Access To Care

Because Of COVID-19: People Are Losing Health Insurance

Sep 3, 2020
Image via Pixabay

There are few aspects of life that have not been affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Side Effects Public Media has launched a Facebook Live series called “Because of COVID-19” to examine these ripple effects and offer solutions and resources.

Our first edition looked at the way many people have lost their jobs and their employer-provided health insurance due to layoffs and business closures. 

Christine Herman/Illinois Public Media

After Rebecca and Bruce Austin gave birth to their daughter, they struggled to get pregnant again. So they signed up to become foster parents.

“I wouldn’t change it for anything,” says Rebecca, reflecting on the past nine years. 


Sam Horton/Indiana Public Broadcasting.

Farmers across the Midwest are facing tight profit margins and rising healthcare costs. And that means some hold off getting medical treatment or forgo health insurance altogether. In response, some state farm bureaus are trying to fill that gap by creating their own group health plan.

Why This Free Health Clinic Is Pushing To Expand Medicaid

Dec 26, 2019
Sebastián Martínez Valdivia / Side Effects Public Media

On a chilly afternoon, Terry Cox has come to Mountain View, Mo., to see a dentist. He’s waiting on a bench outside a converted rectory.

“Came to get a tooth check and see what they got to do to it," Cox says. "Maybe get ‘em all out.”

The 56-year-old works in northern Arkansas, and drove an hour and a half to the Good Samaritan Care Clinic.

It’s open enrollment season for the health insurance marketplace established by the Affordable Care Act. But many people who need to sign up may not know it. The Trump administration has made a number of moves to diminish the law, including cuts to marketing and outreach. That creates obstacles for groups that help people sign up. 

(Lauren Chapman/IPB News)

new report finds the number of children without health insurance in Indiana has increased. This is the second year the state has followed this national trend.

The percentage of uninsured children in Indiana went up from 5.9 percent in 2016 to 6.6 percent in 2018. Georgetown University Center for Children and Families executive director Joan Alker, says Indiana is one of 13 states with increases this significant. 

Lindsey Moon / Side Effects Public Media

For months, Democratic presidential candidates have been swarming Iowa, seeking support for the caucuses on February 3. Healthcare -- and how to pay for it -- is one of the biggest issues for voters. More than half of the state’s hospitals are operating in the red, while per capita spending on health care is rising sharply. So what are the candidates proposing when it comes to Medicare?


Paige Pfleger, Side Effects Public Media

Holmes Co., Ohio, is a patchwork of farmland. Modest houses perch on sloping hills and laundry hangs from clothes lines, flapping in the wind. There are horses and buggies – some driven by farmers in straw hats, others by women with their hair covered in bonnets, babies on their laps.

Holmes is one of the healthiest counties in Ohio. It’s also the least insured.

Anemone123/Pixabay

An Illinois Senate bill aims to help children who are at risk of entering state custody because of issues caused by untreated mental illness. The measure comes as states grapple with ways to help parents who face a heartbreaking choice: giving up custody to obtain expensive treatment for a child.


Today was the start date for a federal policy that gives companies more leeway to skip insurance coverage for contraceptives. Companies can now limit coverage on moral or religious grounds -- so fewer women are likely to get coverage.

SARAH FENTEM | ST. LOUIS PUBLIC RADIO

People with rare metabolic disorders need medical foods to keep from going hungry, but costs and regulations mean some go without or have to find a workaround.

Creative Commons/Pixabay

To an outsider, the fancy booths at last month’s health insurance industry gathering in San Diego aren’t very compelling. A handful of companies pitching “lifestyle” data and salespeople touting jargony phrases like “social determinants of health.”

But dig deeper and the implications of what they’re selling might give many patients pause: A future in which everything you do — the things you buy, the food you eat, the time you spend watching TV — may help determine how much you pay for health insurance.

Photo courtesy of Purdue University

A patient’s self-evaluation of mental health problems may be more accurate than previously thought according to new research out of Purdue University. 

Past studies indicate patient and therapist diagnoses of personality disorders do not align. But this new study found different results when patients and providers had the same diagnostic tool.

Lead author and Purdue professor Doug Samuels says patients and providers identified many of the same symptoms at the similar places on a personality assessment scale.

Medicaid Is Rural America's Financial Midwife

Mar 13, 2018
Maddie McGarvey / Kaiser Health News

Brianna Foster, 23, lives minutes away from Genesis Hospital, the main source of health care and the only hospital with maternity services in southeastern Ohio’s rural Muskingum County.

In 2005, Francis Brauner was a quarter of the way through a 20-year prison sentence at Dixon Correctional Institute in Louisiana, when he had an accident.

Brauner was imprisoned for a rape conviction, which he maintains was wrongful and part of a setup by a corrupt judge.

His sentence involved hard labor, and one day he was out in the fields, cutting the grass and he bent over to pick something up from the ground. He felt a sharp pain in his back.

Behind The Turntable, An Unexpected Resource For Assault Prevention

Feb 22, 2018

Bloomington, Indiana has no shortage of night clubs. A classic college town, on any day of the week, bar-goers can begin a crawl in the late afternoon and hit a dozen sticky dance floors by midnight.

Niko Si / Flickr

A law passed in 2014 was supposed to ensure Illinois families no longer have to give up custody of their children in order to get them necessary mental health treatment.

Steve Pivnick / US Air Force

Indiana Medicaid will now cover residential treatment, detoxification and peer recovery services. The federal government approved the expanded coverage earlier this month as part of the Healthy Indiana Plan’s Medicaid waiver extension.

Bram Sable-Smith / KBIA/Side Effects Public Media

This story was originally published February 6. It has been updated as of February 9 at 1 pm.

The Atchison-Holt Ambulance District spans two counties and 1,100 square miles in the far northwest corner of Missouri. The EMTs who drive these ambulances cover nearly 10 times more land area than their counterparts in Omaha, the nearest major city. 

Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

Members who fail to renew coverage under Indiana’s Medicaid program will be subject to a six-month suspension period. That’s despite previous notice in 2016 from the federal government that the state can’t enforce such lockouts.

Illustration: Ela Trujillo / WHYY/The Pulse

“I hope to extend my life as long as possible for the sake of my children.”

Beth Van Dam / Flickr

While serving time in jail, Emma King had to go to great lengths to find something as common as tampons. She and other women in prison eventually learned how to make their own.


Treating Domestic Violence As A Medical Issue

Jan 30, 2018
Anna Gorman / Kaiser Health News

Fanny Ortiz, a mother of five who lives just east of downtown Los Angeles, spent nearly a decade married to a man who controlled her and frequently threatened her. Then, she said, his abuse escalated. “He would physically hit me in the face, throw me on the wall,” she recalled.


Sarah Fentem / Side Effects Public Media

The federal government has granted a one-month extension to Indiana’s Medicaid program, known as the Healthy Indiana Plan, or HIP 2.0, which was set to expire this month.

This buys time for the state and federal government to finalize details of how the program works, according to a press release from Gov. Eric Holcomb's office. 

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