Posts Tagged With: medical bills

Deceptive Stem Cell Therapy

People spend billions of dollars each year on health-related products and treatments that don’t deliver. People who buy them are cheated out of their money, their time, and even their health.

The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) reports  that California-based Regenerative Medical Group, Telehealth Medical Group, and Dr. Bryn Jarald Henderson, the founder of both companies, sold false hope at high prices.

These companies and Dr. Henderson used social media and websites to promote stem cell therapy for all kinds of health issues affecting older adults and children. Supposedly, it could treat and cure diseases and health conditions such as Parkinson’s disease, autism, dementia, depression, multiple sclerosis, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injury, heart disease, macular degeneration, chronic kidney disease, osteoarthritis, and stroke. Dr. Gunderson  charged up to $15,000 for their initial stem cell therapy and up to $8,000 for follow-up treatments.

But, according to the FTC, these claims were not backed up by any scientific studies and, in fact, no studies have established that stem cells cure, treat, or reduce the severity of diseases or health conditions in humans. With the exception of a few FDA-approved treatments, stem cell therapy is still largely experimental.

Are you — or someone you know — thinking about stem cell therapy?  If so,

  • Be skeptical about amazing health claims.
  • Don’t trust a website just because it looks professional, uses medical terms, or has success stories from “real people.”
  • Talk to your health care professional before you consider any medical treatment.

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  •  Help students understand that health information, whether online or in print, should come from a trusted source.
  • Let students make a list of the richest and most reliable sources of health information and share it with the class.

Discussion Questions

  1. Why is it important to seek a second or even third opinion from a qualified health care provider before trying experimental medical procedures?
  2. What can the FTC and other federal/state governmental agencies do to prevent such businesses to make deceptive treatments.
Categories: Chapter 9, Frauds and Scams, Health Insurance | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

What If Social Security Denies Your Disability Benefits?

If Social Security denied your disability benefits, you can file an appeal online, even if you live outside of the United States.

The online appeals application is simple, convenient and secure, guiding you through every step of the process.  From outlining your rights to an appeal, to publications on the appeals process, a fair review of your Social Security is right at your fingertips.  The online application even allows you to upload supporting documentation, like treatments, doctors, and medical reports, as well as an option to save your submissions.

Submitting all the necessary documents will save time and can help return a faster decision.  Here are some things you’ll need when ready to submit an appeal:

  • Doctors, hospitals, medical treatments, and tests since you last gave medical information to Social Security,
  • Medicines you are currently taking, and
  • Changes in your medical conditions, daily activities, work and education

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students if they know someone whose disability benefits were denied? If so, how was the problem resolved?
  • What can you do if Social Security benefits are not sufficient to support your family?

Discussion Questions

  1. Does Social Security provide work incentives that allow people to work and still receive their disability benefits?
  2. Does Social Security provide benefits for partial disability or short-term disability?
  3. How does Social Security define disability?
Categories: Chapter 9, Disability Insurance | Tags: , , | Leave a comment

A Boost To Your Credit Score?

Your credit score, which is mainly based on your history of repaying loans, can determine your ability to borrow money and how much you will pay for it.  Here is good news for some consumers: Your score may improve as a result of changes in how credit reports and scores are compiled.

FICO, a company that provides software used to produce many consumer credit scores, announced that unpaid medical debt will not have as big an impact on the new version of its most popular credit score.  And the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) announced that it will require the major consumer reporting agencies to provide regular accuracy reports to the Bureau on how disputes from consumers are being handled.  The CFPB said medical debt in particular is a source of numerous complaints because billing process can be complicated and confusing to consumers.  The CFPB noted that the accuracy reports will help it hold credit reporting companies accountable for ensuring that erroneous information does not damage your credit score.

These changes may help raise some consumers’ credit scores and reduce their borrowing costs.  In general, though, to build or maintain a good credit score, consumers need to manage their money carefully, and that includes using caution when taking on additional debt.

For more information, click here.

Teaching Suggestions

  • Ask students if they have requested copies of their credit reports and if the information was correct?
  • Have you applied for new credit recently, and it so, what was the outcome?

Discussion Questions

  1. What is the best strategy to maintain or improve your credit score?
  2. What are the legal steps to take to improve your credit report?
  3. If you apply for too many new credit cards, how it might affect your credit score?
Categories: Chapter 5, Credit Scores | Tags: , | Leave a comment

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