‘An Arm and a Leg’: Searching for Well being Insurance coverage? Right here’s How One Household Tried to Decide a Plan

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When host Dan Weissmann and his spouse got down to decide a medical health insurance plan for subsequent yr, they realized that holding the plan they’ve means paying $200 a month extra. However would a “cheaper” plan price them extra in the long term?  It relies upon. And the COVID pandemic makes their alternative much more difficult.

After attempting to puzzle it out, Weissmann debriefs with Karen Pollitz, a medical health insurance knowledgeable at KFF, who is aware of in regards to the angst of medical payments from private expertise.

Medical health insurance may be painful, however the various ― not having medical health insurance ― is a lot worse. If you wish to go deeper on medical health insurance, you would possibly wish to take a look at these episodes from the primary season of the podcast:

  • In “Why You (and I) Will Probably Decide the Mistaken Well being Insurance coverage,” we be taught: Good economists have proved it’s really tremendous exhausting — even they aren’t certain they’ll decide appropriately.
  • In an episode impressed by KHN reporter Jenny Gold, we study insurance coverage firms’ price-gouging. And infrequently we find yourself paying the value.
  • Within the first-ever episode of this present, Weissmann’s household confronts the large puzzle: Can we even get insurance coverage that’ll work for us?
  • In “A ‘Deal’ on Well being Insurance coverage Comes With Troubling Strings,” we go on a journey with a kinda-famous “monetary therapist” who says she will get rattled in the case of selecting medical health insurance. And she or he’s fairly uncomfortable — morally, personally — with a number of the selections she’s made. (Additionally, Weissmann’s household makes one other cameo.)

And listed here are another useful big-picture takes:

  • Listener Anna Jo Beck made a extremely nice booklet explaining how medical health insurance works. You may learn it on-line.
  • Weissmann borrowed some core insurance-picking recommendation — think about what a well being plan does for you for those who get hit by a bus — from this story by Zachary Tracer at Enterprise Insider, spelling out how he picked his insurance coverage.

Need to go quite a bit deeper? Particularly for those who’re really looking to buy medical health insurance, perhaps on the Obamacare trade?

Weissmann discovered healthcare.gov to be tremendous usable this yr, approach higher than the final time he checked.

“I punched within the solutions to a couple questions, and received to shortly inform it which docs our household sees (and what meds we take) … and it supplied a transparent listing that confirmed which plans cowl our docs, how a lot they’d price us, and so forth.,” he mentioned.

  • Subsidies can be found for Inexpensive Care Act plans. KFF has this rationalization of how they work. It’s a slog, however thorough. Print it out, seize a snack and settle in. This little bit of analysis explains that lots of people qualify for a plan with no premium. (KHN, which co-produces “An Arm and a Leg,” is an editorially unbiased program of KFF.)
  • KFF has an entire database of often requested questions in regards to the ACA. A whole bunch of Q’s and A’s, together with 180-plus in Spanish.
  • Additionally nice, additionally very thorough: The Georgetown College Heart on Well being Insurance coverage Reforms has an entire website filled with sources for navigating the ACA. (It’s really for “navigators” — of us who assist civilians perceive the sign-up course of.)

That’s quite a bit, proper? Choosing a plan may be overwhelming. However don’t let it get you down.


“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of Kaiser Well being Information and Public Street Productions.

To keep up a correspondence with “An Arm and a Leg,” subscribe to the e-newsletter. You can even observe the present on Fb and Twitter. And for those who’ve received tales to inform in regards to the well being care system, the producers would love to listen to from you.

To listen to all Kaiser Well being Information podcasts, click on right here.

And subscribe to “An Arm and a Leg” on iTunes, Pocket Casts, Google Play or Spotify.

This story was produced by Kaiser Well being Information, an editorially unbiased program of the Kaiser Household Basis.

Associated Subjects

  • Price and High quality

  • Well being Care Prices

  • Perception

  • Insurance coverage

  • Multimedia

  • The Well being Legislation

  • An Arm and a Leg

  • Federal Change

  • Podcasts

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