67% Of Consumers Satisfied With Their Health Insurance; Are 67% Of Consumers Drunk?

A new Consumer Reports survey of 37,000 members of either an HMO or PPO reports that 67% of those insured are happy with their insurers. Granted, this is considerably lower than satisfaction levels for other services, but it’s still surprising to find that a clear majority of insured Americans are okay with their current levels of service. Some interesting stats:

  • 10% had trouble getting an appointment to see a doctor
  • 21% had to deal with billing errors
  • 25% had problems with their primary care providers
  • 36% had trouble getting help when they called a plan representative for assistance

Those with serious illnesses faced far more problems than those who were not seriously ill, which is what we’d expect of an industry that treats healthy people as “good customers” and sick people as “bad” ones.

The survey also finds that HMOs and PPOs vary widely – neither category is overwhelmingly better, although HMO participants faced more problems getting appointments, while PPO participants had more trouble getting reimbursed.

Rating the health plans [Consumer Reports]

(Photo: Getty)

Comments

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  1. much like how americans are being complacent with being fat, sounds like we’re getting complacent with crappy service. or we’re drunk and jus don’t give a f.

  2. B says:

    @pfblueprint: Or we’re relatively healthy and have more important things to worry about. If the 67% are fat and/or drunk, they’ll have plenty of time to get screwed by their health-insurer soon enough.

  3. Leiterfluid says:

    I’m sure a good number of those are just happy to HAVE health insurance.

    I don’t have any complaints about my health insurance, but then I almost never use it.

    My wife is on my plan, though, and she finds it ironic that she can get generics at Target cheaper by not using the insurance, and just paying the flat $4 fee.

  4. llcooljabe says:

    If this survey was held in Canada with government insurance, some of these numbers would be a hell of a lot worse. Especially the access to a doctor. Wait times for specialists are often greater than 3 months. Most places have shortages of primary care physicians. My hometown there are no GPs taking new patients. People have to go to urgent care for medical care.

  5. jaredgood1 says:

    @B: Bingo. I get the minimum plan that my employer provides, and am satisfied with it (granted, I’ve also never used it). I get sick about once a year, have only been to the hospital twice in my life, watch what I eat and exercise daily.

  6. surfacenoise76 says:

    I’m guess I’m satisfied with my health insurance, but I really only use it once a year for my annual check-up. As with anything, I suspect the more I used it, the more faults I’d find.

  7. Dibbler says:

    I’m very happy with my insurance. Of course my wife works for the government so our premiums are free, everything is $10 or less and we can pick from a huge list of doctors. Only complaint I have is the corporations the doctors work for screw up the billing constantly and the insurance company bends over backwards to get things fixed for us.

  8. agent2600 says:

    I’ve never had a problem with my insurance, they give me good benifits, good doctors, and are fast…

    sorry, but i don’t agree with this whole heath care crisis thing

    personally if people took better care of themselves to begin with i think people would be healthier.

    i wouldn’t say the majority, but i am sure a chunk of these “poor people” who can’t afford health care brought it upon themselves.

    ya I’m a jerk..go ahead and attack me.

  9. agent2600 says:

    oh PS…did anyone see the CNN thing with Micheal moron Moore…his #1 thing was for free health care…there is no such thing as free heath care anywhere in the world…you pay for it via taxes…personally i like not paying taxes to pay the ER visit for some mcdonalds mucher’s clogged arteries or for some smokers cancer treatment.

    sorry for the tangent, moore just really makes me mad

    haha man people are going to chew me out

  10. Dustin says:

    Count me as another person happy with my insurance. I don’t use it often but in the, say, ten or so times I’ve gone to the doctor this year the wait has never been longer than a week and the co-pays are low, too.

  11. Trai_Dep says:

    67% of insurance customers are happy b/c they haven’t had to actually USE the services yet. Just wait and they’ll be Sicko too.

  12. jerseyjokeboy says:

    WHAT???? People, listen you yourselves! “I like my insurance, although I don’t use it.” Well, I guess you must enjoy very much other things you don’t use as well.

