Today’s “ask the readers” is a little different. Instead of giving another GRS reader advice, we’re asking you to give us advice.

For years, GRS readers have been asking for more information about health insurance and health care. We spend a lot of our money on health care, and that will only increase as we age. With all of the political wrangling recently over the Affordable Care Act, it’s difficult to know exactly what’s really going on and what our choices actually are.

With that in mind, we’ve contracted with a professor who teaches Health Economics and Policy at Texas A&M (and regularly reads Get Rich Slowly) to write a limited series of articles using up-to-date research to answer your most pressing questions.

Of course, first we need to know what your most pressing questions are! You might, for instance, be wondering:

  • What are the reasons for skyrocketing health care costs in the US, and are they worth it?
  • Does keeping up with the Joneses really lead to worse health outcomes, and if so, what can you do about it if you’re not one of the Joneses?
  • All those acronyms… what’s an FSA vs an HSA? When can you and when should you use one or the other? Are HMOs all bad? HMO, PPO, FFS, ACO, what are the pros and cons, which is right for you?
  • What should I know about Medicare? Medicaid? SCHIP?
  • Rumors about the Affordable Care Act — what’s true and what isn’t? (What is your favorite rumor?) How is universal coverage in Massachusetts working out, and will lessons learned there apply to the rest of the U.S.? Was the Supreme Court “right”? What will new options be?
  • How will health costs change in the future?
  • What programs are available for low income families?
  • What if your employer doesn’t offer health insurance? What if you’re self-employed? What are your options?
  • What should I do if I think my insurance company made a mistake in my billing? Do they make mistakes? When and why?
  • What kinds of careers are available in the health care sector, and is health care really a growth industry?

These are just a few common questions. Are they questions you have? What would you like to know about health care? Leave a comment if you’d like a post on any of these topics, or if there are other topics that have been burning a hole in your brain. We want to know what interests you!

About the expert: Joanna Lahey is an associate professor at the Bush School of Government and Public Service at Texas A&M University and a faculty research fellow at the National Bureau of Economic Research. She teaches Health Economics and Policy, Health and Social Welfare Policy, Public Finance Economics, and Quantitative Methods. Her primary area of research interest is aging and the labor market (including the effects of health and health legislation on labor market outcomes for older workers), and she’s also written on the impact of laws affecting women’s health care access.

This article is about Ask the Readers, Health & Fitness