An Arm and a Leg

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A weekly Science, Medicine and Health podcast
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Episodes of An Arm and a Leg

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 ins
... 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 ne
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 disp
We're re-releasing and updating a story we first reported in 2019, about how insulin got to be so horribly expensive—the scientists who discovered it did NOT want price or profits to keep it away from people who need it—and what some people are
Yep. This viral TikTok video's recipe for "crushing" medical bills is legally sound. And IRS filings from thousands of hospitals attest to $2.7 billion of crush-able debt from a single year— a number that experts say looks more like a floor tha
Jeff is a lawyer who used to represent medical-bill collectors in court. ("I was a bad guy, for sure," he says.)But he switched sides, and he's here to tell us what he knows. For instance, we have more rights than we probably know.It can be tou
2021 is off to a rough start, but we've got a couple of small things that don't completely suck.First, a new federal rule could help cut through one completely-ridiculous issue. Then, a listener describes how he headed off an insurance nightmar
Former health-care executive Wendell Potter spent part of 2020 publishing high-profile apologies for the lies he says he told the American people in his old job—and trying to debunk the myths he once sold. The story of how he became a whistle-b
This episode turns the tables: Host Dan Weissmann gets interviewed about what he's learned this year, and what's ahead for the show— with T.K. Dutes, an ace radio host and podcast-maker ... who was a nurse in a previous life, so she knows a thi
Keeping the plan we've got means paying $200 a month more. But... would a "cheaper" plan cost us more in the long run? It depends! And COVID makes it a lot more complicated. This stinks.You can hear my wife and me try to puzzle the whole thing
Andy Slavitt, who ran a big chunk of health care for the Obama administration, has spent 2020 talking with almost everybody who knows anything about the COVID pandemic— and sharing what he learns in real time, first on Twitter, then on his pand
They're supposed to be free. And usually they are. But sometimes... things happen. Here's how to keep them from happening to YOU.New York Times reporter Sarah Kliff has been asking readers to send in their COVID-testing bills. She's now seen hu
Possibly our most-useful episode ever. A listener asked: How do I remain cool when calling insurance companies?We called a veteran self-defense teacher— because self-defense means a lot more than hitting and kicking. It's about standing up for
In a classic—and hilarious—David vs. Goliath story, Jeffrey Fox takes on a huge hospital over an outrageous bill, and wins.He's a bit of an expert in using small claims court to get satisfaction, and he's got detailed instructions for all of us
There's a reason Shaunna Burns went viral with her videos about dealing with debt collectors: She used to be one, so she knows a few things. (Also she's smart and funny.) We fact-checked her advice with a legal expert: Jenifer Bosco, an attorne
Forty-something mom Shaunna Burns went viral on TikTok, thanks in part to a series of videos dishing out real-talk advice on fighting outrageous medical bills. She's become the virtual mom that thousands of Gen-Z followers love. She's funny, sm
Laura Derrick fought and endured for decades. When medical bills threatened to swamp her family, she made huge sacrifices, worked unbelievably hard... and helped change the course of history. In a moment when we're all enduring a LOT, it seemed
Barbara Faubion got up every day psyched to go to work—which she says puzzled her friends. “They’d go, ‘You love your job?!? You spend your whole day talking to an insurance company. Are you kidding me?’”She wasn’t kidding. Because she loved to
Steve Benasso is an HR director who, his colleagues will tell you, hates insurance companies, and hates seeing people getting taken advantage of. So he fights off weird medical bills and bogus insurance denials for those colleagues. "I am a bul
If you need medical care, it's like you've entered a casino, playing for your financial life, with the deck stacked against you. Lucky for us, we get insight — and tips the dealer WON'T tell you— from ace reporter Celia Llopis-Jepsen.To start w
There's no time like a pandemic to (a) learn to fight back against the awful cost of health care. And (b) have a good time doing it. Yep. Let’s go.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
We wrap up our COVID-19 popup season with stories from three folks with very different takes on what we've learned so far about what the pandemic is costing us: A doctor and advocate in Brooklyn looks back on the wave of black and brown patient
In early April, Katelyn was in a financial bind: Home sick with COVID, she hadn't been paid in weeks. And bills were due. "My landlord is kinda beating down my door right now," she said in a voicemail to our hotline.Weeks later, Katelyn got bac
A listener, who has worked in health insurance for decades, wrote in. "I have listened to all the episodes in this podcast, and there are times I come away feeling bad working for the insurance company."We talked. Along with angst, she shared i
You've probably noticed: The U.S. economy is crashing.Something you may not have noticed, that may sound really weird: Almost half of that economic devastation comes from just one sector.And that sector? It's health care.If that sounds complete
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