98 episodes

A show about why health care costs so freaking much, and what we can (maybe) do about it. Hosted by award-winning reporter Dan Weissmann (Marketplace, 99 Percent Invisible, Planet Money, Reveal).
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

An Arm and a Leg An Arm and a Leg

    • Society & Culture
    • 4.8 • 1K Ratings

A show about why health care costs so freaking much, and what we can (maybe) do about it. Hosted by award-winning reporter Dan Weissmann (Marketplace, 99 Percent Invisible, Planet Money, Reveal).
Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    Can They Freaking Do That?!? (2023 Edition)

    Can They Freaking Do That?!? (2023 Edition)

    We’re kicking off the year with a throwback. We revisit a 2019 episode that opened up new possibilities for fighting back against outrageous medical bills — a theme we’ll spend a lot more time exploring this year
    A listener named Miriam got a bill from a medical testing lab she’s never heard of, for $35. Then, a follow-up bill said if she didn’t pay up right away, that price was going up — WAY up: to $1,287. 
    Which raises the kind of  question that comes up a LOT with medical billing: Can some random lab hit you up for money — and then threaten you with a late fee of more than $1,000??
    We went to find out.
    The answer: They can try. And a lot of the time, they’ll get away with it. But we found experts who explain how, sometimes, we can fight back— by threatening to take them to court.
    If you’ve got the time and the moxie, these experts say you’re on solid legal ground, and you really can make the other side accept a fair offer.
    We’ll come back to this idea next time. Meanwhile, here’s a 2020 episode with the story of a guy who took his local hospital to court, and won.
    The original version of this story, from 2019, found us learning about a couple topics we went on to explored in more depth later:  Surprise bills — which we got new legal protections from in 2022— and the role of private equity in health care, both how it’s been expanding, and how some doctors are trying to fight back.  
    Here's a transcript of this episode.
    Send your stories and questions: https://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEG
    And of course we’d love for you to support this show.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 21 min
    2022 in Review

    2022 in Review

    The Arm and a Leg editorial team gathered to talk about the moments from 2022 that we’ll never forget — including when work collided with real life. 
    We’re so lucky we get to do this work, and we couldn’t do it without our community. From sending us your stories and questions, to supporting the show financially, our listeners and subscribers are what this show runs on. Thank you. 
    If you want to help us take on 2023, now is a great time to contribute. This month, every dollar you donate is DOUBLED, thanks to NewsMatch and the Institute for Nonprofit News. Holy cow, what a deal. Here, go for it.
    Here’s a transcript of this episode. 
    Send your stories and questions or call 724 ARM-N-LEG.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 13 min
    Like pulling teeth.

    Like pulling teeth.

    When a car hit Susan and knocked out a bunch of teeth, her health insurance was supposed to pay for her oral surgery, and she knew it. So why has she had to chase them for 18 months and counting? 
    Getting insurance to pay for anything dental is usually hard, but this had us asking ourselves… is it usually this hard? 
    We connected Susan with law professor Jacqueline Fox — who, when she was practicing law, fought insurers on behalf of patients. And who says Susan has “done everything right.”
    We’ve started to wonder whether Susan’s troubles could be related to broader accusations against her insurer, Ambetter, the largest provider of plans on the Obamacare marketplace.  
    Here’s a transcript of this episode.
    We’d love for you to support this show.
    Now is a great time to do it. This month, every dollar you donate is DOUBLED, thanks to NewsMatch and the Institute for Nonprofit News.
    Holy cow, what a deal. Here, go for it.
    Send your stories and questions or call 724 ARM-N-LEG.


