consumers

The Senate unanimously approved legislation Monday night requiring hospitals across the nation to tell Medicare patients when they receive observation care but haven't been admitted to the hospital as inpatients.

The distinction is easy for patients to miss — until they get hit with big medical bills after a short stay.

Edwin and Kelly Tofslie / Creative Commons

AARP calls it “Valuing the Invaluable”: a new report totes up the unpaid care given by loved ones to family members with chronic, disabling, or serious health problems. 

Ethan M. Long / Creative Commons

State sales tax will be added to the parking fees at three shoreline parks this weekend at Sherwood Island State Park, Hammonasset Beach State Park, and Rocky Neck State Park. That's thanks to a legislative change in the state budget which went into effect July 1st.

Mr.TinDC / Creative Commons

Comcast, which operates 12 of Connecticut’s 25 local cable television franchises, is rolling out a new service.  It’s part of the effort by the cable industry to keep up with the changing demands of consumers -- but it may also be a warning sign for a Connecticut employer.

Connecticut Ranked Most Energy-Expensive State

Jul 15, 2015
Ron Dauphin / Flickr Creative Commons

A study by the website WalletHub.com ranks Connecticut top in the country in overall energy costs.  

U.S. Department of Agriculture / Creative Commons

Advocates for the poor have argued that the state takes too long to process food stamp applications, and that people should have a right to sue. State attorneys have pushed back. But last week, a federal appellate court ruled that applicants can in fact file a class action against the state. 

Comcast to Add Mobile Streaming Video Option

Jul 14, 2015
Comcast

The operator of 12 of Connecticut's 25 local cable television franchises has announced a new streaming video service. 

Peggy Stewart / Western Connecticut State University

JP Morgan Chase has reached a $136 million agreement with Connecticut, 46 other states, and the District of Columbia, and has agreed to reform its debt collection practices. Attorney General George Jepsen said those practices hurt consumers.

Governor Dannel Malloy

Connecticut Insurance Commissioner Katharine L. Wade has ordered public hearings on proposed rate increases by three health insurers that would affect more than 70,000 policyholders next year.

The Justice Department says it is investigating "possible unlawful coordination" by several major airline carriers. American, Delta, Southwest and United Airlines have all confirmed receiving letters from the Justice Department.

In a statement, American said the department "seeks documents and information from the last two years that are related to statements and decisions about airline capacity."

A United spokesman said the company is complying fully in regard to the probe.

Невідомий / Creative Commons

State regulators look poised to reject a $3 billion foreign takeover of Connecticut’s second largest utility. 

M 93 / Creative Commons

You don’t have to be an expert to see the auto industry is finally back on track. After the financial crisis several years ago and the $80 billion government bailout of GM, GMAC and Chrysler, car manufactures around the country seem to be doing quite well on their own these days.

Do you know what broad spectrum means? What about SPF? No need to be ashamed if you can't answer those questions, because you're not alone.

In a survey of 114 people, a mere 7 percent knew that "broad spectrum" on a sunblock label means it defends against early aging.

R0Ng / Creative Commons

Handgun purchasing laws in Connecticut have resulted in a 40 percent drop in statewide gun deaths, according to a new study out of Johns Hopkins University. 

The Senate has approved the USA Freedom Act, which will alter the way U.S. agencies conduct surveillance and gather data. A final vote on the bill came late Tuesday afternoon, after amendments to the bill failed.

Update at 9:30 p.m. ET: Obama's Signature

Following an expedited enrollment process, President Obama signed the bill into law late Tuesday.

EyeLights/iStock / Thinkstock

Unexpected price spikes in home energy bills have been a focus for legislators this session, but a new study says even programs designed to lessen the impact of your monthly bill could still be impacting your wallet. 

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

The CTfastrak busway turned a once-abandoned rail line into a limited-access highway spanning New Britain to Hartford, laying the foundation for a new concept in central Connecticut: rapid transit.

Political and economic aspirations now ride on the busway's success.

CT-N

State regulators have so far heard two days of testimony on how and whether to allow the Connecticut’s second largest electric utility to be taken over by a foreign corporation.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy unveiled federal legislation on Friday that would help streamline the college credit transfer process.

Darko Stojanovic / Creative Commons

For one year, journalist Karen Brown set out to learn why more young doctors aren't choosing primary care. Her findings are now the subject of a new documentary, “The Path to Primary Care: Who Will Be The Next Generation of Frontline Doctors?” 

This hour, Karen joins us along with some primary care professionals to weigh in on the latest trends, and to tell us what the future of primary care looks like both here in the northeast and across America.

Jason Tester Guerrilla / Creative Commons

After a year in Connecticut, Uber says it made over $8 million in sales for its services in New Haven, Fairfield, and Hartford Counties.

Noel Hendrickson/Digital Vision / Thinkstock

Connecticut motorists are paying about 13 cents a gallon more for gasoline this week than last, according to the weekly survey by AAA.

Sorin Popa/iStock / Thinkstock

The state has eliminated its sales tax on certain non-prescription medicines. The change will eliminate taxes on over-the-counter items like antacids, cough syrup, and pain medication. It also gets rid of the sales tax on dietary supplements and vitamins.

Ken Teegardin/SeniorLiving.Org / Creative Commons

There's a potential financial windfall waiting for thousands of Connecticut taxpayers. 

U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal said Friday that he's learned there is $13.4 million worth of unclaimed tax refunds from 2011 owed to Connecticut taxpayers. 

Senate Democrats / YouTube

State Senate Democrats are hoping to place a limit on administrative costs at public colleges to help reduce the cost of tuition.

Mamata.mulay / Creative Commons

Legislators heard hours of impassioned testimony from cab drivers and from drivers who work for ride sharing service Uber, as they wrestle with the issue of regulating new transportation offerings.

Dozenist / Creative Commons

This hour, we sink our teeth into, well, teeth! We find out why oral hygiene is so important to our health, and why Americans are so obsessed with straight, white smiles.

A little later, Canadian writer Michael Hingston tells us the fascinating history of the tooth fairy. 

Darko Stojanovic / Creative Commons

For one year, journalist Karen Brown set out to learn why more young doctors aren't choosing primary care. Her findings are now the subject of a new documentary, “The Path to Primary Care: Who Will Be The Next Generation of Frontline Doctors?” 

This hour, Karen joins us along with some primary care professionals to weigh in on the latest trends, and to tell us what the future of primary care looks like both here in the northeast and across America.

When admiring such enticing items at the grocery store as an avocado for $1.50, an $8 chocolate bar or fresh wild Alaskan salmon for $20 a pound, you've probably experienced sticker shock.

Indeed, retailers and restaurants offer myriad opportunities to blow your food budget in one fell swoop.

After Superstorm Sandy in 2012, Kathy Hanlon's life crumbled. Her Long Beach, N.Y., home had no electricity, her family was traumatized and one of her sons was getting sick. On top of that, there was the bureaucratic maze of flood insurance.

"I cried many times because I was so angry when I got off the phone with the insurance company," Hanlon says. "It was demeaning. We had to send them things repeatedly. We had to wait for phone calls. We had to wait for people to come visit the house."

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