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Barbara Faubion’s boss, an insurance broker, used to tell clients: “Listen, you don’t need to be on the phone for four hours with Blue Cross Blue Shield. Let us do that. I have a person.”

Faubion was that person. And she got up every day psyched to go to work, which she said puzzled her friends.

“They’d go, ‘You love your job?!? You spend your whole day talking to an insurance company. Are you kidding me?’”


She was not kidding. Faubion loved to win — and she was really, really good at untangling other people’s health insurance problems.

Now she’s going to teach us some of what she knows.

So why doesn’t every health insurance broker have someone like Faubion on staff? ProPublica reporter Marshall Allen has that answer; there are big clues in his 2019 story about industry commissions and bonuses.

“An Arm and a Leg” is a co-production of Kaiser Health News and Public Road Productions.

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Cost and Quality Health Care Costs Health Industry Insurance Multimedia