Ruby de Luna

Reporter

Ruby de Luna is a features reporter at KUOW. She had originally planned to go into TV, but ditched the idea after discovering public radio.  Ruby has reported on immigrant communities. She currently covers health care issues.  

Ruby is a transplant from Taipei, Taiwan. She holds a BA in communication from Seattle Pacific University. 

In the age of computer/digital audio editing, Ruby is proud to be one of the few old–schoolers who can still edit tape with a razor blade. In her free time she practices her knife skills on new recipes. 

Pages

Health Insurance
9:24 am
Wed January 29, 2014

Who Picks Up The Tab When Affordable Care Act Customers Can't Pay?

A health premium grace period built into the Affordable Care Act can create a bill limbo for providers and patients.
Flickr Photo/Army Medicine

It’s one thing to get people to buy health insurance, something the state’s health exchange has been focusing on. But what happens when a patient can no longer pay monthly premiums — who would then be responsible for the medical bills? Doctors are worried they’ll be stuck holding the bag, and they’re taking their issue to Olympia this week.

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Workplace Wellness
11:04 am
Mon January 27, 2014

'Holistic Approach' To Employee Health Kicks Off With Kettlebell Record Attempt

The kettlebell was developed in Russia and has gained popularity in the U.S. in recent years, especially among CrossFit enthusiasts.
Credit KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

For years, businesses have tried different approaches to get workers to adopt healthy lifestyles: They’ve offered rewards; they’ve tried to get employees’ attention through their pocketbooks.

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Health Care
6:00 am
Fri January 24, 2014

Washington Hospital Mergers Subject To State Review

A growing number of hospitals are affiliating with faith-based organizations. New rules would put such mergers under review by the state.
Flickr Photo/Michael B.

Starting Thursday, hospitals that plan to merge or form partnerships will now undergo state review as part of a new rule that takes effect this week. And nobody’s happy with the new regulations, not even the critics who called for change.

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Washington Legislature
10:16 am
Fri January 17, 2014

Genetically-Modified Labeling Fight In Washington Continues With New Bills

Washington lawmakers will hear a bill to label genetically engineered salmon. The proposed bill would also ban transgenic salmon production in the state.
Credit Flickr Photo/Katrine Kaarsemaker

When Rep. Cary Condotta campaigned for labeling genetically modified food last fall, he noticed reactions were different depending on the type of food: fish or plant. “When you start talking about modifying animals to grow faster and larger, boy, they light up,” he said. “People go, really? They’re not doing that, are they?”

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Health Exchange
4:22 pm
Wed January 15, 2014

State Health Exchange Amps Up Marketing To Reach Young Invincibles

Chris Walla, of the band Death Cab for Cutie, and his wife pose in one of Wahealthplanfinder's photo booths used for marketing to young people.
Courtesy of Washington Healthplanfinder

You don’t often hear Justin Timberlake and health insurance in the same sentence. But this Friday, fans going to Key Arena to get their dose of Justin Timberlake will also get a chance to learn about health plans.

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Health Care
7:47 am
Fri January 10, 2014

Thousands Of Medicaid Recipients Lose Health Coverage

Nelly Kinsella demonstrates the Washington Healthplanfinder website, where consumers will be able to shop for health insurance, following a news conference Monday, Sept. 30, 2013, in Seattle.
AP Photo/Elaine Thompson

Washington residents who tried to buy health insurance through the health exchange weren’t the only ones to experience technical difficulties.

About 20,000 Medicaid recipients encountered similar problems when they went to the exchange in November, preventing them from renewing their coverage. That’s roughly a third of Medicaid patients for that month.

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Viaduct Project
4:11 pm
Fri January 3, 2014

What's Blocking Bertha? Probably An 8-Inch Steel Pipe

A glimpse of the steel pipe burrowing into Bertha.
Credit WSDOT Photo

An 8-inch-wide steel pipe.

