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An Arm and a Leg on Smash Notes

An Arm and a Leg podcast.

December 31, 2019

No surprise, the cost of health care is… unhealthy. Reporter Dan Weissmann digs up revealing, surprising stories-- and some straight-up hacks-- that can help us get a little less scared and confused about the mess we’re in. We may be screwed, but we’re together. Let's talk



Episodes with Smash Notes

In a classic—and hilarious—David vs. Goliath story, Jeffrey Fox takes on a huge hospital over an outrageous bill, and wins.

He's a bit of an expert in using small claims court to get satisfaction, and he's got detailed instructions for all o...

There's a reason Shaunna Burns went viral with her videos about dealing with debt collectors: She used to be one, so she knows a few things. (Also she's smart and funny.) We fact-checked her advice with a legal expert.

Forty-something mom Shaunna Burns went viral on TikTok, thanks in part to a series of videos dishing out real-talk advice on fighting medical bills. She's the virtual mom that thousands of Gen-Z followers love. And her stories will curl your hair.

Laura Derrick fought and endured for decades. When medical bills threatened to swamp her family, she made huge sacrifices, worked unbelievably hard... and helped change the course of history.

Barbara Faubion got up every day psyched to go to work—which she says puzzled her friends. “They’d go, ‘You love your job?!? You spend your whole day talking to an insurance company. Are you kidding me?’” She wasn’t kidding. And she's got lessons ...

Steve Benasso is an HR director who hates seeing people getting taken advantage of. So he fights off weird medical bills and bogus insurance denials for those colleagues. "I am a bulldog. I do it every month." On this episode, he tells us how...

If you need medical care, it's like you've entered a casino, playing for your financial life, with the deck stacked against you. Lucky for us, we get insight — and tips the dealer WON'T tell you— from ace reporter Celia Llopis-Jepsen.

...

There's no time like a pandecmic to (a) learn to fight back against the awful cost of health care. And (b) have a good time doing it. Yep. Let’s go.

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 costing us.

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.

She made it through—with with hard-won tips for a...

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 insurance company."

We talked. She had useful advice for ...

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. And that sector? It's health care.