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Hospitals clash with Anthem Blue Cross over health care prices, leaving patients in a lurch

Original post made on Jul 12, 2021

Bay Area hospitals have accused Anthem of penny pinching and paying less for services than other insurers, while Anthem describes health care costs in Northern California as unreasonably high and partly to blame.

Read the full story here Web Link posted Friday, July 9, 2021, 4:42 PM

Comments (8)

Posted by William Hitchens
a resident of Mountain View
on Jul 12, 2021 at 10:18 am

William Hitchens is a registered user.

"Bay Area hospitals have accused Anthem of penny pinching and paying less for services than other insurers". Exactly my feeling toward Anthem Blue Cross during my brief, frustrating experience with them as a covered patient. The had far too many exclusions, limitations, and high deductibles.

Posted by plantfruittrees
a resident of Greendell/Walnut Grove
on Jul 12, 2021 at 11:17 am

plantfruittrees is a registered user.

Anthem yanked Stanford off its list several years ago without notifying its customers. They should be required to at least do that much. My doctor sent me straight to the ER in an emergency and I had no idea that as of the day before I had, as far as I can tell, no covered hospital--Stanford had always been the approved one on our plan.

Stanford notified me first that the bill was $13k but that it should not be my problem that Anthem was refusing to pay; they told me they would bill me my usual co-pay only and they would pursue Anthem for the rest, specifically because they wanted me to get healthcare when I needed it and not to be afraid to come in.

After that, I got a brusque letter from Anthem saying so sad too bad you were not covered and it's your fault for not checking on your way in. Gee thanks, way to impress your customers.

We don't have Anthem anymore.

Posted by James Fisher
a resident of Menlo Park
on Jul 12, 2021 at 11:48 am

James Fisher is a registered user.

Anthem Blue Cross is a low-balling medical insurance company regardless if one is a patient or a hospital administrator.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 12, 2021 at 10:48 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

My health insurer - Health Net sent out a letter saying that they were attacked by the ransome ware people and all of the person's information has been taken - who knows to where. And each individual is suppose to go through all types of action to protect themselves. One of the things that I do is check in with PAMC to see what insurer's they are currently accepting. Way back when Aetna was not accepted. I have found that when I was not on Medicare I got really good service. When I went on Medicare with a supplemental plan the service was not so good - they cannot bill enough for what they do and have all type restrictions.
El Camino came through for me with covid shots. My insurance paid for all of that but I am not happy with Health Net. I was considering Anthem but now will keep looking. All of the issues now with everything you touch that uses money is falling apart.

Posted by Penny Kobiesky
a resident of Los Altos
on Jul 13, 2021 at 8:16 am

Penny Kobiesky is a registered user.

Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren's concept of Medicare for all could remedy this problem by eliminating insurance companies altogether.

A government-issued healthcare card that the insured could use anywhere and for anything (except cosmetic surgery) would seal the deal on a comprehensive national insurance plan and billings could then go directly to the federal government for compensation.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2021 at 9:05 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Medicare is deducted out of my social security payment - in part. Social security is based on the money people put in while working. All asssumption now are based on the fact that someone worked - paid taxes (FICA) and now is being paid back based on what was deducted while working. Bernie does not addrss the whole scenario - financial set-up of the total Social Security plan - which includes Medicare. Yes - this whole situation needs some good thinking and work. But having money deducted out of my social security payment to patially offset the cost of Medicare is one of those considertions.

Posted by L. Malbec
a resident of Portola Valley
on Jul 13, 2021 at 9:31 am

L. Malbec is a registered user.

Funding a national Medicare For All program would require serious federal budgetary considerations and constraints.

Where would the money come from?

Various cuts in other federal programs would be required and this would lead to even more partisan bickering between current Republicans and Democrats.

The Republicans as a rule are not too keen on expanded social programs and would rather allocate large sums of taxpayer dollars to the military effort.

And while the United States must remain adequately prepared for an eventual military conflict with China, the recently created U.S. Space Force is an unnecessary budgetary drain as is sending foreign aid to other countries.

By cutting foreign aid, the United States could implement a national health care program.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows
a resident of Adobe-Meadow
on Jul 13, 2021 at 5:04 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

Back to Bernie - people in Congress get all type of benefits that the rest of the working force does not. When he talks about Medicare it is unclear to me if he even is dirctly involved. His Congressional package pays for his medical. When people throw out a Medicare for ALL I have to wonder if they even understand what that means - does their congressional package for health just pay out what ever with no consideration as to what is the "normal" way this is handeled.

People in Congress are not working on what the normal citizen is subject to. If we assume that everyone here is working with what is the normal then your Medicare Card and value is based on your earning power while working - how much was paid in as FICA over your working life. That also addresses the amount of Social Security you are entitled to when you apply for payments. People - when working typically get a report each year as to how much was paid in to the system. This is an organized financial system - you don't just run in the door an say change it.

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