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By Eileen Ambrose eileen.ambrose@baltsun.com | November 24, 2009
It's not just uninsured patients who rack up steep medical bills. Even if you have insurance, you might not realize that your coverage is inadequate until you're sick and overwhelmed by co-payments and other health costs. "Medical costs are the single largest contributor to people declaring bankruptcy," often including those who already have insurance, said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group. To help consumers avoid getting buried under hospital bills, Families USA recently published a handbook, "Your Medical Bills: A Consumers Guide to Coping with Medical Debt," which is available online at www.familiesusa.
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NEWS
March 6, 2014
The article, "Officials mull next steps for state exchange" (March 2) omitted the possibility of Maryland seeking help from the one state that is on a sensible path to a workable, universal health care system - Vermont. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that lacks universal health care. As a result, despite spending more per capita on health care than any other nation on Earth, we still have some 50 million Americans without health insurance, of whom some 50,000 die needlessly every year because they cannot afford the health care they need and medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.
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NEWS
By JAMIE COURT AND JUDY DUGAN | May 11, 2006
Sometimes owning a health insurance policy is not the same thing as being covered. Many more American workers may be about to learn this hard lesson, and employees in Maryland have more to lose than most. A measure that is nearing a final vote in Congress would greatly expand the reach of insurers offering bare-bones plans that saddle policyholders with no cap on their payments once their paltry coverage limits are reached. Maryland, like New York and a few other states with strong consumer insurance protections, has so far been spared the misery inflicted by such junk insurance.
NEWS
August 20, 2013
As a supporter of universal health care who has spoken with many Marylanders on the issue, I can tell you that Justin Cuffley's recent commentary is representative of a growing disaffection with a health care system that puts profits ahead of people ( "A supporter sours on Obamacare," Aug. 15). We have been told to wait patiently for institutional reform to be handed down by the "experts," but for many people the result doesn't seem to be worth the wait. Those, like Mr. Cuffley, who are disabled and on fixed incomes have simply placed their bets on the "race to Medicare.
NEWS
By Judy Foreman and Judy Foreman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 25, 2005
It's bad enough to have to fight a serious illness. But more and more Americans are finding that, just when they're at their physical and emotional lowest, they must also fight the system to get help paying their medical bills. Sometimes, that's because they have no health insurance. Marcia Soule, 59, of Carver, Mass., for instance, received a diagnosis of breast cancer late in 2003 and quickly ran up $25,000 worth of medical debt that she had no way of paying. But shockingly, most of the time, financial crisis comes for people who have health insurance but discover, while they're still reeling from bad medical news, that their insurance isn't as good as they thought.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | July 31, 2002
The poor in Maryland are having trouble getting to medical care - and are running into debt and being hounded by collection agencies when they do get treated, according to a study released yesterday by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. "These people are clearly falling though the cracks in the system," said Dr. Thomas P. O'Toole, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and program officer for the Open Society Institute. O'Toole coordinated the study, in which medical students, working for the summer at the institute, interviewed 274 patients at health clinics and resource centers in the city.
NEWS
August 20, 2013
As a supporter of universal health care who has spoken with many Marylanders on the issue, I can tell you that Justin Cuffley's recent commentary is representative of a growing disaffection with a health care system that puts profits ahead of people ( "A supporter sours on Obamacare," Aug. 15). We have been told to wait patiently for institutional reform to be handed down by the "experts," but for many people the result doesn't seem to be worth the wait. Those, like Mr. Cuffley, who are disabled and on fixed incomes have simply placed their bets on the "race to Medicare.
NEWS
March 6, 2014
The article, "Officials mull next steps for state exchange" (March 2) omitted the possibility of Maryland seeking help from the one state that is on a sensible path to a workable, universal health care system - Vermont. The U.S. is the only developed country in the world that lacks universal health care. As a result, despite spending more per capita on health care than any other nation on Earth, we still have some 50 million Americans without health insurance, of whom some 50,000 die needlessly every year because they cannot afford the health care they need and medical debt is the leading cause of personal bankruptcy.
