A show about the cost of health care that’s more entertaining, empowering, and occasionally useful than enraging, and terrifying and depressing.

We may be screwed but we’re together.

Let’s talk.

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Recent Episodes

The hug shortage, the new abnormal, and the $7,000 COVID test. What we’ve learned in SEASON-19

We wrap up our COVID-19 popup season with three 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 patients that filled her clinic in March. A nurse-practitioner in Texas looks at how new tech is—and isn't—helping the older patients she cares for.

And: One of the country's top insurance nerds says her first policy ideas to keep people from getting stuck with high bills for COVID tests ... were wrong.

How Katelyn survived COVID—without going bankrupt. (Not easy. She has tips.)

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 back in touch: She had made it through, with a heck of a story, and tips that lots of us can use.

From inside the health insurance company: Angst and advice

A listener, who has worked in health insurance for decades, wrote in after a recent episode. "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. In addition to angst, she shared insights and advice we all can use.
Famous economist Justin Wolfers tweets his surprise at how much of the recession is health care

The severe, very weird recession… in health care. And what it means to our wallets.

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 completely backwards, it is. Except in the world of how we pay for health care in this country.
Anna Davis Abel's tweet about her experience with Aetna, which went viral.

COVID tests are free, except… when they’re not

Anna's insurance company said it would pay 100 percent for COVID-related testing. And then they left her to pay a giant bill.

She got help, thanks to a viral tweet, but... her story exposes big loopholes in consumer protections. (We learn how not to fall in.)

And: The way people responded to her tweet was generous, moving, and ... complicated.

Like a fire, with no one to call: ‘We’ve left no latent capacity in health care’

Ryan Gamlin spent a decade working on the financial side of health care, before going to medical school. Now, as a doctor, he’s on the front lines fighting COVID-19, an experience he describes as “scary, in a way that I never expected to be scared, going to work.”

He was scared last summer too, when a California wildfire came within feet of the hospital where he was working. But there was a difference.

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