    I’m sure you’re happy that your insurance is there if you need it, that is until you read the fine print and see that your deductible for hospital stay is like 5 or 10k.

    I don’t have health insurance, so by your logic I must like it too, since I don’t even use it.

  13. Cowboys_fan says:

    @agent2600: You obviously didn’t pay much attention to that piece as he went on to say after you factor in deductibles, premiums, and drug costs, it factors out about the same, or even less. I’m not disagreeing with you, but you can’t quote sound-bites to make a point.
    I think 67% of customers have never needed serious medical help, therefore have never been denied a procedure based on a technicality. It happens alot more often then they’d have you believe. There definately needs to be some sort of reform.

  14. obbie says:

    the problem here is that Consumer Reports (the most unreliable and biased magazine out there) surveyed people that actually HAVE insurance.

  15. jaredgood1 says:

    @agent2600: I wholeheartedly agree. The only reason I even get the insurance my company offers is because it is a pitifully low monthly cost. I take good care of myself, and that’s enough. I just don’t see insurance as a “need”. I guess it’s nice to have, but I wouldn’t pay any more than I currently am for it.

    Not saying my opinion is any better than anyone else’s, it just works for me.

  16. Jmarsh04 says:

    @Dibbler:

    Curious…what branch of the government does your wife work for? Mine works for the Department of Defense, and her plan SUCKS. I work for a local newspaper, we both have Aetna, and my copays are SIGNIFICANTLY less than hers. Not to mention, she’s had to call the White House twice in the last two years and get them involved in settling two disputes with Aetna (they pre-certified her to have an MRI the first time, and three sonograms the second, then refused to pay for any of the procedures. They claimed they never pre-certified her, even though we had letters they sent us stating that they did).

    Anyway…what was my point?

    Oh yeah, Aetna BLOWS.

  17. supra606 says:

    I would say I’m not too satisfied with my health insurance. If I were, I would probably not avoid using it like the plague for fear of what technicality they’re going to dream up to deny my claim.

  18. mobbo says:

    I agree with TRAI_DEP… how many of those 67% have actually been really sick beyond just a doctor’s visit, lab work, or physical? It would be interesting to see how many people with cancer, need a transplant, or other serious illness are satisfied with their insurance provider.

  19. queen_elvis says:

    Hey, that’s still higher than the satisfaction rating that consumers have given our only President.

    As a healthy person, I can assure you that even healthy people are penalized by their health insurers if they try to actually USE the services.

  20. jaredgood1 says:

    @jerseyjokeboy: Isn’t insurance, by it’s very definition, a service you don’t want to have to use? It’s supposed to exist as a “just in case”, not something that is used all the time.

  21. pantsonfire says:

    @ COWBOYS_FAN: I love the irony in saying “you can’t quote sound-bites to make a point,” when defending micheal moore. I’m not disagreeing with you, it just struck me as funny.

  22. ptr2void says:

    I also fit into this 67% of happy health insurance customers.

    Two-and-a-half years ago my wife was diagnosed with MS. This condition requires injectable medication costing — without insurance — more than $1500 per month. From the start our insurance paid for this with no hassles; our out-of-pocket cost was $100 per month, medications delivered to the door.

    Her neurologist was not happy with the progression of the disease and decided a course of outpatient chemotherapy, replacing the thrice-weekly injectables, was in order. Again, this was covered without any hassle.

    During her chemotherapy my company was purchased and my insurance was changed. The new insurance company, again, covered without a problem.

    Once her chemotherapy was complete, the neurologist re-prescribed the injectable medication, and again the insurance covered it, at an out-of-pocket cost of $100 per three months of medication, delivered.

    For this I pay $144.50 bi-monthly. Seems a pretty good deal to me.

  23. WhatThe... says:

    We get our insurance through my husband’s company – and the cost of coverage and our deductible goes up every year! If you work for a big corporation they get better deals through a group plan, but small business have a hard time trying to provide good coverage for employees and try to maintain costs.

