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How to Figure Out the Cost of Your Medical Care


Photo Credit: Cancer Therapy Advisor

Photo Credit: Cancer Therapy Advisor

Here is a link to an article from CBS News with some very practical advice on this thorny topic. I’m excited to say that some of our research on physician/patient communication was mentioned in the article. Enjoy it!

If you’re like most people, you’re paying more for your health care — and stressing about it, too. Average annual out-of-pocket costs for people in the workforce have increased almost 230 percent in the past decade, reports Kaiser Family Foundation.

Out-of-pocket costs are the main reason for the increase in underinsured Americans — people with medical bills that are more than they can afford. More than 30 million people are in that category, according to the Commonwealth Fund 2014 Biennial Health Insurance survey. Half of them reported problems with medical bills or debt, and 44 percent reported not getting the care they needed because of the expense.

No wonder 66 percent of consumers rank planning for out-of-pocket health care costs as the most challenging and stressful aspect of managing their health care, benefits firm Alegeus reported in a survey it released Wednesday.

Not only do consumers find paying for health care stressful, they also find it confusing. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed said they found it difficult to understand the difference between benefit options, while 45 percent said the same about calculating what each option would cost, according to the report. “As we see a continued increase in premiums and deductibles, more of the health care cost burden is on consumers,” said Steve Auerbach, chief executive officer of Alegeus. “But they’re not prepared.”

What out-of-pocket health care costs are you likely to face? Here’s a brief rundown.

To read the rest of this article, please visit CBS News.

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