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Price of Ozempic, Mounjaro, Wegovy: How much do weight-loss drugs cost?

Christine, a North Carolina resident, has been used to hunger, food and weight occupying much of her mental energy. 

“I’ve been counting calories since I was 16 years old,” she said. “For me to lose weight, it’s like that’s the only thing I can possibly be doing. I have to devote all of my time and attention to thinking about when I’m going to eat and exercise.”

So when she decided it was time to explore medication for weight loss, the research process quickly consumed nearly all of her free time. Our own Mary Steffenhagen tells what Christine and others like her have been experiencing in finding and paying for weight-loss medications. A hint: It’s really tough out there.

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Free or discounted medical care: DollarFor and hospital bill relief

Jared Walker is the founder of DollarFor, which helps people apply for free or discounted hospital care, which people may be eligible for, based on income and household size. It’s called “charity care.”

The charity care policies of hospitals are based on Internal Revenue Service regulations for supplying “community benefit,” which is required to maintain nonprofit status under Section 501(r) of Schedule H of their tax return.

Walker’s organization has reduced or dismissed thousands of health care bills, helping people unravel the sometimes way-too-complicated application process. We talked about his work — you can learn about the good, the bad and the ugly in our interview.

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Calling ‘foul’ on asking people to get credit cards for health costs

More about medical debt: Many hospitals and medical providers have directed people seeking legally mandated financial aid to instead apply for consumer credit in the form of loans or credit cards to pay their bills. Well, finally someone noticed.

It’s actually pretty common: The financial aid pages of hospital websites are supposed to include full explanations of how to request free or discounted care under the “charity care” financial aid policies that hospitals are legally mandated to offer. But increasingly the financial aid pages show options for medical credit cards or installment loans to pay for healthcare services. Those credit cards and loans, as consumer credit, are treated differently on people’s credit reports than medical debt.

The Consumer Finance Protection Bureau, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and the Department of Treasury recently began an investigation into the practice. The agencies called for information from people about their experiences.

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For military families, strategy with Tricare can save money

Many benefits are associated with the commitment to active-duty military service, including the Tricare health insurance plan – which is generous compared to many U.S. insurance plans.  Yet some benefits come with a cost. Unfortunately, if you live off-base, health spending is one of them.

While Tricare insurance covers most service members and their dependents, with countless permanent change of station moves, military families living off base are often left on a scavenger hunt for Tricare network providers and pharmacies within driving distance. Here are some tips and tricks to make Tricare work — and save money for military families.

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The overlooked reason our healthcare system crushes patients

Gift link: It’s not a surprise — it’s a problem hiding in plain sight. This will resonate with all of you. Read and weep.

One good thing

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Jeanne Pinder  is the founder and CEO of ClearHealthCosts. She worked at The New York Times for almost 25 years as a reporter, editor and human resources executive, then volunteered for a buyout and founded...