Health News: Finding Good Health Care in Bad Times

Many Americans were having problems affording good health care even before the recent recession and wave of layoffs began. The economic downturn has only made things worse. The Wall Street Journal has two articles on finding good health care in hard times.

One story looks at how a family’s health care support system unraveled in the recession. The family’s children have a rare bone-marrow disorder and relied on donations to meet the costs insurance didn’t cover. But the economic downturn has greatly reduced the donations; contributions to their former church’s medical care fund are down, and a fundraiser held to gain contributions has yielded less money this year than last.

On a more positive note, there’s an article explaining how some new online services have arisen to provide basic medical consults in an easy, low-cost manner. Patients can interact with doctors in a variety of ways (online video, text chat, or phone), and the fees can be as low as $10 for a 10-minute consult. Other services charge a monthly fee and then a per-consult fee. This article looks at some of the companies now offering these services, and notes their pluses and minuses.

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