health care costs health care costs

Eleven days after surgery on her shoulder and foot, Sherry Young of Lawton, Okla., got a letter from her insurance plan saying that it hadn't approved her hospital stay. The letter "put me in a panic," says Young. The $115,000-plus bill for the hospital stay was about how much Young's home is worth, and five times her annual income. Nick Oxford for Kaiser Health News hide caption

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Nick Oxford for Kaiser Health News

Sticker Shock Jolts Oklahoma Patient: $15,076 For 4 Tiny Screws

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When Anne Soloviev, a retiree who lives in Washington, D.C., received a prescription to treat toenail fungus, she never thought to ask how much it cost. As it turned out, she was prescribed a topical medication costing almost $1,500. Cheryl Diaz Meyer for KHN hide caption

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Cheryl Diaz Meyer for KHN

Financial Side Effects From A Prescription For Toenail Fungus

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Urine testing to diagnose illness or to detect the presence of drugs is generally routine. But a woman who gave her doctor a urine sample months after back surgery got socked with a huge bill. SPL/Science Source hide caption

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SPL/Science Source

Liz Moreno thought she was done paying for her back surgery in 2015. But a $17,850 bill for a urine test showed up nine months later. Her father, Paul Davis, a retired doctor from Ohio, settled with the lab company for $5,000 in order to protect his daughter's credit history. Julia Robinson for KHN hide caption

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Julia Robinson for KHN

How A Urine Test After Back Surgery Triggered A $17,850 Bill

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(From left) Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase; Warren Buffett, CEO of Berkshire Hathaway; and Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, are creating health care venture, but details are scarce. (From left) Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Andy Kropa/Invision/AP; Mark Wilson/Getty Images hide caption

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(From left) Simon Dawson/Bloomberg via Getty Images; Andy Kropa/Invision/AP; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

Dr. Gita Agarwal of Mary's Center conducts a telemedicine conference with Dennis Dolman from his mother's house in Washington, D.C. Tyrone Turner/WAMU hide caption

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Tyrone Turner/WAMU

Can Home Health Visits Help Keep People Out Of The ER?

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When the Northville Psychiatric Hospital closed, many of the patients either had to leave southeast Michigan for hospitals elsewhere in the state or ended up in community programs that haven't always met their needs, an advocacy group says. Paul Sancya/AP hide caption

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Paul Sancya/AP

Christina Arenas reviews her medical bills at home in Washington, D.C. She complained about a mammogram and ultrasounds that she felt were unnecessary and sought a refund. Allison Shelley hide caption

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Allison Shelley

Epidemic Of Health Care Waste: From $1,877 Ear Piercing To ICU Overuse

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Lauren Kafka rented a machine that delivered cold water and compression to manage pain after rotator cuff surgery. Her insurance company said it wasn't medically necessary and refused to pay for it. Courtesy of Alexander C. Kafka hide caption

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Courtesy of Alexander C. Kafka

House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady, R-Texas, and Rep. Richard Neal, D-Mass., listen to debate on tax reform on Wednesday. J. Scott Applewhite/AP hide caption

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J. Scott Applewhite/AP

At a press conference in Japan on Monday, President Donald Trump blamed mental illness, not guns, for the Texas massacre. Anadolu Agency/Getty Images hide caption

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Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

Texas Shooter's History Raises Questions About Mental Health And Mass Murder

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Kathleen Phelps, who lacks health insurance, speaks in favor of expanding Medicaid at a news conference in Portland, Maine on Oct. 13, 2016. Patty Wight/Maine Public Radio hide caption

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Patty Wight/Maine Public Radio

Republican Sen. Charles Grassley of Iowa and Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota want drugmakers to stop wasting money by making eyedrops that are too big. Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call Inc./Getty Images hide caption

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Douglas Graham/CQ-Roll Call Inc./Getty Images

Sen. Bill Cassidy, R-La., continues to tweak the health care bill he cosponsors in an effort to persuade reluctant senators to back it. Joe Raedle/Getty Images hide caption

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images