1. Book review: The Easy 5-Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook
  2. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-15-2020
  3. Vegan Chickpea Walnut Tacos
  4. Permission to Love Yourself, Too
  5. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-08-2020
  6. Lovely Meals Lately
  7. Tart Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  8. Top 6 Sodium Culprits
  9. Fasting and You
  10. Drool-Worthy Healthy Lunch Recipes You Need in Your Life
  11. Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  12. The Truth About Plastics
  13. Heartfelt Foods
  14. BPA Explained
  15. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-01-2020
  16. Savvy Spending with Nicole Lapin
  17. 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chia Balls
  18. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-25-2020
  19. Can neurogastronomy save the world?
  20. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
  21. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: 01-18-2020
  22. Pantry 2020 Basics
  23. Top 10 Tips for Cooking Dried Legumes
  24. What I Ate Wednesday + Day In the Life
  25. Brussels Sprout Kale Caesar Salad with Rosemary Croutons
  26. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-11-2020
  27. Eat for your Dosha
  28. Keep it Moving
  29. No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars
  30. Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion
  31. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-04-2020
  32. Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta with Chickpeas
  33. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-28-2019
  34. Get Well, Not High
  35. 21 Fabulously Festive Vegan Holiday Treats
  36. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-21-2019
  37. Vegan Lasagna Soup
  38. Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese, Roasted Grapes, and Pecans
  39. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-14-2019
  40. Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
  41. Kid-approved vegan eats
  42. Fudgy Avocado Walnut Brownies
  43. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
  44. Amazing Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
  45. 2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Her
  46. Herbal Inclusions for Dishes and Drinks
  47. 4 Diabetes Game Changers
  48. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-30-2019
  49. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cream Cheese
  50. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-23-2019
  51. Wedding Planning: The Ring, Our Vendors, and More!
  52. Instant Pot Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
  53. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-16-2019
  54. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 10-26-2019
  55. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-02-2019
  56. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  57. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-09-2019
  58. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  59. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  60. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
  61. Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  62. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  63. Unearthing Evidence-Based Integrative Remedies to Stress
  64. Scribble Anxiety Away
  65. Best Hostess Gift Ever
  66. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
  67. Pumpkin Walnut Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
  68. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
  69. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  70. Vegan Chili Cornbread Casserole
  71. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  72. Orca Conservation
  73. Fall’s Functional Foods
  74. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  75. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  76. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
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  83. Eco-friendly Food Storage
  84. Bento Box Recipes
  85. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
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  88. 5 lunchbox ideas
  89. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
  90. Fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
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  92. 33 Mouthwatering Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
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  94. The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
  95. VOTE TODAY!
  96. Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
  97. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  98. Keep your cool
  99. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
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  101. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  102. Your brain on… air pollution?
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  111. What I Ate Wednesday
  112. Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Banana Muffins
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  114. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  115. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  116. What is CPR?
  117. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
  118. Cushing Syndrome (For Parents)
  119. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  120. Manganese
  121. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
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  123. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  124. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  125. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  126. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  127. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  128. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  129. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  130. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  131. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
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Tuesday, February 18, 2020
  1. Book review: The Easy 5-Ingredient Pescatarian Cookbook
  2. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-15-2020
  3. Vegan Chickpea Walnut Tacos
  4. Permission to Love Yourself, Too
  5. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-08-2020
  6. Lovely Meals Lately
  7. Tart Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  8. Top 6 Sodium Culprits
  9. Fasting and You
  10. Drool-Worthy Healthy Lunch Recipes You Need in Your Life
  11. Cherry Orange Pistachio Bread (Gluten-Free!)
  12. The Truth About Plastics
  13. Heartfelt Foods
  14. BPA Explained
  15. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 02-01-2020
  16. Savvy Spending with Nicole Lapin
  17. 5-Ingredient Peanut Butter Chia Balls
  18. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-25-2020
  19. Can neurogastronomy save the world?
