News Round-Up: Dangerous Insurance Practices of 2018

This year, big insurance has continued to use questionable ethics as they’ve rolled out new policies and continue to cut in-network deals. While insurance companies and their CEOs become wealthier, patients are directly discouraged from seeking care as they experience emergency medical symptoms. When they seek care, insured patients often suffer from crippling medical debt as a result of their treatment. To give you an idea of the effects of these practices this year, here are a handful of news articles: 

Prudent Layperson Under Attack

1.       “Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas Delays Controversial Change After Backlash”

This mid-2018 article showcases emergency physicians’ drive to protect patients in the wake of dangerous insurance practices.

2.       “BCBS of Texas To Stop Reimbursing Nonemergent ER Visits”

Despite push back, BCBS TX rolled out a policy that goes against the Prudent Layperson standard, following the establishment of similar policies in other states throughout 2017.

3.       “Physicians Say BCBS of Georgia Has Denied Hundreds of Patients’ ER Claims: ‘This Puts Patients in A Terrible Position’”

Risk to patient health is discussed in this article about big insurance’s denial of its Georgia policyholder’s ER claims.

Surprise Bills

1.       “Taken for A Ride: M.D. Injured In ATV Crash Gets $56,603 Bill For Air Ambulance Trip”

Big insurance business deals increase insurer profits but saddle ER patients with extreme amounts of debt, as discussed in this article about one patient’s balance bill for a life-saving air ambulance trip.

2.       “A Jolt to The Jugular! You’re Insured but Still Owe $109K For Your Heart Attack”

As part of Kaiser Family Foundation’s “Bill of the Month” series, this article takes an in-depth look at the practice of balance billing by highlighting one insured patient’s $109k bill after life-saving treatment for a heart attack.