I Got the Bill

Note: This is the third entry in my experiment with price transparency in the US health care system. See the first entry here, the second entry here, the fourth entry here, and the fifth entry here. I finally got the bill for the surgery (pdf). It was quite high compared to the estimate I received. […]

What is a Copay?

First of all, a plan with copays is usually going to be a waste of money. A copay is a dollar amount the health insurance company has specified that you’ll pay for either doctors visits or prescription drugs. A typical plan will have $25 doctors visit copays and $15 copays for generic Rx and $30 […]

Colorado Health Insurance and Bariatric Surgery

For the last few days, I’ve been pondering how I feel about health insurance paying for gastric bypass surgery. My first reaction is ‘no way!’ I don’t want to be subsidizing the cost of this surgery with my health insurance premiums. I tend to take a very hard-line approach to the current obesity crisis. It’s […]

Individual Health Insurance Jitters

Yesterday I was talking with a friend about what we would do if we had tons of money.  One of those pie in the sky conversations that makes you thing about what’s important in life.  Neither one of us is a big shopper – we’re both pretty frugal and didn’t think that would change much.  […]


It’s easy to see how people can be against socialized medicine, or even an expansion of Medicaid. The more people you hear about like “Ashley” on Yahoo Answers, the more it seems like you’re just subsidizing their irresponsibility. She asks… Hey all. Just the other day I went to apply for Medicaid. I live in […]

Still No Transparency

Note: This is the second entry in this nightmare to get some transparency on a simple lipoma removal surgery. See the first entry here, and the third entry here. I found a dermatologist that could remove my lipoma (if you haven’t done so already – read part 1) in her office (Boulder Valley Center for […]

Is Colorado Rising Above Bigotry?

It’s as if our country is blind to the dangers and risks of being run by theocracy, as seen in the middle east. The Christian right has battled for decades to make America a Christian run nation. Had they been successful in all of their battles, we would still have segregation, state sponsored anti-semitism, people […]

Pregnancy Expenses Revisited

I recently wrote a post about paying for pregnancy. A comment from a reader caught my attention and I felt that it deserved a mention and a few more of my thoughts on the matter. The problem with having a pool of money from all insurance companies to pay for pregnancy (or anything else) is […]

Steve Dieckhoff Benefit

Update: Steve Dieckhoff died Saturday morning (3/15) just as the sun began to rise, friends said. He was 56 years old. A memorial service in Boulder has not yet been scheduled. Daily Camera story here Latest info and pics here Steve Dieckhoff is a local Boulder rock climber who is battling lymphoma. His friends and […]

Misperception of a Free Market

Proponents of private health care make it sound really simple to the average person. I always hear the statement “A free market system will ensure the best price and service”. While that may be true with most other industries, that argument over simplifies what healthcare is and misses the point. I’ll show you what I […]

Paying for a Pregnancy

Lately I’ve been pondering the expenses involved with having a baby. Jay and I have been married four years, and we’ve started discussing the idea. Obviously, there are enormous costs that continue to accrue over the years – everything from cribs to college, most of which can be lowered through frugal living. But what about […]

What if…

What if businesses weren’t allowed to deduct the cost of employee health insurance benefits? And what if businesses were required to show the employees how much they pay for their benefits and offer the choice for the employee to either keep receiving the group insurance benefit or to get that same amount as a raise? […]


Note: This is the first entry in this nightmare to get some transparency on a simple lipoma removal surgery. See the second entry here, and the third entry here. I’ve had a lipoma on my right shoulder blade for the past 5 years. I didn’t do anything about it right away because the doctor told […]

COBRA Versus Individual Health Insurance

I came across a blog post this morning that talked about the loss of health insurance that goes along with being laid off from a job.  The author mentioned that COBRA is an option, and correctly explained that COBRA allows us to continue to get health insurance coverage through a former employer, as long as […]

Increased Demand = Better Health

With a new governor in place, Colorado has been proposing changes to the health care system lately. The recent Colorado State-of-the-State presentation focused on health care and boosting the ranks of Colorado insureds. One of the points that was made was that if we insure more people, there will be more of a demand for […]

Personal Accountability in Health Care

I strongly agree with Marcy Morrison, the Colorado Insurance Commissioner, on her recent statements regarding personal accountability for health: “If people take better care of themselves, we can look at other options besides how to get more care. We read a lot about diet and exercise, but we have to ignite the public to put […]

Bad Timing

A proposal to offer health insurance to about 180,000 Colorado children who lack coverage got bipartisan support Wednesday in a Senate committee. Senate Bill 211 would raise the income limits for kids to receive coverage under the Medicaid and Children’s Basic Health Plan programs. It also would fund a team of state workers to find […]

What We Have for Health Insurance

We only use our health insurance on the very rare occasion that I hurt myself snowboarding or riding my MUni. But we would like to have the protection there just in case something big does happen. And in the future, we would like to finance a childbirth or two, dental procedures, and maybe LASIK. And […]

Funny Logic

In Colorado, there is underwritten health insurance and there is guaranteed issue health insurance.  Underwritten health insurance has a much lower cost structure because they aren’t covering pre-existing conditions at all or without covering the cost with a premium increase, so it costs much less if you can qualify for it.  Employers that are paying […]

Colorado Approves Discount Drug Program

Reposted from: http://www.stateaction.org/blog/?p=462 The Colorado House and Senate approved SB 1, a bill which will allow people who cannot afford health insurance to buy discounted drugs through the state. The measure would authorize the state of Colorado to work in consultation with private sector pharmacies in order to negotiate the lowest possible prices for generic […]

Online Application Video Tutorials

We’ve been trying to figure out a convenient way to help people with the online application process for the various health insurance companies in Colorado that they can use at any hour. Our clients can call or email us with questions, but sometimes they just want to see a tutorial that they can just reference […]

What Its Like

I just spoke with a woman who got health insurance quotes on our website today. Turns out she was sitting in a Denver emergency waiting room when she got the quotes, and was still in the ER a few hours later when I called her. She and her husband have no health insurance, although their […]

Our Flawed Healthcare System

If you live in Colorado and don’t get your health insurance from your employer, finding health insurance can be difficult and confusing. The reason is because it’s not like shopping for any other insurance, financial, or retail product in the marketplace.  In Colorado, you have two choices: an underwritten individual/family plan a non-underwritten plan like […]

Tonik Rate Increase for Colorado Effective February 1, 2007

In 2005, Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Colorado launched Tonik, three simple, affordable and comprehensive individual PPO plans with a quick online application designed specifically for uninsured 20-somethings. So far, Tonik has done very well – in fact, 60 percent of Tonik applicants were previously uninsured, and 75 percent of Tonik applicants are […]

Specialty Drugs Boost Health Insurance Premiums in Colorado

Health insurance premiums in Colorado and the rest of the country are expected to increase by at least 10% in 2007, driven mainly by the cost of expensive specialty drugs. An article I just read from the Associated Press (published by the Insurance Journal) said that specialty drugs accounted for 19 %, or about $40 billion worth of pharmaceutical […]