  20. Healthy Tuna Noodle Casserole
  21. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: 01-18-2020
  22. Pantry 2020 Basics
  23. Top 10 Tips for Cooking Dried Legumes
  24. What I Ate Wednesday + Day In the Life
  25. Brussels Sprout Kale Caesar Salad with Rosemary Croutons
  26. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-11-2020
  27. Eat for your Dosha
  28. Keep it Moving
  29. No-Bake Chocolate Almond Butter Oatmeal Bars
  30. Apple Cider Vinegar for Digestion
  31. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 01-04-2020
  32. Mediterranean Vegetable Pasta with Chickpeas
  33. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-28-2019
  34. Get Well, Not High
  35. 21 Fabulously Festive Vegan Holiday Treats
  36. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-21-2019
  37. Vegan Lasagna Soup
  38. Sweet Potato Rounds with Goat Cheese, Roasted Grapes, and Pecans
  39. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-14-2019
  40. Vegan Peanut Butter Cup Cookies (Gluten-Free!)
  41. Kid-approved vegan eats
  42. Fudgy Avocado Walnut Brownies
  43. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 12-07-2019
  44. Amazing Vegan Ginger Molasses Cookies
  45. 2019 Holiday Gift Guide For Her
  46. Herbal Inclusions for Dishes and Drinks
  47. 4 Diabetes Game Changers
  48. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-30-2019
  49. Instant Pot Mashed Potatoes with Garlic and Cream Cheese
  50. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-23-2019
  51. Wedding Planning: The Ring, Our Vendors, and More!
  52. Instant Pot Vegan Cream of Mushroom and Wild Rice Soup
  53. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-16-2019
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  56. Roasted Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
  57. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 11-09-2019
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  60. What I Wednesday: FNCE in Philly!
  61. Potato, Mushroom, and Lentil Kale Salad
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  63. Unearthing Evidence-Based Integrative Remedies to Stress
  64. Scribble Anxiety Away
  65. Best Hostess Gift Ever
  66. What I Ate Wednesday: Fiancé Edition!
  67. Pumpkin Walnut Burgers with Chipotle Yogurt Sauce
  68. Favorite Fluffy Whole Wheat Pancakes
  69. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  70. Vegan Chili Cornbread Casserole
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  72. Orca Conservation
  73. Fall’s Functional Foods
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  75. Healthy Pumpkin Cheesecake Dip
  76. Simple Swaps for Your Zero Waste Journey
  77. Lessons on Food and Farming in Monterey, California
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  81. Here’s How to Live a more Colourful Life
  82. Cooking with CBD
  83. Eco-friendly Food Storage
  84. Bento Box Recipes
  85. How to Make Sushi Sandwich
  86. Healthy Vegan Buffalo Cauliflower Dip
  87. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-14-2019
  88. 5 lunchbox ideas
  89. 17 Free and Easy Ways to Be a Self-Care Expert
  90. Fluffy Vegan Pumpkin Muffins
  91. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan: Week of 09-07-2019
  92. 33 Mouthwatering Healthy Vegetarian Recipes for Dinner Tonight
  93. What I Ate Wednesday
  94. The Best Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing
  95. VOTE TODAY!
  96. Veggie Stir Fry with Peanut Sauce
  97. Twilight Time: Reading With Kids
  98. Keep your cool
  99. Tart Cherry Crumble Pie
  100. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  101. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  102. Your brain on… air pollution?
  103. Brain Boosters
  104. MCT oil Coconut’s healthful gift
  105. Hot right now
  106. Cupcakes for breakfast?
  107. Vegan Chocolate Zucchini Muffins
  108. What is CBD? A Guide to Health Benefits, Usage, and More!
  109. Healthy Vegetarian Meal Plan
  110. Hummus Toast – 4 Ways!
  111. What I Ate Wednesday
  112. Fluffy Vegan Blueberry Banana Muffins
  113. Advances in Colorectal Cancer Research
  114. Advances in Breast Cancer Research
  115. Cleft Palate With Cleft Lip
  116. What is CPR?
  117. What Is Dementia? Symptoms, Types, and Diagnosis
  118. Cushing Syndrome (For Parents)
  119. Do Memory Problems Always Mean Alzheimers Disease?
  120. Manganese
  121. Study Shows that Disrupted Gut Bacteria May Contribute to the Spread of Breast Cancer
  122. She Faced Breast Cancer At 16 With Little Help From Doctors. Now She’s Speaking Out On Behalf Of Black Women
  123. What Do We Know About Healthy Aging?
  124. Participating in the Arts Creates Paths to Healthy Aging
  125. Setting Goals to be More Active Slows Memory Decline in Older African Americans
  126. Study Shows Music Eases Pain and Other Symptoms for Patients Undergoing Breast Cancer Treatment
  127. 49-Year-Old Breast Cancer Patient Grateful She Didn’t Wait Until 50 for a Mammogram
  128. Teen’s Innovative “SMART Armour” Protects Breast Cancer Patients from Radiation
  129. New Drug Improves 3-Year Survival by 50% for Young Women with Stage IV Breast Cancer
  130. Young Mother’s Life Tragically Taken by Breast Cancer After She Refused Traditional Treatments
  131. NIH Study Tracks Exercise with Mobile Apps to Improve Heart Health
  132. Lion With Skin Cancer Has Received Radiation Therapy In Hospital
  133. 3rd Grader Writes Note for Teacher Battling Breast Cancer to Read Right Before Treatment
  134. Skin Care
  135. Have Back Pain? These Are the Basic Spinal Structures You Need to Know
  136. The Final Word on Whether Alcohol Actually Has Any Health Benefits
  137. New One-Time “Seed” Treatment for Breast Cancer Being Used in Philadelphia
  138. Julia Louis-Dreyfus Talks About The Side Effects of Chemotherapy
  139. Teacher on Leave for Breast Cancer Treatment Forced to Pay for Her Own Substitute
  140. 27-Year-Old Thought She Was Injured Falling Off A Horse, But Then She Learned She Had Breast Cancer
  141. Should Surgery And Radiation Be The Standard Treatment For DCIS? The COMET Study Is Finding Out
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  149. Cuddle beds bringing some physical comfort to end-of-life patients – ABC News
  150. People who skip breakfast are five times more likely to die after a heart attack – Daily Mail
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  153. High-Deductible Health Policies Linked To Delayed Diagnosis And Treatment – NPR
  154. After Breast Cancer Diagnosis, Technology Professor Teaches Computers to Read Mammograms
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  161. Wear protective goggles to play badminton
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  163. Ability to lift weights quickly can mean a longer life – EurekAlert
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The out-of-pocket expense of mammograms, MRIs and other tests and treatments can be several thousand dollars each year when you have a high-deductible health policy.

Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images


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Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images

The out-of-pocket expense of mammograms, MRIs and other tests and treatments can be several thousand dollars each year when you have a high-deductible health policy.

Lester Lefkowitz/Getty Images

In 2017, Susan learned that she carries a genetic mutation that may elevate her lifetime risk of developing breast cancer to 72 percent.

Her doctor explained that individuals who have this mutation in the BRCA2 gene have choices in treatment. Some people opt for a preventive double mastectomy. But Susan could instead choose to undergo increased cancer screenings, which, for her, would mean an annual mammogram and annual MRI scan.

Because she had just had her first child, Susan chose increased surveillance — that meant she’d be able to preserve her ability to breastfeed.

Both Susan and her husband, who make their home in Broomall, Pa., have insurance provided through their respective employers to help pay for medical treatment. But there’s an expensive hitch: These annual scans she’d need would be pricey, and their companies offered only high-deductible health plans.

Susan’s annual deductible for her plan (which covers her and her child) is $6,000 annually. (NPR has agreed to use only Susan’s first name because she worries any publicity might jeopardize her job.)

“I’ve worked at my employer for 17 years,” she says. “When I first started, there was no paycheck deduction for health insurance and my copay was only $5. But in 2011, my employer switched to only providing high-deductible insurance plans.”

Susan went in for her first mammogram and MRI in February 2017. Her out-of-pocket cost for the MRI was more than $2,000. The bill for her mammogram was $1,088 (although she was eventually able to appeal and have the charges for the mammogram reduced to $191).

As a result of the high bill, Susan decided to put off her 2018 annual screenings until she had dealt with paying off the bills from 2017.

Susan’s story of delaying care because she’s underinsured is not an outlier. A study published last month in Health Affairs examined claims data from a large national insurer for 316,244 women whose employers switched insurance coverage from low-deductible health plans (i.e., deductibles of $500 or less) to high-deductible health plans (i.e., deductibles of $1,000 or more) between 2004 and 2014.

