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06

Jul

‘Free’ Screening? Know Your Rights to Get No-Cost Care

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News An ounce of prevention … well, you know the rest. In medicine, prevention aims to spot problems before they worsen, affecting both a patient’s health and finances. One of the more popular parts of the Affordable Care Act, which allows patients to get certain tests or treatments without forking out cash to cover copayments or deductibles, is ...

01

Jul

Cómo evitar, o deshacerse, de una deuda médica

By Yuki Noguchi, NPR News Lori Mangum tenía 32 años cuando aparecieron tumores del tamaño de manzanas en su cabeza. Ahora, seis años y 10 cirugías después, el cáncer de piel desapareció. Pero su dolor sigue vivo, en la forma de una deuda médica. Incluso con seguro, Mangum pagó $36,000 de su bolsillo, cargos que surgieron del hospital, el cirujano, el anestesiólog ...

01

Jul

Big Employers Are Offering Abortion Benefits. Will the Information Stay Safe?

By Darius Tahir In response to the Supreme Court’s overturning of Americans’ constitutional right to abortion, large employers thought they had found a way to help workers living in states where abortions would be banned: provide benefits to support travel to other states for services. But that solution is only triggering questions. Experts warn that simply claiming the benefit ...

01

Jul

How to Get Rid of Medical Debt — Or Avoid It in the First Place

By Yuki Noguchi, NPR News Lori Mangum was 32 when apple-size tumors sprouted on her head. Now — six years and 10 surgeries later — the skin cancer is gone. But her pain lives on, in the form of medical debt. Even with insurance, Mangum paid $36,000 out-of-pocket, charges that stemmed from the hospital, the surgeon, the anesthesiologist, the pharmacy, and follow-up care. And ...

29

Jun

Government Watchdogs Attack Medicare Advantage for Denying Care and Overcharging

By Fred Schulte, Kaiser Health News Congress should crack down on Medicare Advantage health plans for seniors that sometimes deny patients vital medical care while overcharging the government billions of dollars every year, government watchdogs told a House panel Tuesday. Witnesses sharply criticized the fast-growing health plans at a hearing held by the Energy and Commerce subcomm ...

27

Jun

His-and-Hers Cataract Surgeries, But His Bill Was 20 Times as Much

By Angela Hart Danilo Manimtim’s vision was cloudy and blurred — and it was growing worse. The 73-year-old retired orthopedic surgeon in Fresno, California, knew it was time for cataract surgery. “It’s like car tires wearing out because you drive on them so much,” he said. In December 2021, he went to the outpatient department of the local hospital to undergo the c ...

24

Jun

Readers and Tweeters Weigh In on Medical Debt, the Obesity Epidemic, and Opioid Battles

Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. So, you're American, you have a lousy health insurance plan, you get cancer. You survive cancer. But can you survive your massive medical $$$ debt?https://t.co/e6Jzw9W4SR— Laurie Garrett (@Laurie_Garrett) June 17, 2022 — Laurie Garr ...

24

Jun

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The FDA Goes After Nicotine

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. Click here for a transcript of the episode. The FDA this week launched a crackdown on smoking and vaping — ordering the vaping device Juul to be taken off the market and announcing its intention to require makers of cigare ...

23

Jun

Pesa el legado de Trump, mientras Colorado busca zanjar la brecha del seguro de salud hispano

By Rae Ellen Bichell and Markian Hawryluk Armando Peniche Rosales tiene un dedo del pie torcido, que durante años ha pronosticado el clima y ​​se vuelve sensible cuando se avecina lluvia o frío. “Nunca se curó bien”, dijo Peniche Rosales, quien se rompió el dedo medio del pie izquierdo hace años cuando era jugador de fútbol en una escuela secundaria de Denver, ...

23

Jun

Trump’s Legacy Looms Large as Colorado Aims to Close the Hispanic Insurance Gap

By Rae Ellen Bichell and Markian Hawryluk Armando Peniche Rosales has a crooked toe that for years has predicted the weather, growing sensitive when rain or cold is coming. “It never healed right,” said Peniche Rosales, who broke the middle toe on his left foot as a high school soccer player in Denver years ago and limped home without seeing a doctor. He was living in the U.S. ...

