Smart Talk

Smart Talk is a daily, live, interactive program featuring conversations with newsmakers and experts in a variety of fields and exploring a wide range of issues and ideas, including the economy, politics, health care, education, culture, and the environment.  Smart Talk airs live every week day at 9 a.m. on WITF’s 89.5 and 93.3.

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Host: Scott LaMar

Smart Talk: What have we learned about health insurance?; summer learning program for low-income students

Written by Scott LaMar, Smart Talk Host/Executive Producer | May 25, 2015 8:00 AM
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What to look for on Smart Talk Tuesday, May 26, 2015:

Health care and health insurance have changed drastically over the last five years.  There is no guarantee an employer offers health insurance or pays for it and deductibles and co-pays are typical.  A new survey of employers in Pennsylvania by Conrad Siegel Actuaries shows just how much change has occurred.

For example, the typical employee has an insurance plan with a deductible of between $1000 and $2,499 with co-pays of $20 for a doctor office visit or $40 to a specialist.

On Tuesday's Smart Talk, we'll learn more about what the survey said from Robert M. Glus, Partner and Consulting Actuary with Conrad Siegel Actuaries.

 Robert M. Glus

Robert M. Glus, Partner and Consulting Actuary with Conrad Siegel Actuaries.

Also, summer vacation is about to begin soon for school children throughout the region. 

During the months when students aren't going to classes every day, there's potential for the "summer slide" or "summer brain drain" - forgetting what they've learned in school or getting out of the habit of learning. 

There's a new program in the city of Lancaster this summer designed to help and enrich low-income students.  It's called Horizons and it will be held at the Lancaster Country Day School.

Joining us on Tuesday's program are Meg Reed and Mika McDougall of the Horizons program.

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  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-26 09:26

    Ben emails:

    Deductibles and copays are part of cost sharing but are also intended to shape consumption of healthcare services.

    Is there any evidence that people go to emergency rooms when it seeing your family doctor will do? People aren't going to the doctor for small issues? In general, has consumption behavior changed?

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-26 09:27

    Karen emails,

    I just have to say that my deductible is $3200, then I pay 20% coinsurance until I meet $6400 and then things get fully paid for.

    I understand that a major health issue will wipe this out at one time but then it rolls over.

    So if you get a catastrophic illness in December of one year, all that deductible/co-insurance applies and then it all starts again on January 1st. This is why many people go bankrupt due to medical bills.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-26 09:43

    Leonard writes,

    Bottom line only people that can afford it can go to the doctor.
    Let's talk about the insurance company CEOs salaries.

    As a sidenote my husband was recently laid off because of my high medical costs of a rare disease not preventable .....this is a man with perfect attendance and perfect quality awards.

    Now we can't prove that but it is an interesting fact.
    Also let's talk about a single-payer system.

  • Radio Smart Talk img 2015-05-26 09:58

    An Anonymous Listener emails,

    Please don’t use my name but, how do you apply to participate in the Horizons program from Lancaster county day school?