Insurer Says, "Turn Medical Costs Into Holiday Gifts!"

Nothing says “I love you, Mom,” like some more medicine for her diabetes, or “You’re the best, Dad,” like a refill of nitro tablets. That’s why the health insurance company Highmark is offering new Healthcare Visa Gift Cards—for about $5 plus an unspecified shipping and handling fee, you can load it with anywhere from $25 to $5,000 to be used exclusively on medical expenses. After the first 9 months, the card emerges from the womb of “I already paid for this!” and starts charging you a monthly $1.50 maintenance fee. Won’t your kid be excited come Christmas morning when she finds out her staph infection is going to get treated?!

Highmark is quite proud of their new invention. They clearly feel that not only is it in good taste, which it isn’t, but that there’s never been anything else like it on the planet, which there has:

“Ultimately, we think this product may go national,” said Kim Bellard, Highmark’s vice president of e-marketing and consumer relations. He expects other insurers will be interested in using the “intellectual technology,” which Highmark hopes to patent.

All patent stupidity aside, now that Medicare prescription plans are set to rise 21% next year, maybe your grandmother really wouldn’t mind swapping out real gifts with the gift of continuing eyesight—and just helping her pay for that medicine with cash makes it look like you didn’t even care enough to go buy a gift card.

“Highmark offers the ultimate get-well card” [Pittsburgh Post-Gazette] (thanks to Uri!)

(Image: Givewell)

Want more consumer news? Visit our parent organization, Consumer Reports, for the latest on scams, recalls, and other consumer issues.