It’s open enrollment season for health insurance. And choosing the best plan is tricky whether you have to buy insurance on your own or just figure out which plan to sign up for at work. Here’s what you need to know.
Consumers are admonished to be “smart shoppers,” but that’s difficult if health care prices are clear as mud. When Sarah Macsalka’s son needed stitches, she did her best to avoid the ER and still ended up with a $3,000 bill.
Kvetching about the cost of health care is kind of what we do on the podcast “An Arm and a Leg.” This week’s episode features like-minded storytellers — from the musical troupe Heck No Techo — who have turned their frustrations into art and laughter.
On Season 3, Episode 2 of the podcast “An Arm and a Leg,” an Illinois woman harnesses a lifetime of experience — and frustration — with health care finances to help other people solve their medical bill problems.
Health insurance in Texas didn’t cover hearing aids for kids — which can cost $6,000 and need to be replaced about every three years. So Stephanie Wittels Wachs teamed up with other moms to lobby the Texas legislature for change, and they won.
A small health center in Goshen, Ind., near the border with Michigan, puts “listening to patients’ stories” first. “The rest is housekeeping.”
Are physicians asking patients the right questions in order to provide good care? Laser-focused on biomedical symptoms, some doctors miss the psychosocial factors that can be a barrier to good health. In Episode 7 of the podcast, we hear about a creative study that uncovers how some medical errors happen.
Check the fine print. When you get a prescription for expensive medical equipment, you may need to follow the doctor’s orders — to the letter — to get your health insurance company to pay up.
Skipping meals. Rationing medicine to make it last. The high cost of insulin has pushed some people with diabetes to make hard choices. Hear about insulin’s backstory and the hacks that might make it affordable.
Beware at the pharmacy counter: Your insurance company could be in cahoots with a pharmacy benefit manager — and the negotiations that go on between them are trade secrets.
Doctors routinely order MRIs, but the price patients pay can be unpredictable. Hear how one determined woman scanned her options to find the best deal.
An unexpected hospital bill can bust the family budget. That leaves lots of people with bills they can’t pay. Turns out, that’s a crisis for hospitals too, and some are getting creative about collecting debt.
Health care — and how much it costs — is scary. But you’re not alone with this stuff, and knowledge is power. “An Arm and a Leg” is a podcast about these issues, and its second season is co-produced by KHN.
Health care — and how much it costs — is scary. But you’re not alone with this stuff, and knowledge is power. “An Arm and a Leg” is a podcast about all these issues, and its second season, co-produced by Kaiser Health News, starts on June 4.