Daily Rounds: Health Insurance Skyrockets; School Lunch Bill Passes; Eat Your Worms; New Blue Cross Plan Avoids Pricey Hospitals; The Right To Care At Home?

Medical News: Dramatic Hike Seen in Employee Health Insurance Costs - in Public Health & Policy, Health Policy from MedPage Today "Health insurance deductibles for people in employer-sponsored plans rose an average 77% between 2003 and 2009, while premiums for family coverage increased by 41%, the Commonwealth Fund reported. "If insurance premiums for employer-sponsored health plans in each state continued to grow at the same average annual rate seen from 2003 to 2009, the average premium for family coverage would rise to $23,342 by 2020 — an increase of 79%." (

Child Nutrition Bill Clears Congress - "Congress gave final approval on Thursday to a child nutrition bill that expands the school lunch program and sets new standards to improve the quality of school meals, with more fruits and vegetables." (The New York Times)

Eat Your Worms: The Upside Of Parasites : NPR "For years evidence has been mounting that intestinal parasites can actually be a good thing for people with inflammatory bowel disease because certain parasitic worms seem to help the intestine heal. Now scientists think they've found at least one reason why this is so, thanks to a man who has spent years treating his own bowel disease with worms." (

Care At Home: A New Civil Right : NPR "There's a growing body of law and federal policy that states when the government pays for someone's care in a nursing home, that person should have the choice to get his care at home. That it's a civil rights issue. NPR's Investigative Unit looked at this emerging civil right to live at home and found that although it's been established in law and federal policy, the chance to live at home remains an empty promise for many people like Hendrix. States are slow to create new programs. Washington's enforcement record is spotty. And there are often contradictory federal and state policies about how to pay for long-term care." (

Blue Cross creates health plan that charges more for certain hospitals - Quincy, MA - The Patriot Ledger Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts is launching a new health coverage option next month that encourages consumers to avoid 15 high-cost hospitals. Employers who opt for the Hospital Choice Cost Sharing plan would benefit from a much smaller premium increase next year than they would have faced if they kept their same health plan. (

This program aired on December 3, 2010. The audio for this program is not available.


More from WBUR

Listen Live