Disturbing Trends in Kaiser Health Insurance Survey

Low-wage workers tend to pay more for less robust health insurance coverage, according to a new survey. For family health care plans, employees at lower-wage companies paid an average of $700 more per year, despite the typical policy for these workers being worth $1000 less than average.

Medicare Patients Spend Thousands Out of Pocket at End of Life

Using data from a national longitudinal survey, Mt. Sinai professor Amy Kelley looked at out-of-pocket medical costs near the end of life and uncovered some sobering statistics. A whopping 43 percent of Medicare patients end up spending more than the total value of their assets, excluding real estate, on end-of-life care, while 25 percent spent all their assets including including any money from home or property.

The Takeaway: Couples Need $240,000 For Health Care In Retirement

Oof. The latest estimate of an average American couple’s retirement health care costs is $240,000. The calculation, from Fidelity Investments, is based on a 65-year-old couple with Medicare coverage, and factors in things like premiums, co-pays, deductibles and out-of-pocket prescription drug costs. It doesn’t factor in things like long-term care, dental services, over-the-counter meds or hearing aids.

An Appendectomy Costs How Much? $1,500 to $182,000 Study Shows

It was a simple question: How much do hospitals charge to remove an appendix? The answer stunned researchers at the University of California, San Francisco. As the Associated Press reported, the researchers found that California hospitals charge anywhere from the price of a refrigerator to the cost of a house. For this common procedure, patient bills varied from as little as $1,529 to as much as $182,955, with an average of $33,000 — and experts worry that the situation isn’t …

The Takeaway: New Guide to Medical Tourism Worldwide

Research Overseas Healthcare Options Easily: Traveling4Health & Retirement (THR) has just launched an interactive online map of overseas medical resources, including places for “medical tourism“””traveling to foreign countries specifically for lower-cost medical care. With the ever-increasing costs of U.S. healthcare, it’s a practice more Americans have been embracing in recent years.

The Takeaway: Middle-Income Americans Satisfied With Medicare; Talk To Docs About Herbal Remedies

A recent survey, conducted by Bankers Life and Casualty Company, found 82 percent of middle-income Americans on Medicare say they’re ‘extremely’ or ‘very’ satisfied with access t0 and quality of health care. Only 2 percent said they were ‘not satisfied’ with Medicare access and quality.