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Navigating Health Insurance

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Enrollment in the Affordable Care Act is open through December 15 of this year.

"There's lots of mixed messaging and we don't have the advertising dollars to set the record straight," says Nicole Kock, a health insurance navigator with Visiting Nurse Services of Iowa. But, she adds, "The marketplace is here. We've got an insurer that's committed to Iowans for 2018."

During the first segment of River to River, ​host Ben Kieffer talks with Kock about how to seek health insurance coverage during the six-week enrollment period. Kock says if you received a subsidy on a marketplace plan last year, you will likely receive the same subsidy again this year.

Later in the segment, Iowans looking to buy health insurance join the conversation. Laura Belin is one of those individuals seeking an individual insurance plan. 

"We're not going to go uninsured," says Belin, "But we're going to have to make other significant changes in our household budget in order to swing this thing."

In the second half of this edition of River to River​, ​University of Iowa psychologist Susan Wagner Cook joins the program to shed light on claims made by popular science. Does power posing really work? Does smiling make you happier?

"I wouldn't change my mind or my behavior substantially based on any one study unless I saw evidence that that was a really high quality study," says Cook. "To be high quality you need a large sample, you need some random assignment, you need pre-specified analysis plans... I don't think anyone should rely on any one study."

Ben Kieffer is the host of IPR's River to River
Lindsey Moon is IPR's Senior Digital Producer