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 been living with brain cancer for more than a decade.
Liz gets MRI scans twice a year, to make sure the cancer isn’t growing.
A couple years ago, Liz changed insurance, changed providers… and got serious sticker-shock when she saw the bill for a scan: $1,600 — AFTER insurance.
So when she needed a follow-up scan, she shopped around — and found an option that set her back less than 90 bucks.
Which is great news, and useful — as far as it goes: As Liz points out, not everybody has six months to shop around.
But Liz’s experience isn’t even the craziest MRI-price-tag story we look at this week. Stick around for that.
Coming in to bat cleanup — to help us understand why these prices are so crazy, and so variable — is journalistic super-star, friend of the show, and my new colleague:
Elisabeth Rosenthal, editor-in-chief of Kaiser Health News and author of An American Sickness: How Healthcare Became Big Business and How You Can Take It Back. She breaks it down in an authoritative, funny, clear-as-glass way.
(Reminder: Kaiser Health News — our co-producers for this season — is not affiliated with the health care provider Kaiser Permanente. It’s a great story, and we’ve got it for you right here.)
This is the first of three episodes where we look at where health care prices come from. So this week it’s MRIs.
Next up: Prescription drugs.
And then: Insulin. Yep, we are going there.
See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
We wrap up our COVID-19 popup season with stories from three folks with very different takes on what we've learned so far about what the pandemic is …
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 listener, who has worked in health insurance for decades, wrote in. "I have listened to all the episodes in this podcast, and there are times I come away feeling bad working for the …
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.
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 …
Ryan Gamlin spent a decade working on the financial side of health care, before going to medical school. Now, as an anesthesiologist in Los Angeles, …