Wednesday, October 21, 2009


I am glad that all these stories about the abuses of health insurance companies are getting a lot of press. First a 4 month old breastfed baby that is denied coverage for being overweight. Then a toddler is denied coverage for being underweight. I am math impaired and even I realize that not everyone will fit into the 50th percentile!

And I can't believe we need to legislate to force coverage of battered women. Insurance companies have long charged more for coverage for women because we actually go to the doctor (as opposed to men who apparently fix everything with duct tape!)

My dad was in the life insurance business and I always understood that the money was paid in by everyone and then distributed on those who needed it. It is not supposed to be pay as you go. It is pooled and then used, the companies are sort of gambling that more people pay in than need it paid out. If they want to charge based on actual use, why have an insurance company in the middle of the transaction?

Right now we are paying $1350 per month for our HMO. We also have a $30.00 co-pay each time we see a doctor and $10.-30. for labs and prescriptions. I often wonder if we banked that $16,200. per year and just paid cash for our actual use if we wouldn't come out ahead. I believe they have policies for catastrophic care to cover a serious illness or injury. I'll bet we would be ahead if we did it. Considering that our cost for the same plan was $800.00 a month 5 years ago and is going up so much every year - we may just do it.

The health care industry has gotten like the banks. There are so many layers of profit built in that the actual cost of a doctor visit or a test or a treatment is jacked up by all the hands out expecting their cut.

I had a doctor about 18 years ago who did his own lab work, right there in the office. He did x-rays, too. He did house calls for his elderly patients. He got driven out of business by the insurance companies. They didn't want him to do his lab work. They wanted him to use the labs they operated. He said the insurance companies were so invasive that it got to the point that he couldn't run his practice the way he wanted and he closed it down and went into teaching. He was the best doctor I ever had. The kind of doctor I am afraid we will never get to have again.

1 comment:

smalltownmom said...

My late step-mother-in-law couldn't get insurance for a few years before she was eligible...she paid as she went. Our local hospital gave a 55% discount for cash!