22

Jun

Nuevo tratamiento para adelgazar: mucho marketing y resultados discretos

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News Primero fue el “cartel comestible”, que apareció el año pasado durante las fiestas en el East Village de Nueva York cargado de golosinas. Luego, a finales de enero, llegó la campaña de marketing nacional, con medios televisivos y digitales que promueven la idea de que intentar perder peso no significa que una persona no pueda disfrutar de la comida. ...

22

Jun

New Weight Loss Treatment Is Marked by Heavy Marketing and Modest Results

By Julie Appleby, Kaiser Health News First came the “edible billboard,” which appeared last year during the holidays in New York’s East Village loaded with cake treats. Then, in late January, came the national marketing campaign, with TV and digital media promoting the idea that trying to lose weight doesn’t mean a person can’t enjoy eating. Those advertising messages are ...

21

Jun

Medical Bills Can Shatter Lives. North Carolina May Act to ‘De-Weaponize’ That Debt.

By Aneri Pattani RALEIGH, N.C. — When Erin Williams-Reavis faced a $3,500 surgery bill, the hospital offered to let her pay in $300 monthly installments. It was too much, said Williams-Reavis, 44, who lives in Greensboro, about an hour west of the state capital. Her hours as a personal assistant had been cut, and she and her husband were behind on bills, even requesting a forbearance on their ...

17

Jun

States Extend Medicaid for New Mothers — Even as They Reject Broader Expansion

By Sam Whitehead Until last year, Georgia’s Medicaid coverage for new moms with low incomes lasted 60 days. That meant the Medicaid benefits of many women expired before they could be referred to other medical providers for help with serious health problems, said Dr. Keila Brown, an OB-GYN in Atlanta. “If they needed other postpartum issues followed up, it was rather difficult ...

16

Jun

Más de 100 millones de estadounidenses viven acosados por las deudas médicas

By Noam N. Levey Elizabeth Woodruff tuvo que usar los ahorros de su jubilación y buscar tres trabajos luego que ella y su esposo fueran demandados por casi $10,000 por un hospital de Nueva York, en donde al hombre le amputaron una pierna infectada. Ariane Buck, un joven padre de Arizona que vende seguros de salud, no pudo hacer una cita con su médico por una seria infecci ...

16

Jun

100 Million People in America Are Saddled With Health Care Debt

By Noam N. Levey Elizabeth Woodruff drained her retirement account and took on three jobs after she and her husband were sued for nearly $10,000 by the New York hospital where his infected leg was amputated. Ariane Buck, a young father in Arizona who sells health insurance, couldn’t make an appointment with his doctor for a dangerous intestinal infection because the office said he had outs ...

14

Jun

Preventive Care May Be Free, but Follow-Up Diagnostic Tests Can Bring Big Bills

By Michelle Andrews When Cynthia Johnson learned she would owe $200 out-of-pocket for a diagnostic mammogram in Houston, she almost put off getting the test that told her she had breast cancer. “I thought, ‘I really don’t have this to spend, and it’s probably nothing,’” said Johnson, who works in educational assessment at a university. But she decided to go forward with ...

09

Jun

Miles de niños tienen problemas de vista que no se detectan a tiempo

By Colleen DeGuzman Jessica Oberoi, de 13 años, no puede recordar exactamente cuándo su vista comenzó a ser borrosa. Todo lo que sabe es que tenía que entrecerrar los ojos para ver el pizzarón en la escuela. No fue sino hasta el otoño pasado, cuando su clase de octavo grado en Bloomington, Indiana, se sometió a exámenes de la vista, que descubrieron que tenía miop ...

09

Jun

Children’s Vision Problems Often Go Undetected, Despite Calls for Regular Screening

By Colleen DeGuzman Jessica Oberoi, 13, can’t exactly remember when her eyesight started getting blurry. All she knows is that she had to squint to see the whiteboard at school. It wasn’t until last fall when her eighth grade class in Bloomington, Indiana, got vision screenings that Jessica’s extreme nearsightedness and amblyopia, or lazy eye, were discovered. She’s been ...

09

Jun

Lawmaker Takes on Insurance Companies and Gets Personal About His Health

By Samantha Young SACRAMENTO, Calif. — Scott Wiener made a startling revelation at a spring legislative committee hearing: “I was in the hospital. I experienced the most intense abdominal pain that I could even imagine.” The Democratic state senator recalled crawling up the stairs to his landlord’s apartment last July to get a ride to the hospital. The San Francisco lawm ...

