September 18, 2009
Contact:
Emerson Brown, NPR


   

NPR NEWS ASKS: "ARE YOU COVERED?"

NINE-PART SERIES EXPLORES AMERICANS' EXPERIENCES
AND SATISFACTION WITH CURRENT HEALTH CARE SYSTEM

SERIES PRODUCED IN PARTNERSHIP WITH KAISER HEALTH NEWS,
BEGINS SEPTEMBER 21 ON MORNING EDITION AND ALL THINGS CONSIDERED AND AT NPR.ORG

September 18; Washington, DC – As divisive as the ongoing health care debate, Americans’ attitudes about the current health care system -– and what if any changes should be made to it -– vary widely. NPR News explores how different people use and manage with their health care in "Are You Covered? A Look at Americans and Health Insurance," an extensive nine-part series beginning Monday, September 21. The series will air on the NPR newsmagazines Morning Edition and All Things Considered with multimedia material at NPR.org, and is being produced in partnership with the nonprofit news service Kaiser Health News.

"Are You Covered?" presents the different experiences of individuals and families with varying types and levels of insurance. Through nine vignettes and online profiles at NPR.org, the series examines how these Americans are dealing with a specific situation and how it shapes their views of whether or not to change the system. The profiles focus on the following circumstances: uninsured, underinsured, Medicare, Medicaid, not wanting insurance, buying their own insurance, having the best insurance available, having the same federal insurance as Congress and getting insurance through an employer. In addition to the profiles, NPR News will follow each story with analysis to provide further insight into the topics covered, and also continue to check in with many of the same people in the weeks and months ahead to get their views on the overhaul proposals being debated.

"Are You Covered?" begins Monday on Morning Edition and All Things Considered, with reports from NPR correspondents Debbie Elliott and Joseph Shapiro. Shapiro's Morning Edition report assesses federal employees' health benefits, often cited as a model. On All Things Considered, Elliott talks with an uninsured New Orleans contractor who had to drop his coverage as his business slowed. Throughout the week, listeners can expect to hear about a California man happy with his employer-supplied health care who also supports a free-market approach to overhauling the system; a Chicago family who buys its own coverage and is rationing care; and a 55-year-old woman who refuses to get health insurance in the current system and instead pays cash for her care.

The "Are You Covered?" series page at NPR.org will augment the on-air reports with interactive graphics and further details about each of the nine issues. Features of the page will include photographs and biographical information for each person or family profiled, in-depth examinations of how the proposals for a health care overhaul would affect people with varying levels of insurance and audio slide shows produced by NPR and Kaiser Health News. Videos capturing the series’ subjects going through their everyday lives will also be available at www.kaiserhealthnews.org

"Are You Covered? A Look at Americans and Health Insurance" is produced in collaboration with Kaiser Health News. Kaiser Health News is an editorially independent program of the Henry J. Kaiser Family Foundation, a nonpartisan health-care policy research organization. The Kaiser Family Foundation is not affiliated with Kaiser Permanente.

The series is part of NPR's extensive coverage of health care on-air and online, which also includes continuous news on the NPR Health Blog and "Prescriptions for Change," a special series following the Obama Administration's efforts to remake health care and explaining how various proposals before Congress affect different groups of Americans.