    And we are all healthy right now, but I’m not happy with my insurance. I have a clotting condition that can act up anytime without warning, isn’t treatable unless you have a clot – and it also permits me from being approved for individual coverage or life insurance.

    I hate that many preventative treatments are not covered by insurance – that’s just stupid.

  24. no.no.notorious says:

    what ever happened to the good old days of you go to the doctor, you pay the guy, then you leave…like a normal business

  25. ptr2void says:

    @WhatThe…: I also have a clotting condition, and I’m covered for coumadin therapy and all the lab work that goes along with it. Have been since I was diagnosed almost nine years ago, with several changes of insurance and no lapse in coverage.

    I’m sorry that your experiences are so different.

  26. no.no.notorious says:

    @agent2600: i agree. if these are the stats now:

    * 10% had trouble getting an appointment to see a doctor
    * 21% had to deal with billing errors
    * 25% had problems with their primary care providers
    * 36% had trouble getting help when they called a plan representative for assistance

    imagine this at a national level. it would be chaos. the only one that wouldn’t bother us would be the billing errors, but if hospitals over bill the government (which they will, they do so with medicare) they’ll be cutting funds from education and research in no time.

  27. pumpkinhagen says:

    I work insurance claims for a university hospital and those who are saying they’re satisfied with their insurance are in for a very rude awakening if they ever get seriously sick.

    I’ve seen numerous claims just in the last month where an insurance company denied radiation treatment for cancer patients as being “not medically necessary.” One example was a patient being treated for a “massive” (doctor’s words, not mine) brain tumor. They ended up paying at least $1000 PER DAY for at least a month’s worth of treatments. Not to sound hyper Michael Moore-ish, but I think there’s a serious issue when a person’s well-being is potentially entirely in the hands of a corporation trying to make a buck.

  28. ghettoimp says:

    In addition to the “have they actually needed it” issue, I bet part of the reason the number isn’t lower is the low opinion of the health insurance industry. Sort of like internet or phone service. If I’m convinced all the companies are bad, then as long as mine hasn’t done anything terrible to me, I’m probably considering myself lucky.

  29. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    As a long time subscriber to Consumer Reports, I would hazard a guess that the survey questions were poorly written. That’s the case of the annual survey they send out once a year to all subscribers. The questions on how an appliance or car holds up, has it been repaired and son are very perfunctory and force you to pigeonhole your answers to an often inappropriate response.

    But the basic problem is that CR sampled its members, most of whom are upper middle class & probably do have halfway decent insurance. Many are older & are on Medicare & Medicare supplements. Few are dissatisfied with Medicare.

    They should have sampled a cross section of the entire American population for this survey.

    @obbie:
    Biased in what way?
    In regard to their hatred for American cars, definitely!
    But in basic testing of most other products purchased, no!
    I certainly would rely on their testing of TV’s, home appliances & most food items.
    Occasionally some of their ideas do go off into outer space, but they did the only complete exam of the Canadian health care system several years ago.
    They disproved that Canadians had long waits for most procedures. It turned out that was a phony statistic from the US health insurance industry.
    Canadians that had to wait a while were in fact waiting for SPECIFIC DOCTORS to do the procedure. Not much different than this country!

  30. jerseyjokeboy says:

    @jaredgood1:
    umm….what? Yeah, it would be great if everyone stayed healthy 100% of the time and had no need for insurance. That’s not the issue though. Insurance premiums are a big money maker, and there is incentive to deny you the service if that makes more money for the insurance company. Now, you tend not to find out how much the insurance company is screwing you until you have a huge hospital expense. Why don’t you check out this article:
    [www.msnbc.msn.com]

    and that article is about people who DO have insurance.

  31. balthisar says:

    I’m happy as hell with my insurance. It’s employer sponsored, and it’s one of the top rated plans. Routine appointments sometimes take a little forethought, but they’ll schedule you immediately if it’s something urgent, plus there’s always the ambulatory care (walk in) clinic for non-life threatening things, and emergency rooms for that.

    Of course recent documentaries notwithstanding, the vast majority of insured people aren’t denied care for routine treatments. Okay, I have clauses for experimental treatments and such, but you know what? A line has to be drawn.

