No. of Recommendations: 4
http://online.wsj.com/article/SB1000142412788732474410457847...


Wall Street Journal, May 12, 2013

Top Care and Coverage Dilemmas
By ANNA WILDE MATHEWS

Consumers appear to be struggling more with worries about access to health care, while even those with coverage are running into barriers to getting some treatments authorized by insurers. ...

Each year, the nonprofit the Patient Advocate Foundation puts out a compilation of its cases—a total of 109,147 in 2012—that provides something of a snapshot of Americans' gripes and dilemmas related to health insurance, medical bills and disabilities.

Because the foundation focuses mostly on those with serious health issues, its data are tilted toward that population's concerns...

Among the top conditions suffered by patients that the nonprofit served were cancer, diabetes and cardiac disease. A little over one-third of them were uninsured, but 31% had commercial coverage and 23% were Medicare beneficiaries in 2012.

...

More patients than previously had difficulties getting treatment for a condition from a doctor or hospital. In some cases, this may have reflected a shortage of health-care providers, and in other cases they were requiring upfront payment before they offered care...
[end quote]

LBYMers often talk about the importance of an emergency fund (e-fund), which is cash that can be immediately accessed in an emergency. Often, the emergency is a car repair.

With healthcare providers increasingly requiring upfront payment before they offered care, an emergency fund becomes even more critical. Previously, patients could put care on a credit card and deal with the debt later.

Health care is a highly political subject but there's no politics involved when a person is sick and the doctor demands cash on the barrel head. Either you have it or you don't. This trend appears to be increasing.

Bottom line: LBYM and build up an e-fund.

Wendy
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