Health Insurance Fightback Roundup

(Photo: César Rincón)

Comments

Edit Your Comment

  1. Magicube says:

    What’s up with the ginormous font for the headline? It looks ridiculous.

  2. CurbRunner says:

    Way beyond Sicko…

    The most notable thing about all of this is that in a country that can spend a trillion dollars on an endless war, how pathetic it has become that we even have to go through all of this shit just to remain physically intact.

    Michael Moore is right.

  3. Me. says:

    I recently got diagnosed with cancer and, as a 25 year old recent graduate, I was in the weird stage between school healthcare and my professional job healthcare.

    I applied to the state healthcare and was denied. The next step? Requesting a hearing to fight their denial. Right after reqesting the hearing, they approved me. Seems like it was easier to approve than to go to court…. Moral of the story: fight for what you need!!! The answer “No” is very changeable.

  4. timmus says:

    I keep hoping every year that enough people will be pissed off enough about the health insurance mess to demand a major change to the system. In a way I think it’s inevitable because the health insurance companies will eventually trim out every sick person or potentially sick person from any kind of access. As more people put off medical care, this will lower the overall utilization of health facilities and dampen the system’s economy of scale (harder for a hospital to justify that new MRI scanner). Plus the insurance companies will ruthlessly perfect the art of stingy payouts, putting even less money into the system, and boom, it will collapse!

    Wait a second — there’s all those baby boomers and Medicare. Damn you! There will be no end to this broken system!

  5. bohemian says:

    What is even worse is when the only two Hospital/clinic groups in your entire state actually own the two largest health plans in a state that only has about 8 companies writing policies here.

    This sort of shit should be illegal. But our governor is an insurance guy so he is protecting them. Ironically our health care costs are higher than average compared to the rest of the country.

    I am so sick of the dunderheads that keep saying that private insurance is the answer. They say that until they get sick.

  6. CurbRunner says:

    @Me.:

    “Moral of the story: fight for what you need!!! The answer “No” is very changeable.”

    Good for you.
    However, your victory is much more the exception than the norm.

  7. Xerloq says:

    @bohemian: It’s not a question of stupidity, but apathy. Government should regulate the system only as far as preventing monopolies and price-fixing – but the rest of the power must remain in the consumer’s hands.

    Right now, no one cares enough to change the system. Doctors don’t care because they are guaranteed some payment; policy holders don’t care because their $15 copay and premiums don’t sting as much as paying thousands for care; and insurance companies don’t care because there’s a steady flow of money from employers funding their business.

    The key is to make someone care – ideally the consumer. I’ve had success with dropping health insurance for routine stuff (saving $5,000+ per year in premiums and $500 or so in co-pays), and getting high-deductible/catastrophic care insurance (about $1,000 per year). You pay cash out of pocket for physicals, specialists, and other routine stuff, but you’re covered if you have cancer or need brain surgery, etc.

    This forces consumers to regulate their own care, making less unnecessary visits. When you know you’re paying cash out of pocket for a doctor’s visit, you shop around and can negotiate better rates because you’re paying cash. Since with cash the doctor is paid now, rather than waiting 90 days or more for the insurance to pay out, they’re more willing to give discounts. I’ve found that upwards of 80% of doctors will negotiate lower rates that are equal to or better than the insurance negotiated rates.

    The nice thing is that managing health care in this manner lowers the costs for employers (who pay the bulk of the costs), too, as they pay less into their health plans for employees. The savings are passed to the insurance companies who pay out less frequently for the routine and unneeded things (the bulk of costs), and only have to worry about the catastrophic stuff.

    Some companies are beginning to pair this high-deductable/catastrophic insurance with an MSA or HSAs (a savings account for medical expenses like a 401k or IRA), which allow consumers to better manage their expenses than an FSA.

    A form of private insurance is still the answer, so long as consumers have the power to vote with their wallets. We don’t want health insurance to turn into another DMV or Social Security system – the epitomes of government effectiveness

    Just my $0.02.