    Yes, I’m on an HMO, and despite all of the reasons I never, ever had wanted to be on an HMO, it thrills me. In my earlier years I selected (and still have the option) for traditional care, but with $3000 family deductibles and 20% co-pays, every expense was *always* out of pocket for me. Now I’ve got a $20 office copay, and that’s downright cheap. Hell, if I ever start feeling lonely, it’s downright cheap to make an appointment every couple of days just to talk to my doctor. My out of pocket expenses have never been more than $200 in a single year, and that’s not even enough for me to screw around with medical savings accounts and risk losing that contribution.

    Dental, though, sucks. For the same cheapskate reasons, I also switched to a dental HMO. It takes *months* for a routine appointment. I don’t think I’ve ever kept one of those pre-planned appointments, but they always see me on their cancellation list times!

    I don’t even take optical. It’s only $45 bucks for an optometrist exam, and the contribution for frames and lenses really only covers birth-control-glasses. It’s actually cheaper just to pay for nice looking glasses out of pocket every couple of years. Hell, since the LASIK, I don’t even have to do that. ;-)

  32. I haven’t had any problems with my current insurance company yet. However, I haven’t had any of my annual stuff done yet including the lab work I need to have to track my condition. They still have the opportunity to be asshats about something reasonable so I can’t say I’m in the 67% yet.

  33. Nemesis_Enforcer says:

    @agent2600: Yeah well having actually worked for a Health Insurance company in the past I can tell you problems are rampant. It might not catch you until you actually get sick but trust me even working for a health insurance company I had issues. Oh and the biggest drain isn’t what you think. Its the uninsured who go to the ER for everything because they can’t be turned away..

  34. itsgene says:

    Any survey can be carefully designed to get exactly the response that the sponsor wants. This makes surveys pretty much pointless.

    That said, I have to admit that I am very satisfied with my health plan — Kaiser Permanente. I can make appointments any time I want, for any reason; I can email my doctors with questions with no fee; prescription coverage on my plan is excellent, when I had a heart attack last year the hospital visit and surgery cost me $500 out of pocket.

    BUT — and there’s always a but — it is pretty expensive. It has gone from $180/mo 3 years ago to $294 this year for just myself. (I pay for it myself, I am self-employed.) However, I’ve heard from other people who pay far more for less coverage.

    Routine appointments are never a problem, but I did have to wait 3 hours in the emergency when I had my heart attack. Still, no worse than anywhere else. Your mileage may vary, I can only assume that I have had good luck with my local Kaiser medical center.

    The emphasis on classes and preventative medicine (much of it free of charge) really distinguishes Kaiser from medical insurance that just pays when something goes wrong.

  35. Trai_Dep says:

    My favorite personal insurance story.

    Places I sometimes go to have some particularly vicious pathogens, so I always check the State Dep’t site for travel advisories. They list which vaccines you should get.

    Taking this list to my provider, I find that 3/4 of them are covered. I ask why this is. They simply say, it is.

    Okay, if I get some monsterously debilitating form of brain encephelitus, will you treat it?

    Yup.

    Hospital stays of several weeks, insane drug treatment/monitoring, ICU, followed by months of out-patient care?

    Yup.

    But you won’t approve a $50 vaccine that the US State Dep’t strongly suggests that US citizens going there get?

    Nope.

    Needless to say, all the Canadian and European people I ran into had the vaccine, for free. They all laughed at America (bast*rds!!)

  36. Chicago7 says:

    If you add the 33% that are dissatisfied to the 15% who don’t have any insurance, that’s about 50% of Americans that are ticked off about insurance.

