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If you don’t have money and you don’t have a job, what are your best options for getting health care?
It’s 2023 open enrollment season, and a lot of Americans are shopping for health insurance plans. And some are weighing the risks of skipping health insurance altogether.
One listener wrote to “An Arm and a Leg” about his son, a student with no income who has aged out of the family’s health insurance. He asked: If his son buys a plan, would he be signing away the possibility of getting charity care (financial assistance) at his local hospital?
To answer this question, podcast host Dan Weissmann relied on expert help from Karen Pollitz, a senior fellow at KFF, and Jared Walker, founder of Dollar For and an expert on charity care.
If you want to go deeper:
- “An Arm and a Leg” did a three-part series on picking health insurance in its First Aid Kit newsletter. Start here.
- An episode from last year explored other do’s and don’ts for picking health insurance.
- In a 2018 episode, Weissmann talked with another listener — a “financial therapist” — who had her own deep questions about health insurance.
“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Road Productions.
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