June 19, 2024

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This story is part of Priced Out, CNET’s coverage of how real people are coping with the high cost of living in the US.

Evan Stewart has epilepsy, so going a day without health insurance isn’t an option. When he left his job in the medical field to tour with his musical band, he was able to keep his benefits through COBRA. That meant a large part of his income — $800 a month — went toward keeping that coverage until he qualified for another insurance plan with his new employer. 


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The cost wasn’t bad considering the alternative. “If a seizure lasts me more than five minutes, an ambulance has to come to my house, and then I’ll probably go to the emergency room,” said Stewart, who lives in Seattle. “Without insurance, the ambulance ride would bankrupt me, and the hospital stay would keep me in medical debt for the rest of my life.” 

Stewart was nervous about switching his job because he didn’t want to give up his health care benefits. That’s fairly common in the US: One out of every six adult workers who get medical insurance through an employer stay in their jobs out of fear of losing coverage, according to a recent Gallup poll. While the majority of larger employers offer health benefits, annual premiums have soared in the last decade, reaching a yearly average of $7,911 for single coverage and $22,463 for family coverage. Many of these plans also have costly copays and high deductibles, requiring employees to pay even more. 

Even with a good insurance policy like Stewart’s, Americans often find themselves paying insurmountable out-of-pocket medical expenses. 

“We have an incredibly complex health care system,” said Amy Niles of the PAN Foundation, a nonprofit that helps underinsured patients in need. “And unfortunately, at the end of the day, a lot of the cost gets shifted onto the patients.” 

That’s why, according to Niles, it’s important to understand the price tag when considering your own health needs. Getting affordable medical care isn’t impossible, but it means sifting through an array of options: from private short-term plans to the Affordable Care Act’s marketplace tiers to government- or state-based insurance, all with different rules, requirements, enrollment dates, premiums and deductibles. It also means becoming a strong self-advocate. If a household can’t afford health insurance, there are other resources that provide help and low-cost care.

‘My heart goes out to all freelancers’

Freelancers and gig workers without access to employer-based plans can jump onto their partner’s plan or apply for Medicaid, but often they have to select the plan they can afford on the health insurance marketplace, commonly referred to as the exchange.

Jeanette Smith

Jeanette Smith

Jeanette Smith, a freelance fiction editor who resides in Dallas, said she has paid anywhere from $150 (with a premium tax credit) to $450 a month for self-employed insurance, and the costs have only been increasing. Though monthly insurance premiums on the exchange vary by

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2 min read

The soaring price of eggs may well be inspiring some people to incorporate a chicken coop or two to their yard or home. 

The feathery pets, on the other hand, appear with major well being challenges, according to the Facilities for Illness Management and Prevention (CDC) — so people today should go into this sort of an endeavor with eyes huge open up.

“Raising any form of animal or chook is normally probably fraught with communicable condition transmission,” Dr. Aaron Glatt, main of infectious ailments at Mount Sinai South Nassau Hospital on Long Island, New York, explained to Fox News Electronic this 7 days.

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“Proper consideration has to be offered toward keeping the very good health and fitness of these creatures, as perfectly as stopping the unfold of microbes they may perhaps harbor,” extra Glatt. He is also a spokesperson for the Infectious Diseases Modern society of The united states. 

Last year, there have been 1,230 diseases, 225 hospitalizations and two deaths in 49 states and Puerto Rico as section of a CDC investigation into outbreaks connected to yard poultry, according to its website.

"Raising any type of animal or bird is always potentially fraught with communicable disease transmission," said an infectious disease expert. 

“Increasing any style of animal or fowl is constantly probably fraught with communicable disease transmission,” reported an infectious disease specialist.  (iStock)

“In 2022, CDC investigated 13 multi-condition outbreaks of salmonella infections joined to backyard poultry,” Dr. Kathy Benedict, a veterinarian epidemiologist with the CDC, advised Fox News Electronic. 

“Backyard poultry can be a reservoir for quite a few illnesses, which can distribute conditions to poultry and/or people,” additional Maurice Pitesky, a cooperative extension specialist with University of California, Davis School of Veterinary Medication in Davis, California.

“Backyard poultry can be a reservoir for numerous diseases.”

“It is our obligation to raise the birds in these a method as to lessen the probable for sickness transmission,” he additional.

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The CDC provides tips on how to continue to be safe and sound from the dangerous germs that chickens can spread.

Chickens carry germs

“Chickens can have germs like campylobacter, E. coli and salmonella,” Benedict of the CDC advised Fox Information Electronic.

These are all bacterial infections. 

Chickens can look "clean and healthy but still spread germs to people."

Chickens can glimpse “clean up and healthy but still distribute germs to persons.” (iStock)

Chickens don’t generally get sick from these germs, she said — so “they can glimpse clean and healthful but nonetheless unfold the germs to individuals.”

People today making use of a rooster coop can also get an an infection recognised as histoplasmosis, explained Benedict. 

Histoplasmosis is prompted by a fungus discovered in soil that is been contaminated with chook poop. 

It is caused by a fungus found in soil that is contaminated with hen poop. 

Experts emphasize the worth of understanding the wellness dangers of one bacterial infection in unique — salmonella — related with having a chicken coop.

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