  37. 75Sasha says:

    Personal experience. I had just started a new dream job after leaving a hellhole in 10/06. The Monday before Christmas 06 I had a stabbing pain in my lower abdomen that increased throughout the day to the point I was in the bathroom trying not to scream, bite your hand pain. I left work and went to the closest ER thinking my Appendix had ruptured. I have never in my life felt such pain. I couldn’t breathe or talk it was so bad, it took like 5 minutes to complete a call to my parents three states away that I was in the ER and had no idea why. I will always remember staring at that chart that says “Rate your pain on a scale of one to ten”. Every five minutes I was telling them, no now it’s a ten, before it was a 9.9, before that a 9.8, before that 9.7. Every limit for pain I thought I had was broken that day. I entertained thoughts of going to the supply closet for my own painkillers. I was wandering around dragging my IV while crying and hyperventilating asking for any kind of pain medication from whichever ER employee I could accost, I didn’t care at that point. After being checked for an Ectopic Pregnancy, they then put me on Morphine. I had a pelvic exam, nothing abnormal. Then they did at CT scan. Yum Barium and Crystal Light! I had two Ovarian Cysts (one per Ovary) that were large enough to show up on a CT scan. They normally show up only on Ultrasounds. I then went through a trans-vaginal ultrasound (yuck, I know) to double check that the CT scan was right. Since the CT machine technician had never seen one that large (the larger one) they wanted to double check that I hadn’t absorbed a twin while en utero or something. I’m 5ft 1in ~ 120lbs. The havoc these cysts did to my internal organs took months to restore. My Ovaries had been pushed to the top of my Uterus so that they were “kissing”. But at this point I was more interested in playing along with Wheel Of Fortune on TV. Morphine is very nice.

    One was 8cm in diameter, one was 5cm. So a grapefruit and an apple. The smaller one had torsioned (twisted on its stalk, cut off the blood supply to itself and freaked, causing all that pain). They sent me home with a scrip for Darvocet and a follow-up appt for another Ultrasound and to schedule my surgery in 07.

    Since this was a new job I had switched insurance plans. I had gone from UHC to BC/BS, even though my employer offers both I felt that BC/BS was the better one and they are both the same paycheck deduction. I had thought that UHC was crap from my previous experience of massive billing errors, them not paying doctors and doctors just flat out refusing them as insurance. Thank god I switched. The ER I randomly ended up at (read: Google work address and Emergency Rooms, discern the closest and drive the fastest you ever have, oh yeah, I drove myself) is in the top 50 hospitals in the country. The Ob/Gynie that I got through the luck of the draw had spent her entire career (10 years) doing a robotic laparoscopic cystectomy surgery, that she trained for at Harvard. This allowed for a vastly quicker recovery. One day in the hospital then two to seven days at home vs the traditional one week in the hospital then two to four WEEKS at home. The traditional method is to do a C-Section style incision and remove the Cysts. This newer style is several smaller, 1/2 to one inch sized incisions across the abdomen where needed. She drains, dissects and then removes the pieces of the cysts. My doctor (who is the best and I’ve sent about five people her way) uses the robot to fine tune and perform maneuvers that the human hand can’t in a traditional laparoscopic surgery.

    With this being a new job I could have my five sick days, then my ten vacation days and then I’d be terminated. Since I hadn’t been there even two months, three months the time of surgery, at this point the short term/long term disability coverage didn’t apply to me. So the difference between a week off work and three plus weeks would mean the difference between employed and unemployed, at home with a massive wound, healing and trying to get a new job while injured.

    So this (long) story is about insurance. Because If I hadn’t switched from UHC to BC/BS the ER visit alone would be out-of-network (doesn’t apply to my year out of pocket max) with my UHC insurance (20% of which I would have had to cover, the total ER visit was 7,000$, so 1,400$). Then the surgery would have been the traditional C-Section style. Which I would have had to find another hospital for. This would mean more time drugged up until I could be fit in. Which after I would have been off of work for who knows how long and probably wouldn’t have had a job to worry about going back to. Or I could have had the robotic cystectomy at the 20% out-of-network-no-limit rate. The surgery was 24,000$. So I would have owed 4,800$ if I had wanted to keep my dream job. Plus the original 1,400$ for the ER visit. How many of you have 6,200$ lying around? But with BC/BS I owed 75$ for the ER visit and 2,000$ for my surgery (my out-of-network max for the year). Not that 2,075$ is easy to cover, but when you have a job to help pay that it becomes a lot easier. And the hospital let me split it into 10 separate monthly payments with no interest. Which is easier: 207$/month or 620$/mo? For the same out of pocket cost. I have spent a good amount of time preaching about the evils of UHC vs the not-so-evils of BC/BS.