That’s what is likely blocking Bertha, the boring machine creating a tunnel through downtown Seattle to replace the Alaskan Way Viaduct.

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Unemployment Benefits
9:01 am
Fri January 3, 2014

Jobless In Seattle: Researcher Struggles To Get Back In The Market

Suzan Del Bene (left) held a round table discussion on unemployment benefits, January 2, 2014, at the WorkSource Affiliate Office at North Seattle Community College.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

More than 24,000 Washington residents lost their federal unemployment benefits late last month. Congress let expire an emergency federal jobless program that was created in 2008 during the great recession.

One Seattle researcher has been struggling to find work since last spring. 

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Postscripts
12:14 pm
Mon December 23, 2013

Living With A Loud, Busy Bar In Your Head

Jon Buckland collects sea corals. It's a hobby that keeps him busy. Watching the sea creatures relaxes him.
KUOW Photo/Ruby de Luna

Medication has helped Jon Buckland’s symptoms, but the voices in his head never go away.

By his description, it’s like being in a loud, busy bar. “It’s like throwing that whole bar, and what you can’t control, into one moment inside your brain during that time that you’re still trying to hold on to conversation normally outside your head,” Buckland said.

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Health Exchange
3:34 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

Health Care Sign-up Deadline Looms As Payment Deadline Extended

Flickr Photo/Alex Proimos

Marcie Sillman sits down with KUOW reporter Ruby de Luna to talk about the Monday health exchange deadline for coverage beginning on Jan. 1.

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Affordable Care Act
4:29 pm
Wed December 18, 2013

Washington Small Businesses Can Tap Into Tax Credits For Health Plans

Plum Bistro chef and owner Makini Howell said that new tax breaks introduced on Tuesday will allow her to enroll more employees in health care plans.
From Plum Bistro's Facebook page.

Washington small businesses got some good news Tuesday.

Senator Patty Murray and the Treasury Department announced they found a solution that will let small businesses get tax credits when buying health plans for their employees. Washington was one of few states that was going to miss out on the federal subsidies until now.

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Health Insurance
2:54 pm
Wed December 11, 2013

Washington Ranks Fifth For Health Exchange Enrollment (Oregon Ranks Last)

Washington state ranks fifth in terms of percentage of people signing up for health insurance through an exchange. (See below for the full graphic.)
Credit NPR Graphic/Matt Stiles

You wouldn’t know it given the technical problems that plagued Washington’s health exchange over the last several days, but the state is fifth in the country for enrollment based on population, according to the Department of Health and Human Services and the US Census Bureau.

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Enrollment Deadline Looms
9:39 am
Wed December 11, 2013

Washington Health Exchange Back Up After Being Down — Again

Flickr Photo/kindagetmego

The holiday frenzy isn’t the only deadline looming.

For people who expect to have health coverage when the new year starts, the deadline to enroll for a health plan is December 23.

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Science
7:42 am
Thu December 5, 2013

Power Team: Fred Hutch, Sloan-Kettering Launch Cancer Research Start-Up

Dr. Phil Greenberg, head of the immunology program at Fred Hutchinson, is a co-founder of Juno Therapeutics, a commercial venture.
Credit Fred Hutch Photo/Bo Jungmayer

Imagine if rivals Boeing and Airbus teamed up on a new plane, or Microsoft and Apple built a computer.

That’s a bit like what Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center and Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center are attempting. Together, the two have launched a start-up, the goal being to develop a new cancer treatment that targets immune cells in the body and turns them into cancer-fighting soldiers.

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Health Care
9:57 am
Tue December 3, 2013

The Nurse Will See You Now ... In The Drugstore

Bartell Drugs is building out clinic space behind its pharmacy at the University Village.
Credit BartellDrugs.com

When was the last time you called your primary care doctor and got in the same day? It doesn’t happen often.

“People often end up in the ER,” said Wellesley Chapman, a physician at Group Health, “or we like to have people go to an urgent care if they absolutely can’t get in to see us today.”

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