Insurers are increasingly requiring patients to receive preapprovals for drugs or medical care, but even if the care is approved, that doesn't mean the insurer will necessarily pay, Kaiser Health News reports.

Why it matters: If an insurer decides not to pay for the care after the fact, that leaves patients on the hook for what can be huge medical bills.

Details: The preapprovals, often called prior authorization, may include a note that they're not a guarantee of payment, leaving insurers free to change their minds.

  • Patients also may be told that no prior authorization is required for a procedure, only to be told after they have it done that the insurer did want a prior authorization in this case — and thus isn't paying the bill.

The big picture: Prior authorization is already a controversial practice; providers say it's unnecessarily burdensome, while insurers say the practice helps to cut back on waste and excess costs.

The bottom line: Turns out there's yet another way for patients to receive a surprise medical bill.

Go deeper: Health insurers are eating higher medical costs

Go deeper

Updated 59 mins ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 32,995,554 — Total deaths: 996,695 — Total recoveries: 22,850,774Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 1:30 a.m. ET: 7,115,008 — Total deaths: 204,756 — Total recoveries: 2,766,280 — Total tests: 101,298,794Map.
  3. States: 3 states set single-day coronavirus case records last week
  4. Health: The long-term pain of the mental health pandemic
  5. World: India second country after U.S. to surpass 6 million cases

Democrats demand Trump release his tax returns after NYT report

Compilation images of House Nancy Pelosi and President Trump. Photo: Joshua Roberts/Getty Images/Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Democrats called on President Trump to disclose his tax returns following a New York Times report alleging he paid $750 in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017 and nothing in 10 of the past 15 years.

Details: Trump said the report was "total fake news," that he's unable to release the returns as they're "under audit" by the IRS, "which does not treat me well." House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said in a statement the report "provides further evidence of the clear need" for a House lawsuit to access the tax returns and "ensure the presidential audit program is functioning effectively, without improper influence."

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale hospitalized

Brad Parscale, the former campaign manager for President Trump's re-election campaign, at Drake University in January in Des Moines, Iowa. Photo: Tom Brenner/Getty Images

Fort Lauderdale police arrived at former Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale's home on Sunday after his wife called and said he was threatening to harm himself, Florida officials confirmed to Axios.

Details: Fort Lauderdale Police Sgt. DeAnna Greenlaw told Axios officers responded to a report of "an armed male attempting suicide" just before 4 p.m. local time.