    But there shouldn’t even be this issue. My surgery wasn’t experimental. It was just a way of performing the surgery that was vastly easier on the patient. And with UHC not covering this, it just spoke volumes on how the bottom line is the most important thing.

    And I want to send a big f-u to every doctor that told me my cramps were in my head, to take a hot bath, some Calcium or Iron supplements. The size of my cysts (endometrial) meant that they had been there at least three years for the larger one, two plus for the smaller one. If there is one thing I can pass on from this: if you have ridiculous cramps that get worse every month go get checked. And if they won’t do an Ultrasound get another Ob/Gynie. They missed an 8cm AND a 5cm cyst on my ER visit during the pelvic exam. And don’t let anyone tell you that your cramps are in your head. If I’d have pushed harder my cysts could have been controlled with birth control/hormones vs invasive surgery.

  38. Shuft says:

    That’s funny. I’m happy with my insurance for the opposite reason most of you are. I have chronic health problems, and when I look at my finances, 2 hours on the phone a month going through appeals processes and getting all the correct doctor referrals saves me tens of thousands of dollars.

    It is always a pain in the ass to deal with getting a company to give you money, but it’s like complaining about mail-in rebates, you might as well spit into the wind.

  39. bohemian says:

    I hate my insurance, but it is better than none at all. The comment about people that get sick didn’t take care of themselves is offbase. There are many chronic health problems that have nothing to do with your health, eating or exercise habits.

    Our current plan charges $20-$35 for a copay, even to just see a nurse. Then there is a 10-20% you have to pay on all medical bills yourself, and the standard deductible of $500 per person. The employee premium every month is rather high too. Plus the cost of medical care where I live is considerably more than even high cost of living areas like the east coast. Don’t even get me started on the drug coverage.

    I really miss my free health insurance with no copays that covered 100%, but that was the early 90′s. I doubt any employer could get or would provide such anymore.

  40. Elviswasntmyhero says:

    The Problem:

    A Failed Private Insurance System that Puts Profits Ahead of Patients
    The United States has the highest health spending in the world, yet 45 million Americans have no health insurance and millions more are under-insured and unable to access care. Illness and medical bills contribute to half of all U.S. bankruptcies. Prescription drug costs are the highest in the world. Even though other industrialized democracies spend less on health care, their citizens are guaranteed coverage for life, live longer, and have better access to care.

    The Solution:

    Non-Profit National Health Insurance

    Americans spend more money for less coverage and care because we are the only industrialized country that allows for-profit insurance companies to be middlemen in our health system. In their drive to enroll healthy (and profitable) patients and screen out the sick, private insurers waste vast sums on billing, marketing, underwriting, utilization review and other activities that enhance profits but divert resources from care and hassle patients and physicians. The paperwork they inflict on doctors and hospitals and nurses wastes hundreds of billions more each year.

    Replacing private insurance companies with a single-payer public program – “Medicare for All” – would save more than $350 billion per year by slashing bureaucracy, enough new money to provide guaranteed comprehensive health benefits for all.

    [www.sickocure.org]

  41. Amy Alkon says:

    I, too, have Kaiser. I’m 43, pay $235. Myself. Not through a workplace. I don’t think healthcare should be tied to jobs. And I like Bush’s plan to no longer penalize self-employed people like me by giving health care tax deductions for singles and families. Right now, if you are a single person in a workplace, you’re subsidizing all those people with five kids. That shouldn’t be.

    Of course, it helps that I got my own health care from the time I was off my parents. I had health insurance when I couldn’t afford a bed. It’s called personal responsibility — not putting my parents or friends in a position where the choice was either mortgage their house or have bake sales or let me die. Because I’ve had health care all these years, from the time I was in my early 20s, there was no qualifying for it, just maintaing what I had.

