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24 minutes | 8 days ago
The Cutting Edge
Here in the United States we have some of the best surgeons, specialists, and some of the best, most innovative treatments in the world. But when the company that runs your health plan refuses to authorize these treatments, what does this mean for the very progress of medicine in this country?In this episode of ERISA Watch, host Elizabeth Hopkins speaks with Aaron Monheim, a 34 year old husband and father of a three year old daughter. Aaron lives with Relapsing- remitting Multiple Sclerosis. Aaron tells Liz the story of his diagnosis of and its affect on his life. All of Aaron's signs showed that he was the perfect candidate for a certain type of stem cell transplant that would give him the best long-term outcome. Unfortunately for Aaron, the decision makers at Kaiser did not agree. The treatment was deemed experimental and Kaiser refused to authorize these treatment. Elizabeth and Aaron discuss the irony of the fact that even though this stem cell treatment would likely work, and is considerably less expensive than the pharmaceutical counterpart, insurance companies would rather we all use treatment options that are repeatable, and are something we would pay for for years and years.Although in some cases when refusing to authorize treatments, insurance companies have a legitimate foot to stand on. But the problem of standing on one foot is balance.Please enjoy, and be on the lookout for our next episode on June 4
25 minutes | a month ago
The Mental Health Parity Paradox
In this episode of ERISA Watch, host Elizabeth Hopkins asks: "When did modern Western medicine decide that mental health was something altogether different than health pertaining to anywhere else in the body?"First Liz speaks with Dr. Joshua Warach, MD, a Neurologist from the Veteran's Administration about their ongoing effort to treat the veterans as holistically as possible, and to de-stigmatize mental health issues. Should the V.A. be a model for commercial healthcare systems?In the area of law and policy, Liz had a chance to speak with Lisa Kantor, Co-Founder of Kantor & Kantor, one of the nation's premier experts in the area of mental health parity, and an advocate for those who suffer from mental illness. It won't surprise our listeners to know that even though there are mental health parity laws, insurance companies continue to look for avenues through which they can get around these regulations. Please enjoy, and be on the lookout for our next episode on May 7.
28 minutes | 2 months ago
Uncovered in the Gig Economy
This premiere episode of ERISA Watch, host Elizabeth Hopkins discusses a real life example of how the federal law of ERISA works in the context of today's employee healthcare benefit environment. Elizabeth does this through a conversation with two clients, union members from the entertainment industry. These men lost access to their healthcare benefits through language and rules with their plans that are quirky at best. Listen to episode one to learn more about ERISA and to realize how precarious our healthcare is in this country, especially as it is tied to employment.Tune in next month as we discuss mental health parity.
1 minutes | 3 months ago
ERISA Watch - Trailer
ERISA stands for the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974 and governs most of our employee benefits. While this area of law may not seem as engrossing as other areas of law such as criminal law, the impact labor laws have on our lives are just as compelling and the stakes are just as high. This law blankets areas such as mental health, eating disorders, our retirement accounts, life insurance, and more. Erisa watch will tell stories of individuals whose lives have been dramatically affected and show why Erisa matters.
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