New Jobs
Healthcare Scheduling Specialist- Part Time Medical Records Technician (HIT) HIM DATA INTEGRITY SPECIALIST - MEDICAL RECORDS Senior Medical Secretary Medical Scribe Medical Transcriptionist I Khmer Transcriber Healthcare Scheduling Specialist- Part Time Medical Receptionist Healthcare Scheduling Specialist- Part Time Medical Transcriptionist - DPOP Healthcare Scheduling Specialist- Part Time Remote- ED Facility Medical Coder Full Time Opportunity WMH Medical Secretary Remote Full- Time Inpatient Medical Coder Medical Records Representative CVSA - Days (FT) MedicalRecordClerk-Transcriptionist-StateHospital Malay Transcriber MEDICAL RECORDS TECHNICIAN Malay Transcriber Health Information Analyst (UTHP Medical Records) Remote Medical Coding HIM Recruiter HIM Technician Malay Transcriber Unit Secretary - Medical Oncology Firmware Development Engineer HSE Officer Pharmacovigilance Manager (Based in Manila, Philippines) Assistant Manager/Senior Assistant Manager, Digital Content & Social Media [LKCMedicine] Product Security Manager - Medical Accounts Assistant - Singapore Mobile App Developer Clinical Data Officer, Data Management, SICS Executive, Medical Services Principal Software Engineer Process Engineer, Giga CMP (GEM) Software Engineer (Back-end Development) Executive Director, Personal Loans Medical/Clinical Coder, ICD (Public Healthcare) #CO Senior Firmware Engineer Clinical Coder Renewal Design Officer LABORATORY ASSISTANT Accountant (6-months Contract) Backend Developer Full-Stack Developer / Programmer Social and Behavioural Scientist Robotics Coding Trainer Software Engineer 3 Junior Data Scientist – Real-World Evidence

‘An Arm and a Leg’: Hello? We Spend 12 Million Hours a Week on the Phone With Insurers

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen.

After Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer got back surgery years ago, he kept a file folder labeled “Blue Shield Troubles.”

When Pfeffer got an offer to collaborate with the polling company Gallup, he suggested a study on how much time Americans spend on the phone with their health insurers. Gallup agreed.

Their finding: We spend about 12 million hours a week calling our health insurance. (They also found that, as workers, calling our health insurance companies means we’re more likely to miss work, and to be more checked-out and burned-out on the job.)

And given all that … it’s important to know as much as possible about who we’re actually on the phone with when we make those calls. Like, how do they make money? What are the incentives?

Here’s something few of us know: In many cases, the companies are not actually getting paid to provide insurance. If you get your insurance through work, your employer probably “self-insures.” (That’s true for about two-thirds of all workers, and more than 90% of people who work for companies with more than 1,000 employees.)

But it isn’t obvious if your job self-insures. You’ll have an insurance card that says Cigna or United or Aetna etc. But you’re operating in a different universe. For instance, self-funded plans are governed by federal law, so your state insurance commission can’t step in and help. And that’s just a start. 

In this episode, we start to get our bearings on that different universe. We talk to Pfeffer, to one of our favorite insurance brains, Karen Pollitz of KFF and to journalist Leslie Walker, whose reporting for the podcast “Tradeoffs” indicates that when companies are playing their role in “self-insured” setups, they can get up to some shady practices. And the employers they’re working for — even big, powerful outfits — often don’t exercise a lot of oversight or even have a lot of leverage.

Here’s a transcript for this episode.

“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.

To keep in touch with “An Arm and a Leg,” subscribe to the newsletter. You can also follow the show on Facebook and Twitter. And if you’ve got stories to tell about the health care system, the producers would love to hear from you.

To hear all KHN podcasts, click here.

And subscribe to “An Arm and a Leg” on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, StitcherPocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts.

KHN (Kaiser Health News) is a national newsroom that produces in-depth journalism about health issues. Together with Policy Analysis and Polling, KHN is one of the three major operating programs at KFF (Kaiser Family Foundation). KFF is an endowed nonprofit organization providing information on health issues to the nation.


This story can be republished for free (details).

Syndicated from