    Back to Kaiser: I got food poisoning last week, and I’m still feeling some of the effects. Weird. I called Monday morning to make a doctor appointment. Would I like one that afternoon? No, I’m on deadline through Tuesday night. Wednesday afternoon? Cool. 2:45 pm Wednesday. Went to my doc, got a test to take home with me, she checked my general health and looked at a mole, and pre-scheduled a mammo for the end of the year. Cost: $25. Recent ophthamology appointment, great doctor, also $25. Shrink visits, $25. Ritalin prescrip, also $25 for about six months worth. And I’m covered for catastrophic stuff, too.

    I had a primary care doc I thought gave me substandard care before I got my current doctor. I switched doctors to one I found that had high ratings from patients on the Internet. And those ratings turned out to be right. She’s fantastic, smart, responsive, and will answer questions from her patients by e-mail! Usually really fast, too.

    The thing is, save for those people who have preexisting conditions and can never get into health care at all, you have to employ that thing so many people have disdain for…personal responsibility.

  42. WhatThe... says:

    @ptr2void: I’m glad to hear not all experiences are like mine. It became a HUGE issue when I was pregnant – the only preventative measure I could take was heprin shots. The insurance wouldn’t cover any of the heprin, needles, etc. I had to wait until my max out of pocket (along with max pregnancy out of pocket) to even send in all my receipts and such for claims. My doctor and pharmacist tried to code things differently, but nothing worked. Oh, until I developed gestational diabetes – then the needles were covered for the insulin.

  43. EmmaC says:

    I know who the 67% are. They are the 67% of any given time who are not diagnosed with a serious illness or really needed their insurance beyond picking up montly allergy meds or something like that, because it’s when you really need your insurance that they start saying no to everything.

  44. Rusted says:

    @pfblueprint: I’m a thin American…..
    @llcooljabe: At least Canadians got something. Health insurance would cost half a grand a month for me and it’s a big rip off anyway. I refuse to do it. Single payer is the only way to go.
    @no.no.notorious: It’s still around. Paying cash is far less hassle.

  45. MagicJewball says:

    I have a chronic disease and I’m in the 67%. I pay $200 a year for meds that would cost thousands, I paid $10 last month for a procedure that was billed at $1500, all my doctors are in my plan already, my premiums are fair, I’ve never actually had to call customer service because everything works so smoothly, and nothing I’ve ever submitted (well, submitted on my behalf, I never fill out any paperwork) has been denied. I have Oxford, by the way.

    I didn’t realize I was in the majority, though. I thought I was just really lucky. Well, maybe I am and the survey was skewed.

  46. Ghede says:

    Ok, now ask yourselves… How many of those people are paying nothing for their insurance due to good unions?

  47. agentehamburgler says:

    My last 2 health insurance plans have been great. Far less painless than say, going to the DMV or post office…

  48. agentehamburgler says:

    I’m very happy w/my last 2 health insurance plans. Far less painless than say, going to the DMV or post office…

  49. no.no.notorious says:

    i agree we need tort reform (health insurance is high because mal-practice insurance is high, which is ultimately our fault for being sue happy)

    but i don’t think just taxing everyone for funds will fix the problem either

  50. Greasy Thumb Guzik says:

    @no.no.notorious:
    Wrong, wrong, wrong!
    There isn’t any correlation between malpractice insurance rates & health insurance rates.
    ISMIE, which has most of the malpractice insurance business in Illinois, raised rates as despite a decrease in claims.
    You’ve drunk the Kool-Aid of the insurance industry!

  51. oldbenjamin says:

    @COWBOYS_FAN. All that Moore is is soundbites. None of his points about socialized health care could actually stand up to hard economics

  52. mconfoy says:

    Mamsi, now part of United Health Care, sucks. Pay more, they promise more, get less. They can rot in hell as far as I am concerned.

  53. Amy Alkon says:

    Ok, now ask yourselves… How many of those people are paying nothing for their insurance due to good unions?

