‘An Arm and a Leg’: Hi there? We Utilize 12 Million Hours a Week on the Cell phone With Insurers

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After Stanford professor Jeffrey Pfeffer bought encourage surgery years previously, he kept a file folder labeled “Blue Protect Troubles.”

When Pfeffer bought an offer to collaborate with the polling company Gallup, he instructed a learn about on how great time Individuals employ on the cell phone with their health insurers. Gallup agreed.

Their finding: We employ about 12 million hours per week calling our medical health insurance. (They also chanced on that, as workers, calling our medical health insurance corporations diagram we’re extra inclined to sprint over work, and to be extra checked-out and burned-out on the job.)

And given all that … it’s necessary to understand as great as that you simply could perchance be call to mind about who we’re the truth is on the cell phone with when we make these calls. Fancy, how web they make money? What are the incentives?

Here’s something few of us know: In a lot of cases, the corporations are no longer the truth is getting paid to produce insurance. If you happen to procure your insurance thru work, your employer per chance “self-insures.” (That’s correct for roughly two-thirds of all workers, and extra than 90% of oldsters that work for corporations with extra than 1,000 workers.)

But it no doubt isn’t glaring if your job self-insures. You’ll web an insurance card that claims Cigna or United or Aetna and so forth. But you’re working in a recurring universe. Let’s exclaim, self-funded plans are ruled by federal laws, so your divulge insurance price can’t step in and help. And that’s appropriate a originate. 

In this episode, we originate to procure our bearings on that diversified universe. We test with Pfeffer, to 1 among our current insurance brains, Karen Pollitz of KFF and to journalist Leslie Walker, whose reporting for the podcast “Tradeoffs” indicates that after corporations are taking part of their position in “self-insured” setups, they’ll procure as much as a couple shady practices. And the employers they’re working for — even massive, extremely efficient outfits — steadily don’t exclaim a quantity of oversight and even web a quantity of leverage.

Here’s a transcript for this episode.

“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of KHN and Public Avenue Productions.

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