Kaiser Health News, An Arm and A Leg Podcast

Want to write a killer letter to insurance? Meet Jeannine.

2 weeks ago

Health care insiders get stupid medical bills too. One of them taught us how to write an insurance appeal—like the one that saved her son $14,000. You can read that letter—and her notes to us about why she chose to include certain words and key facts—right here: https://armandalegshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/Appeal_letter_2020_redacted_with_comments.pdf


We met Jeannine after our host addressed a conference of “industry insiders.” It wasn’t much fun. But this makes it all worthwhile.


Links! You can...

Read the transcript for this episode: https://armandalegshow.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/06/S5-Ep09-New_Friend_Transcript.pdf

Send your stories and questions: https://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEG

And of course, support this show: https://armandalegshow.com/support/

 

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Mini-episode: One guy skirts a medical-bill trap, and shares the secret.

1 month ago

When Adam Woodrum's insurance denied a claim for an ER bill, he sent his story to NPR... because he happened to KNOW how to deal with it. And he figured it would be a friendly thing to share what he knew. (Kudos, Adam!)


This story was originally reported by Julie Appleby for our pals at Kaiser Health News, and KHN editor-in-chief Elisabeth Rosenthal weighs in at the end.

 

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Why picking the right insurance is so hard (bonus/encore)

1 month 3 weeks ago

How hard is it to pick the best health insurance? ECONOMISTS find it hard. Including one who has studied the question, "How hard can it be to pick a decent insurance plan?"

Lots of people are suddenly eligible to pick possibly-cheaper health insurance thanks to the American Rescue Plan—the big stimulus bill Congress passed in March—so we thought it could be useful to bring this 2018 story back.


Also useful: This essay from health-care reporter Zachary Tracer about how he picked his health insurance, with directions for you (that start with pouring yourself a drink)


There are more how-tos, and health insurance basics, on our web page from the original version of this story.


And here's a VERY useful tool, described in the episode—for if you live in DC, Massachusetts, New Mexico, Oregon, Rhode Island, or Vermont


As always, we'd love you to share a story or support this show.

 

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Programming note: We're working on some cool new stuff.

2 months 2 weeks ago

... and it's gonna take us a little while to get it ready for you— maybe a couple months. Meanwhile, we'll have little updates for you here and there.

... and it's a great time to sign up for our newsletter, where we'll have details on what's next, and stories we think you'll be interested in.

Here's where to go: https://armandalegshow.com/newsletter/

 

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Who's been trying to cash in on COVID vaccinations? (And how did racism help them out?)

3 months ago

With COVID vaccinations ramping up, it's time to check in: Who's been trying to make a buck? And who's been doing their best to serve the folks who need help the most? In Philadelphia, the good, the bad, and the ugly have all been on vivid display.


The Bad comes with a giant serving of chutzpah: For a while, the city put its mass-vaccination program in the hands of a 22 year-old with no experience in health care, but with a healthy interest in making money. It did NOT go well. (You may have seen that headline before. We get the deep dive from public-radio reporter Nina Feldman, who uncovered the caper.)


The Ugly is systemic racism: Or is it just a coincidence that the city put its trust in a white 22 year-old... while ignoring an effective group of licensed, experienced, Black health-care professionals who were volunteering their time? That would be the Black Doctors COVID-19 Consortium, led by Dr. Ala Stanford.


The Good is the work that Dr. Stanford and the Consortium have been doing, which throws the Bad and the Ugly into stark relief. Since last spring, they've been working tirelessly and creatively to address disparities in the care that Black Philadelphians receive for COVID-19.


They're not the only folks working to address those disparities—including a lack of good vaccine information from trusted sources. Here's a great example from a project called The Conversation: Between Us and About Us, hosted by comedian W. Kamau Bell:


You can watch it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qp6S4C6zG_M


We talked with one of the project's leaders, Dr. Rhea Boyd, author of a recent New York Times essay, Black People Need Better Vaccine Access, Not Better Vaccine Attitudes. (Disclosure: The project is backed by the Kaiser Family Foundation, who also are behind our co-producers at Kaiser Health News.)


Here's a transcript for this episode.


Send your stories and questionshttps://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEG

And of course we'd love for you to support this show.

 

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Checked
1 hour 44 minutes ago
Kaiser Health News, An Arm and A Leg Podcast

A show about the cost of health care that’s more entertaining, empowering, and occasionally useful than enraging, and terrifying and depressing. Reporter Dan Weissmann digs in to show how we got into this crazy mess and how we just might live through it.

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