Sunday November 23, 2014

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Consumer-Driven Health News



Why You Have the Wrong Kind of Health Insurance

High deductibles are causing patients to skip health care they really need. At the same time, there are no deductibles or copayments for a whole slew of services that people don’t need or could easily pay for out of pocket. What’s the common denominator here? Obamacare.

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Consumers Fail Health Literacy Test

A new national study of consumers by the American Institutes for Research finds that though consumers say they understand health care and insurance, many lack basic knowledge and fail to ask questions about what they’re getting in their policy before they enroll. The news comes just weeks before open enrollment begins. And researchers say the wide gaps in literacy is a recipe for disaster.

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Some Say Paying the Doctor Directly Makes Sense

An increasing number of medical providers are taking on a business model that avoids Obamacare’s additional unhealthy layers of regulation. By cutting out the middleman insurer, more doctors are delivering primary-care services to patients in exchange for direct payment. Also known as “concierge care,” direct primary care has been a niche market for years. While it once catered to affluent patients, the trend is now shifting toward offering affordable services to middle-class and low-income patients.

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How Much Will Apple Bite Into Consumer Health?

Apple’s recent moves in the health and wellness technology segment are not yet on the level of game-changers such as the iPod and the iPhone. But the coming release of the Apple Watch and the company’s HealthKit app has people talking — and competitors watching carefully.

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On Obamacare's Second Birthday, Whither the HSA?

Reports of the death of Health Savings Accounts under Obamacare have been greatly exaggerated. While there were real concerns last year about whether HSAs would survive Obamacare’s heavy-handed, expensive regulations, they are, in fact, available on Obamacare exchanges for the vast majority of uninsured Americans. Whether these plans thrive under Obamacare is another matter entirely.

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