Wednesday, October 29, 2014

A Holly Jolly LinkFest

Our good friend Holly R sends us some interesting links:

■ We've written before about how carriers have gotten, erm, imaginative in their efforts to rein in costs under the ObamaTax regime. In addition to rx limitations, another neat "trick" is to unbundle the cost of care:

"The therapist worked out of a local hospital ... he was surprised when the bill for each visit contained two charges: the approximately $100 he expected to see for the therapist — and a similar fee for the room, which was not covered."

Making it that much more challenging to predict the actual cost of care, and increasing that cost. Nice job, O'Care!

■ One way to cut costs, of course, is to encourage consumers to pick and choose their care with an eye toward efficiency and price. That's the premise behind Health Savings Accounts, and it's also the foundation of a new startup called Vitrals, which offers "a direct cash incentive to have your procedure at the health facility preferred by your employer and plan."

Thereby putting its money where your mouth (or other body part) is.

Very cool.

■ As we head into the midterms next week, the ObamaTax is sure to be on voters' minds:

"Americans who hold private health insurance spent more on medical services in 2013 even though they used fewer of them."

So much for the promise to lower both premiums and the actual cost of care.
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