The study group consisted of women who were in low-deductible plans for one year, then switched to a high-deductible plan for an additional one month to four years. The control group consisted of women who remained in low-deductible plans.

In particular, the researchers looked at the relative effects of such plans on women who have low incomes versus those with higher incomes.

Women with low incomes who had high-deductible insurance plans waited an average of 1.6 months longer for diagnostic breast imaging, 2.7 months for first biopsy, 6.6 months for first early-stage breast cancer diagnosis and 8.7 months for first chemotherapy, compared with low-income women with low-deductible plans.

In some cases, delays of that length might lead to poorer health outcomes, says J. Frank Wharam, an internist and specialist in insurance and population health, who led the study. More research needs to be done to confirm that, he says.

Interestingly, women with high incomes who relied on high-deductible health plans were not immune to such delays — they experienced lags of 0.7 months for first breast imaging, 1.9 months for first biopsy, 5.4 months for first early-stage breast cancer diagnosis and 5.7 months for first chemotherapy, compared with high-income women with low-deductible plans.

The researchers also found that having a high-deductible health plan was linked to delays in care whether the women lived in metropolitan areas or not and whether they lived in neighborhoods that were predominantly white or predominantly nonwhite.

“In general, we are finding that the effects of modern high-deductible plans on access to care are sometimes predictable but often surprising,” Wharam explains.

“In addition to well-recognized factors that can influence how quickly a patient is diagnosed and treated — such as income and education levels — other aspects of her life likely play a role too,” he says, such as her familiarity with her disease and insurance benefits, her previous experience interacting with an insurer, her tolerance of risk and her familiarity and ease with the health care system and its jargon.

Other recent studies have noted similar delays in diagnosis and treatment for complications from diabetes, cardiovascular illness and other conditions. And a report from the Kaiser Family Foundation in 2017 found that 43 percent of adults with health insurance reported difficulties in meeting their deductible — up from 37 percent in 2015.

Dr. Veena Shankaran is co-director of the Hutchinson Institute for Cancer Outcomes Research at Seattle’s Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, where her work focuses on studying financial challenges experienced by cancer patients. Though not involved in the Health Affairs study, Shankaran says the findings don’t surprise her.

“We’re seeing that high-deductible plans are really the epitome of the access-to-care problem,” she says. “People don’t have the liquid cash to meet their deductible, so you see delays in care or even avoiding treatment altogether.”

According to data from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, from 2007 through 2017, enrollment in high-deductible health plans that are linked to a health savings account increased from 4.2 percent to 18.9 percent among adults 18 to 64 who had job-based coverage, while enrollment in high-deductible health plans without an HSA increased from 10.6 percent to 24.5 percent in that same age group.

Meanwhile, enrollment in more traditional workplace plans decreased.

The Patient Access Network Foundation, a nonprofit in Washington, D.C., assists underinsured patients who have life-threatening chronic or rare diseases get access to medications and treatment by assisting with out-of-pocket costs. Dan Klein, the organization’s president and chief executive officer, says he has noticed an uptick in the number of patients seeking PAN’s help.

“One thing that worries me,” Klein says, “is that Congress is very focused on lowering prescription drug prices. That’s a good goal, but it’s meaningless in an environment where patients still can’t access care or medications because of their deductibles.”

Susan resumed screenings this year. She says she did look into patient-assistance programs, such as the one offered by Right Action for Women, which helps individuals at high risk for breast cancer get access to MRI screenings. But she did not meet the criteria.

In preparation for her next scan, she has established a flexible spending arrangement at work and a health savings account so she can pay for at least some of her medical expenses from tax-free income. And she has been setting up payment plans with her health care providers. Still, concern over how she and her husband will pay for looming tests and treatment preoccupy the couple.

“After that first MRI bill, I wanted to give up,” Susan says. “Because, in addition to dealing with the BRCA diagnosis, the insurance bills were overwhelming.

“I sometimes think about opting for surgery as a way to deal with my mutation,” she adds. “But then I get nervous — because I’m afraid of the resulting bill from the hospital.”

Erika Stallings is an attorney and freelance writer based in New York City. Her work focuses on health care disparities, with a focus on breast cancer and genetics. Her work has appeared in HuffPost, New York Magazine, Jezebel and O, The Oprah Magazine. Find her on Twitter: @quidditch424.

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