    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 25 min
    The best video about health insurance, ever

    The best video about health insurance, ever

    A couple months ago, we started getting messages from listeners telling us: you gotta watch this video. 
    It’s a thirty minute YouTube video from a creator named Brian David Gilbert, and it’s probably the best video about health insurance we’ve ever seen. 
    Brian David Gilbert is best known for his highly-detailed, hilarious videos for Polygon, a media company about video games. But when he left that job to strike out on his own, he needed new health insurance. We talked with him about how that experience turned into one of the most difficult videos he’s ever made — and this is a guy whose old job had him tracing things like Zelda storylines across decades-long franchises. 
    You can watch the full video here. 
    Other delightful BDG creations discussed in this episode:
    The two-minute video that launched his career.His 15-minute dive into the Legend of ZeldaA cooking demo: “Welcome to my weird ice creams.” Yum.
    Special thanks to Wil Williams, Sarah Ballema, Josh Rubino, and Bea Bosco for adding their voices to this episode!
    AND: We’d love for you to support this show. Now is a great time to do it. This month, every dollar you donate is DOUBLED, thanks to NewsMatch and the Institute for Nonprofit News. Holy cow, what a deal. Here, go for it.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 18 min
    Health insurance post-Roe, and a grassroots network of abortion funds

    Health insurance post-Roe, and a grassroots network of abortion funds

    Since the Supreme Court overturned Roe v. Wade, abortion has been banned in more than a dozen states. As you choose your insurance plan for next year, you might be wondering: How does that affect my insurance plan? We learned two big things.  
    First: There’s no one answer (and few answers are settled yet). A lot depends on where you live, and where you work. 
    But second: For lots of people, for a long time, insurance has rarely been a help in accessing abortion. Most people pay cash. And lots of people can’t afford to.
    But there are organizations who have been tackling this issue for decades — abortion funds. 
    We’re big fans of when regular people find a way to help each other survive this messed-up, profit-driven health care system — and abortion funds are a huge example of that kind of effort. There’s a lot we can learn from them. 
    We talk with Oriaku Njoko, executive director of the National Network of Abortion Funds, and Tyler Barbarin, a board member with the New Orleans Abortion Fund, to learn from their experience. 
    Here's a transcript of this episode.
    We’d love for you to support this show. Now is a great time to do it. This month, every dollar you donate is DOUBLED, thanks to NewsMatch and the Institute for Nonprofit News. Holy cow, what a deal. Here, go for it.

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 26 min
    A listener asks: Could NOT having insurance be a better deal?

    A listener asks: Could NOT having insurance be a better deal?

    It’s open enrollment for 2023 health insurance for lots of folks — a time when you might find yourself asking: what good is health insurance anyway? 
    One listener wrote to us about his son, a student with no income. Dad asks, If the son could get charity care (financial assistance) at his local hospital….  should he bother getting health insurance? 
    The big picture question: If you’re broke, and can’t get insurance from work, what are your best options? 
    The big picture answer:  It totally depends!  

    Do you live in a state that expanded Medicaid?What are the financial-assistance policies like at the hospitals around you?What kind of health care do you know you’re going to need?
    We had expert help here:   Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at the Kaiser Family Foundation, and . Jared Walker, founder of Dollar For, and a super-expert on charity care.  
    If you want to go deeper:
    We did a three-part series on picking health insurance in our First Aid Kit newsletter. Start here. An episode from last year explored some more dos and don’ts for picking health insurance.In a 2018 episode, we talked with another listener — a “financial therapist” — who had her own deep questions about health insurance. 
    We’d love for you to support this show. Now is a great time to do it.
    This month, every dollar you donate is DOUBLED, thanks to NewsMatch and the Institute for Nonprofit News. Holy cow, what a deal.
    Here, go for it.

    Here’s a transcript of this episode.Send your stories and questions: https://armandalegshow.com/contact/ or call 724 ARM-N-LEG

    Hosted on Acast. See acast.com/privacy for more information.

    • 26 min

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5
1K Ratings

1K Ratings

julialeigh13 ,

Just what the doctor ordered!

The BEST podcast about one of the worst parts of American society! I love the way this podcast teaches and how engaging each episode is. A total knockout!

EtotheVee ,

Fantastic!

This show is FANTASTIC! I’m a nurse and this show makes learning about insurance entertaining -which helps me grow into an even better nurse! Thank you so much to the team responsible for this show.

Ginagina Smith ,

Feel better!

Thanks for letting us know.

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