back: Malpractice in the billing department Between errors and bill padding, fighting a hospital overcharge or denied medical claim can take some smart strategies.

06/27/2004 Washington Post: Killer Billing Errors: Duplicate Charges. Faulty Totals. Your Hospitals Mistakes Can Ruin You Just about everyone agrees that the medical billing process makes little sense from a consumer\'s perspective. Prices vary wildly on procedures as routine as a root canal, even within the same community. One surgical procedure will generate a bill from the hospital, another bill from the surgeon, and more from the radiologist, the anesthesiologist and maybe a pathologist. Then there are those pesky pricing codes, attached to everything from a latex glove to a cotton swab. One slip of a keystroke by a billing clerk can dramatically alter the tally.

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