KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations.

One Woman Fails To Get Hospital Estimate Of Baby Delivery Bill

A New York Times reporter details her uninsured daughter's struggle to find out what she will have to pay when she gives birth.

The New York Times: What Does Birth Cost? Hard To Tell
We're continually told that when it comes to health care, we need to be savvy and shop around for the best prices. To that end, policy experts and politicians promote health care savings accounts, saying they make "health care consumers" (a k a patients) more conscious of prices, bringing down the cost of medical care. Here is what happened to my daughter, Therese Allison, when she tried to be just the sort of shrewd and informed patient that politicians should love (Kolata, 7/8).

Meanwhile, a new study examines coverage options and choices for low-income consumers.

Kaiser Health News: Capsules: Researchers Look At Why Poor Patients Prefer Hospital Care
Long wait times, jammed schedules, confusing insurance plans – there's no shortage of obstacles between a patient and her doctor. That is, if she has a doctor. But a Health Affairs study published Monday says the barriers for poor people looking to get care are even higher, and it's leading them away from preventive doctor visits and toward emergency rooms and costly, hospital-based care (Rao, 7/8).

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