Health Insurance

More Uninsured In Bad Economy

Dec 15, 2010
NC Institute of Medicine
NC Institute of Medicine

The number of people who lack health insurance has been climbing in the wake of the economic downturn. That's according to an new analysis by the state Institute of Medicine.

If you don’t have health insurance, there are places you can go to get health care. Community clinics, local health departments, state funded health centers … they often provide low-cost or even free care. But they mostly focus on the basics. What if you have a heart problem and need to see a cardiologist? Or you need an orthopedic surgeon or an endocrinologist? These kinds of specialists are expensive, and there is typically no low-cost option for people who don’t have insurance. Ten years ago, doctors in Buncombe County wanted to do something about that. And the program they created, Project Access, is now a model for other programs nationwide. Dave DeWitt reports for our series "North Carolina Voices: Diagnosing Health Care."

NC Voices: Health Literacy

Oct 5, 2007

There are a lot of ways to get health information… from the doctor, the Internet, books, patient handouts, friends and family. But how do you know what information is best for you? Wading through and understanding it, contradictions and all, is a function of health literacy - the ability to understand and follow the doctor’s advice. Without that, even patients with good medical insurance can lose out.  Rose Hoban reports for our series "North Carolina Voices: Diagnosing Health Care."

NC Voices: Skipping Health Insurance

Oct 5, 2007

The United States is the only major industrialized nation that does not provide healthcare for everyone.  47 million Americans have no insurance to help pay for trips to the doctor, medicine, or emergency surgery.  People can purchase health insurance on their own, but it's usually expensive, and a lot of people who are uninsured say they can't afford it.  So they hope they don't get sick; seek charity or low cost care when they do; and even make big life decisions based on their insurance needs.  Karen Michel reports for our series "North Carolina Voices:  Diagnosing Health Care."

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