    Uh, I’m a newspaper columnist who got her start giving free advice on the street corner. I’m self-employed, bill papers for using my work, and write at home with my dog in my lap or from a café on my laptop. Unless there’s an unofficial union for coffee drinkers, I’m not in a union. What I am is somebody with a sense of personal responsibility. I’ve been in an HMO since I was in my 20s, when I rarely got so much as a runny nose. I’m still very healthy, as far as I know, but you never know when you’ll get into an accident or have some disease hit you. So I keep paying Kaiser that $235 a month (at age 43), and I don’t have to worry about getting into a plan.

    Sounds like MagicJewBall above has had a similar experience with Oxford — and does have a chronic condition.

  54. phrygian says:

    I’m glad that I have insurance, but I’m not satisfied with it. The insurance companies suck, but I guess I’m grateful to be able to receive the medical care that I need without having to pay the bills completely myself. I’ve lived without insurance before and had to pay out of pocket and that sucks too.

  55. J. Gov says:

    I’ve generally had more trouble with doctors and their staff than with my insurance. My insurance handles it just fine when a specialist or a hospital files a claim, but my GP’s office? Magically gets miscoded every time and takes months to fix. Every time I call to correct them, they give me a new story about why it’s not their fault the insurance rejected the claim. (My favorite was when they said my carrier was lying to me on the phone, despite the fact that I had a benefit book for the current year. Which I brought in when I went to do further battle with them.)

    Then when I start walking into the office (which is over 30 minutes away) and glaring at the staff…they tell me they changed their codes recently and they’ll recode it. Then, my insurance magically accepts it.

    Everyone I talk to in the area says their doctor’s office is just as bad, so I have yet to switch…but as soon as I find a good doctor who doesn’t pull this BS…

  56. SkiAliG says:

    My health insurance coverage (which I have through my dad, because I’m a full time student) was dropped the day I turned 21. No letter, no call, nothing – just gone. I only found out when I went to get my foot examined (turned out to be tendonitis that I’ve had for 4 months) and the doctor refused to see me because I didn’t have coverage.

    I’m in that (very sober) 33%.

  57. Cowboys_fan says:

    @oldbenjamin: I wouldn’t call an hour & 1/2 documentary soundbites. If his health care ideas can’t stand up to “hard economics”, then how does it work in all those other industrialized nations? I don’t think the UK or France are going bankrupt anytime soon.
    I’m on the not-for-profit insurance bandwagon anyways, but I wouldn’t protest government run, universal health care. I simply believe everybody should receive the same care, rich or poor. And there should NEVER be situations like a month or so ago when one hospital has to call 911 for a patient. If that happened where I grew up, they would send a helicopter to transfer me to another hospital, no questions asked, no back-room bickering over who pays, nothing of the sorts. The current system is absolutely brutal. I don’t want anyone to profit off my good health but me.

  58. WV.Hillbilly says:

    @Elviswasntmyhero:
    Yeah, that’s what we need another government run health system.

    Ask all of those vets how well the VA is taking care of them.

  59. Trai_Dep says:

    For those that are into facts, not dogma, and have reservations about Michael Moore’s films, visit his website. For each film he has a long (looooooong) list of all the factual claims made, along with the reputable sources upon which they’re based.

    If you DO care about America (Iraq – great idea in retrospect?) (US health care – best, most efficient, bar none?), it’s worth a visit.

    Keep an open mind. Even if you hate the messenger, it’s nonsensical to not evaluate the message. IF you care about our country, its people and your family.

  60. mconfoy says:

    @WV.Hillbilly: The VA system was doing a great job until Iraq since the DOD made no plans that we might be in Iraq years later with thousands of wounded. Get your facts straight.

  61. Amy Alkon says:

    A friend in France pays 65% of his income in taxes. That’s not free healthcare, that’s exceptionally expensive health care. I could have Blue Cross, but I have a part-time editorial assistant who works for me, and it’s important to me to pay her well, so I have Kaiser. It’s not the Cadillac of healthcare, but it’s okay healthcare. And, as I’ve posted above, I’m 43 and pay $235 a month. Thanks, I’ll take that over paying healthcare costs for immigrant families of 12 (on the dole in France).