October 16, 2009

Someone Else's Money

This week, we bring you a deeper look inside the health insurance industry. The dark side of prescription drug coupons. A story about Pet Health Insurance, which is in its infancy, and how it is changing human behaviors—for example, if you have the pet health insurance, you bring your pet to the vet more often, and the vet makes more money and...well, you can see the parallels.

And insurance company jargon, frighteningly decoded. This show was a co-production with NPR News, and was one of two shows we did on health care: The other is More Is Less.


Host Ira Glass talks to Rob Lamberts, a doctor and blogger in Georgia, who describes the crazy world of medical billing, where armies of coders use several contradictory different systems of codes...and none of it makes us healthier. (3 minutes)

Act Four

Sorry Johnny... It's Only Business.

This American Life producer Sarah Koenig reports on a very surprising reason why insurance companies dump members, and how this reasoning contradicts President Obama's argument for what will lower health care costs. (12 minutes)