08

Jun

Patients Seek Mental Health Care From Their Doctor But Find Health Plans Standing in the Way

By Aneri Pattani When a longtime patient visited Dr. William Sawyer’s office after recovering from covid, the conversation quickly turned from the coronavirus to anxiety and ADHD. Sawyer — who has run a family medicine practice in the Cincinnati area for more than three decades — said he spent 30 minutes asking questions about the patient’s exercise and sleep habits, counse ...

07

Jun

California quiere producir su propia insulina para bajar su alto costo, ¿lo conseguirá?

By Angela Hart SACRAMENTO — California quiere lograr lo que ningún otro estado ha conseguido: producir su propia marca de insulina genérica para venderla a precios reducidos a personas con diabetes como Sabrina Caudillo. Caudillo dijo que se siente como una “prisionera” de las tres principales compañías farmacéuticas que controlan el precio de la insulina, que si ...

07

Jun

California Wants to Slash Insulin Prices by Becoming a Drugmaker. Can it Succeed?

By Angela Hart SACRAMENTO — California is diving into the prescription drug business, attempting to achieve what no other state has done: produce its own brand of generic insulin and sell it at below-market prices to people with diabetes like Sabrina Caudillo. Caudillo said she feels like a “prisoner” to the three major pharmaceutical companies that control the price of insul ...

07

Jun

They Thought They Were Buying Obamacare Plans. What They Got Wasn’t Insurance.

By Bram Sable-Smith Tina Passione needed health insurance in a hurry in December. The newly retired 63-year-old was relocating to suburban Atlanta with her husband to be closer to grandchildren. Their house in Pittsburgh flew off the market, and they had six weeks to move out 40 years of memories. Passione said she went online to search for the federal health insurance marketplace, ...

06

Jun

Peligran transplantes para niña estadounidense de 11 años por burocracia migratoria

By Michael McAuliff Los deseos de Nicolás Espinosa para Julia, su hija de 11 años, son tan sencillos como  profundos: que pueda seguir viviendo y que tal vez, algún día, pueda comer normalmente. Y podría, si recibe tres órganos de trasplantes… y el sistema de inmigración de Estados Unidos no se lo impide. En un caso que refleja las fallas significativas y a men ...

06

Jun

AARP’s Billion-Dollar Bounty

By Fred Schulte, Kaiser Health News In September, AARP, the giant organization for older Americans, agreed to promote a burgeoning chain of medical clinics called Oak Street Health, which has opened more than 100 primary care outlets in nearly two dozen states. The deal gave Oak Street exclusive rights to use the trusted AARP brand in its marketing — for which the company pays AA ...

06

Jun

Immigration Bureaucracy Threatens 11-Year-Old’s Spot on Transplant Lists

By Michael McAuliff Nicolas Espinosa’s hopes for his 11-year-old daughter, Julia, are basic and profound: He wants her to stay alive and perhaps be able to eat normally someday. And she might, if she can get three organs transplanted — and if the U.S. immigration system doesn’t get in the way. In a case that reflects the significant and often-heartbreaking failures in how ...

02

Jun

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Washington’s Slow Churn

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts, or wherever you listen to podcasts. In the wake of three high-profile mass shootings in less than a month, lawmakers on Capitol Hill have renewed negotiations over legislation that could stem gun violence. But even those who are trying to reach an agreement on th ...

02

Jun

Fallas informáticas y errores humanos en la cobertura de seguros siguen siendo un dolor de cabeza para los californianos

By Bernard J. Wolfson Desde que California amplió la cobertura de salud bajo la Ley de Cuidado de Salud a Bajo Precio (ACA), un gran número de personas se ha inscrito por error en Covered California, el programa estatal para quienes compran su propio seguro, o en el Medi-Cal, el plan estatal de Medicaid para residentes de bajos ingresos. Es cierto que pequeños cambios en ...

02

Jun

Computer Glitches and Human Error Still Causing Insurance Headaches for Californians

By Bernard J. Wolfson Since California expanded health coverage under the Affordable Care Act, a large number of people have been mistakenly bounced between Covered California, the state’s marketplace for those who buy their own insurance, and Medi-Cal, the state’s Medicaid program for low-income residents. Small income changes can cause people’s eligibility to shift, but whe ...

