Riding the Wave: How Healthcare Is Faring This Summer

What's Hot


2 Types of Black Marks Might Vanish From Your Credit File SoonBorrow

6 Ways the Obamacare Overhaul Might Impact Your WalletInsurance

7 Dumb and Costly Moves Homebuyers MakeBorrow

This Free Software Brings Old Laptops Back to LifeMore

Obamacare Replacement Plan Gets ‘F’ Rating from Consumer ReportsFamily

Beware These 12 Common Money MistakesCredit & Debt

21 Restaurants Offering Free Food Right NowSaving Money

17 Ways to Have More Fun for Less MoneySave

House Hunters: Beware of These 6 Mortgage MistakesBorrow

30 Household Uses for Baby OilSave

25 Ways to Spend Less on FoodMore

Nearly Half of Heart-Related Deaths Linked to These 10 Foods and IngredientsFamily

5 Surprising Benefits of Exercising Outdoors in WinterFamily

10 Ways to Save When You’re Making Minimum WageSave

Boost Your Credit Score Fast With These 7 MovesCredit & Debt

7 Painless Ways to Pay Off Your Mortgage Years EarlierBorrow

The Most Sinful City in the U.S. Is … (Hint: It’s Not Vegas)Family

The True Cost of Bad CreditCredit & Debt

10 Companies With the Best 401(k) PlansGrow

This Scam Now Tops ID Theft as the No. 2 Consumer ComplaintFamily

6 Stores With Awesome Reward ProgramsFamily

6 Ways to Save More at Lowe’s and The Home DepotSave

6 Healthful Treats for Your DogFamily

New Study Ranks the Best States in the U.S.Family

Thousands of Millionaires Moving to 1 Country — and Leaving AnotherGrow

Strapped for College Costs? How to Get the Most From FAFSABorrow

6 Overlooked Ways to Save at Chick-fil-AFamily

Ask Stacy: What’s the Fastest Way to Pay Off My Mortgage?Borrow

Where to Sell Your Stuff for Top DollarAround The House

8 Ways to Get a Good Price on a Shiny New AutoCars

Ask Stacy: How Do I Start Over?Credit & Debt

Secret Cell Plans: Savings Verizon, AT&T, T-Mobile and Sprint Don’t Want You to Know AboutFamily

30 Awesome Things to Do in RetirementCollege

14 Super Smart Ways to Save on TravelSave

The Rich Prefer Modest Cars — Should You Join Them?Cars

You’ll Soon Pay More to Shop at CostcoSave

10 Ways to Save When Your Teen Starts DrivingFamily

Consumer confidence in the healthcare system is still low, a quarter of Americans are skipping medical care because of the cost, and even government is cutting benefits. Here's what you can do.

This hasn’t been a carefree summer for healthcare. In fact, the heat is on. First, the bad news…

Patient, Heal Thyself

With unemployment still high, one in five Americans didn’t seek medical care for a recent illness or injury – with four out of 10 citing cost as the big reason.

The Deloitte Center for Health Solutions surveyed more than 4,000 adults this summer and found a steep decline in the number of consumers who visited a physician or healthcare professional in the past year: 79 percent of in 2010 compared with 85 percent in 2009.

Your Reputation Needs Surgery

You’ve heard of the Consumer Price Index. What about the Consumer Healthcare Sentiment Index?

A company called Thomson Reuters has been measuring that for years, and the June results [PDF] show no change from May – which was a new low.

“Fifty percent of respondents expect healthcare reform to increase healthcare costs,” said Gary Pickens, chief research officer at Thomson Reuters. “That concern is showing up in our consumer sentiment data.”

Local Governments Get Tough

The common wisdom isn’t so common anymore: If you want good healthcare, work for the government.

Local governments are cutting way back on healthcare – especially for their retirees, claims a new report from the Center for State and Local Government Excellence. In a survey of more than 200 local governments, the center found…

  • 36 percent have increased or plan to increase the years of service required to be vested in their retirement healthcare plans.
  • 11 percent have increased the retirement age.
  • 39 percent have eliminated or plan to eliminate all retiree health benefits for new hires.

Consumers Drive the Debate

Another study actually contains some good news. The nonpartisan Employee Benefit Research Institute has just released a detailed summary of about consumer-driven health plans. CDHPs, as they’re known, have been around for a decade and usually refer to higher-deductible health plans that have a number of innovations in them – such as health savings accounts and health reimbursement accounts.

CDHPs are controversial: While they benefit healthier, younger people who want more control over their healthcare choices, they can be confusing for the less wealthy and educated. But they’re catching on, according to the new report…

  • More than 19 million Americans, or 11 percent of individuals with private health insurance, were enrolled in a CDHP in 2009.
  • Generally, premiums for CDHPs were lower than premiums for non-CDHPs. (Growth in premiums varies both by type of plan and over time.)

The study also found that participants in CDHPs are also savvier about saving money. They use more generic drugs, and CDHP enrollees increased their use of the mail-order pharmacy option.” So in this anything-but-lazy summer of healthcare crises, you may want to look into CDHPs. But read this first: Is High Deductible Heath Insurance Healthy?

Stacy Johnson

It's not the usual blah, blah, blah

I know... every site you visit wants you to subscribe to their newsletter. But our news and advice is actually worth reading! For 25 years, I've been making people richer without making their eyes glaze over. You'll be glad you did. I guarantee it!

💰🗣📰

Read Next: Costco Releases Dozens of New Deals

Check Out Our Hottest Deals!

We're always adding new deals and coupons that'll save you big bucks. See the deals to the right and hundreds more in our Deals section.

Click here to explore 1,967 more deals!