An Arm and a Leg

13 EpisodesProduced by An Arm and a Leg

A podcast. Because we need to talk about the cost of health care

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How much for an MRI? Well, that depends…

June 19th, 2019

22:01

This week, we look at three MRIs with four different price tags, and an enormous range.  

Liz Salmi and a view of her brain. (Photo: Kaiser Health News)

The first two price tags come from listener Liz Salmi, who has …

To get paid, hospitals get creative

June 12th, 2019

15:31

Hospital bills are too high, and insurance doesn’t cover enough. Turns out, that’s a crisis for hospitals too: more and more of us aren’t paying those bills, because we can’t. So, they’re getting creative about …

We thought we had adulted properly

June 4th, 2019

23:30

Caitlin and Corey Gaffer got a surprise letter from their insurance company — saying they were being dumped for non-payment. Except, as far as they knew, they were paid up.

As it turned out, they’d made a couple of …

We’re back! Here’s a taste of Season 2, launching June 4.

May 23rd, 2019

2:07

Hey there! We’ve been working hard on season 2. We hope you enjoy this preview — there’s so much good (and frightening) stuff ahead.

Is it ever appropriate to fudge a little? (Season One, episode 8)

December 19th, 2018

21:56

Bari Tessler is a little famous as a “financial therapist,” but even she gets rattled by the price of health care.

Also: What my family is doing for health insurance next year.

This is our Season One finale.

Why are ER bills so crazy? With Sarah Kliff of Vox.com. (Season One, episode 7)

December 12th, 2018

20:06


Emergency rooms often bill you a “cover charge” just for walking in the door, and it can be thousands of dollars.

That’s in addition to the …

Why Health Insurance Actually Sucks (Season One, episode 6)

December 5th, 2018

16:20

Turns out, insurance companies allow — even encourage — crazy price-gouging by hospitals. For example, the leg brace Blake needed was available for $150 on Amazon. But thanks to his insurance, he paid more than $500.

So, Robin Hood’s got an approach to medical bills. (Season One, episode 5)

November 27th, 2018

15:27

The health-care system — especially the financial side — can feel like a Medieval torture device. So maybe it fits that workers from Renaissance fairs have come up with a work-around.

In this episode I meet Robin Hood …

Why you (and I) will likely pick the wrong health-insurance plan (Season One, episode 4)

November 21st, 2018

18:36

Because as smart economists recently proved) it is super-confusing, and most of us can’t do the math.

But! We found glimmers of hope. So don’t be scared.

We’d like to hear how you’re choosing your health insurance for …

3. How one drug got its $500,000 price tag. (With 99 Percent Invisible– Season One, episode 3)

November 14th, 2018

24:31

The answer involves a suburban housewife, a 1970s TV star, and a Las Vegas maker of popcorn and nacho cheese sauce. Also: Wall Street.

Produced with …

All the Marbles: One woman’s epic quest for health insurance (Season One, episode 2)

November 14th, 2018

19:07

Laura Derrick takes a drug that costs more than $500,000 a year.

So when her family was going to lose their insurance, she made crazy sacrifices… and …

This is Water, and it sucks. Let’s talk. (Season One, episode 1)

November 14th, 2018

19:50

When I first started talking about doing a show about the cost of health care… everybody had a story. Including me.

It’s like that famous speech by …

A podcast about the cost of health care, coming November 2018

October 11th, 2018

3:58

The spiraling cost of medical care shapes people’s lives: The jobs we’re afraid to leave because of insurance, the risk that a trip to the doc could …

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