On this episode of the podcast, Terry and Bob discuss the rising cost of health insurance, including premiums, deductibles, and copays. They point out how these higher costs disproportionately impact patients with rare and chronic diseases. They explain how insurance consolidation and monopolization have contributed to these rising costs.
They argue that insurers often stay under the radar when it comes to discussions about rising healthcare prices. And they highlight a recent op-ed by Dr. Marion Mass about how the AARP does the bidding of big health insurers.
Terry interviews former insurance executive-turned-advocate Wendell Potter about whether Medicare for All is the solution for America. Together, they explore the reasons behind climbing costs and what a public option would mean for patient access to insurance. They talk about patients being denied care because insurers deem it not medically necessary and how such decisions can have life and death consequences.
They note how insurance companies have engaged in profiteering by restricting access to care and how two major insurers are now among the ten biggest companies in the country. Since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, health insurance premiums have risen by over 50 percent, and deductibles have more than doubled.
Patient correspondent Kate Pecora interviews Morgan Fitzgerald, who lives with chronic migraines, about her battles to get her medications covered by her insurer. She discusses her experience taking many medications and their side effects and explains how breakthrough new preventative medications have given her life back. Unfortunately, her insurer has made access to these drugs difficult by requiring step therapy. She also highlights other new breakthrough neurological treatments that offer hope for patients like her.