NEWS
By Kathleen Westcoat | March 23, 2010
Christine Kovach's name did not come up in the debate over health care reform, but she is emblematic of the millions of Americans who will benefit. Ms. Kovach, a Baltimore resident who owned a hardware store with her husband, couldn't afford health insurance after her husband's death several years ago. Without insurance, she lived through a medical nightmare. A scratch from a stray cat led to a serious infection, kidney failure, a leg amputation, six weeks in intensive care and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | July 2, 2013
Michael G. Rinn, a Cockeysville bankruptcy attorney and longtime Civil War enthusiast who played a pivotal role in the preservation of a historic Western Maryland battlefield, died Saturday of lung cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Hunt Valley resident was 61. "Aside from other talents and capabilities, Michael was a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee par excellence ; a position he held with distinction for over 25 years," said Zvi Guttman, a Baltimore bankruptcy trustee and longtime friend.
NEWS
By Frederick N. Rasmussen, The Baltimore Sun | July 2, 2013
Michael G. Rinn, a Cockeysville bankruptcy attorney and longtime Civil War enthusiast who played a pivotal role in the preservation of a historic Western Maryland battlefield, died Saturday of lung cancer at Gilchrist Hospice Care in Towson. The Hunt Valley resident was 61. "Aside from other talents and capabilities, Michael was a Chapter 7 bankruptcy trustee par excellence ; a position he held with distinction for over 25 years," said Zvi Guttman, a Baltimore bankruptcy trustee and longtime friend.
NEWS
By Kathleen Westcoat | March 23, 2010
Christine Kovach's name did not come up in the debate over health care reform, but she is emblematic of the millions of Americans who will benefit. Ms. Kovach, a Baltimore resident who owned a hardware store with her husband, couldn't afford health insurance after her husband's death several years ago. Without insurance, she lived through a medical nightmare. A scratch from a stray cat led to a serious infection, kidney failure, a leg amputation, six weeks in intensive care and hundreds of thousands of dollars in medical debt.
BUSINESS
By EILEEN AMBROSE | November 24, 2009
It's not just uninsured patients who rack up steep medical bills. Even if you have insurance, you might not realize that your coverage is inadequate until you're sick and overwhelmed by co-payments and other health costs. "Medical costs are the single largest contributor to people declaring bankruptcy," often including those who already have insurance, said Ron Pollack, executive director of Families USA, an advocacy group. To help consumers avoid getting buried under hospital bills, Families USA recently published a handbook, "Your Medical Bills: A Consumers Guide to Coping with Medical Debt," which is available online at www.familiesusa.
NEWS
By JAMIE COURT AND JUDY DUGAN | May 11, 2006
Sometimes owning a health insurance policy is not the same thing as being covered. Many more American workers may be about to learn this hard lesson, and employees in Maryland have more to lose than most. A measure that is nearing a final vote in Congress would greatly expand the reach of insurers offering bare-bones plans that saddle policyholders with no cap on their payments once their paltry coverage limits are reached. Maryland, like New York and a few other states with strong consumer insurance protections, has so far been spared the misery inflicted by such junk insurance.
NEWS
By Judy Foreman and Judy Foreman,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | February 25, 2005
It's bad enough to have to fight a serious illness. But more and more Americans are finding that, just when they're at their physical and emotional lowest, they must also fight the system to get help paying their medical bills. Sometimes, that's because they have no health insurance. Marcia Soule, 59, of Carver, Mass., for instance, received a diagnosis of breast cancer late in 2003 and quickly ran up $25,000 worth of medical debt that she had no way of paying. But shockingly, most of the time, financial crisis comes for people who have health insurance but discover, while they're still reeling from bad medical news, that their insurance isn't as good as they thought.
BUSINESS
By M. William Salganik and M. William Salganik,SUN STAFF | July 31, 2002
The poor in Maryland are having trouble getting to medical care - and are running into debt and being hounded by collection agencies when they do get treated, according to a study released yesterday by the Open Society Institute-Baltimore. "These people are clearly falling though the cracks in the system," said Dr. Thomas P. O'Toole, an assistant professor of medicine at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine and program officer for the Open Society Institute. O'Toole coordinated the study, in which medical students, working for the summer at the institute, interviewed 274 patients at health clinics and resource centers in the city.
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