02

Jun

Despite a First-Ever ‘Right-to-Repair’ Law, There’s No Easy Fix for Wheelchair Users

By Markian Hawryluk Robin Bolduc isn’t the type of person who takes “no” for an answer — particularly when it comes to fixing her husband’s wheelchair. Her husband, Bruce Goguen, 69, is paralyzed from multiple sclerosis. And without his chair, he would be stuck in bed, at risk of developing pneumonia or pressure sores that could lead to sepsis and death. When component ...

02

Jun

Readers and Tweeters Go to the Mat on Abortion Rights and Perceived Wrongs

By Terry Byrne Letters to the Editor is a periodic feature. We welcome all comments and will publish a selection. We edit for length and clarity and require full names. Pulling No Punches on Abortion Reading the leaked draft opinion felt like a punch in the uterus (“Historic ‘Breach’ Puts Abortion Rights Supporters and Opponents on Alert for Upcoming Earthquake,” May 3). They ...

31

May

Her First Colonoscopy Cost Her $0. Her Second Cost $2,185. Why?

By Michelle Andrews Elizabeth Melville and her husband are gradually hiking all 48 mountain peaks that top 4,000 feet in New Hampshire. “I want to do everything I can to stay healthy so that I can be skiing and hiking into my 80s — hopefully even 90s!” said the 59-year-old part-time ski instructor who lives in the vacation town of Sunapee. So when her primary care doct ...

20

May

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: Waking Up to Baby Formula Shortage

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. The federal government finally addressed the infant formula shortage, as a growing number of families found themselves without anything to feed their babies. But it will likely take weeks for any effects of the federal action to ...

18

May

New Covered California Leader Urges Renewal of Enhanced Federal Aid for Health Premiums

By Bernard J. Wolfson When she was Pennsylvania’s insurance commissioner, Jessica Altman, the appointee of a Democratic governor, often bumped against the political limits of health care policy in a state where Republicans controlled the legislature. Despite the constraints of a divided government, Altman played a key role in persuading lawmakers in 2019 to join Gov. Tom Wolf in ...

17

May

Why So Slow? Legislators Take on Insurers’ Delays in Approving Prescribed Treatments

By Michelle Andrews Andrew Bade, who was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes nearly two decades ago, is accustomed to all the medical gear he needs to keep his blood sugar under control. His insulin pump contains a disposable insulin cartridge, and a plastic tubing system with an adhesive patch keeps in place the cannula that delivers insulin under his skin. He wears a continuous glucose monitor on ...

12

May

KHN’s ‘What the Health?’: The Invisible Pandemic

Can’t see the audio player? Click here to listen on Acast. You can also listen on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, Stitcher, Pocket Casts or wherever you listen to podcasts. Covid-19 cases are on the rise again, but you couldn’t tell from the behavior of the public (rushing back to normal), as well as public health and elected officials who fear backlash from even suggesting the reimplementation o ...

04

May

Even When IVF Is Covered by Insurance, High Bills and Hassles Abound

By Phil Galewitz, Kaiser Health News After years of trying to have a baby without success, Brenna Kaminski and her husband, Joshua Pritt, decided to try in vitro fertilization. Only 15 states require insurance to cover fertility treatments, and Florida, where Kaminski and Pritt live, isn’t one of them. Still, the couple’s insurance, from Pritt’s job at an energy company, did ...

03

May

Medicare Surprise: Drug Plan Prices Touted During Open Enrollment Can Rise Within a Month

By Susan Jaffe Something strange happened between the time Linda Griffith signed up for a new Medicare prescription drug plan during last fall’s enrollment period and when she tried to fill her first prescription in January. She picked a Humana drug plan for its low prices, with help from her longtime insurance agent and Medicare’s Plan Finder, an online pricing tool for compar ...

02

May

California abre el Medi-Cal a adultos mayores indocumentados

By Bernard J. Wolfson El domingo 1 de mayo, California abrirá Medi-Cal a inmigrantes mayores que viven en el estado sin papeles. Los indocumentados mayores de 49 años que estén por debajo de ciertos umbrales de ingresos serán elegibles para la cobertura completa de Medi-Cal, la versión de Medicaid de California, la asociación federal-estatal que brinda seguro médico ...