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Posts Tagged ‘insurance’

BLUE CROSS’S DISGUISES

So much is in a name. Too much is in a name. We can so easily be led astray by trusting a name that has been programmed into us, the older generation,  as trustworthy.

In the spring of 2006 I  had just turned eighty and was already on Medicare, of course, when I found in my mailbox one of the most enticing presentation packages ever compiled. It had come from Blue Cross of California.  Because it had come from Blue Cross of California, second only perhaps to God in trustworthiness, I took it very seriously. I took it home.  I gave it an evening of my time. It  was very impressive.

What I thought it said to me was this:  1) I could always, at any time, go back to my familiar Medicare coverage; 2) this new entity would pay 90% of all my medical bills instead of the 80% that Medicare was paying; 3) I could always choose my own health care provider but might have to pay a bit more if that provider was NOT in the booklet of approved Freedom Blue (the mask) providers; 4) my annual deductible would now be $1,000/yr instead of Medicare’s $100/yr.   It also said that my maximum annual co-pay would be $3,000.

Yep, I grabbed it.

And now I’m about to write them a letter asking to be released from that decision and to accept the offer to return to regular Medicare coverage  (see 1 above) .  The primary reason for this decision is that I can no longer deal with the confusing paperwork. I can honestly say that there has never been a moment since May of 2006 when I had the faintest idea what the hell was happening with my billings.

Last week, six months after I believed that I had paid my $1,000 deductible  for 2009 (and can prove it), I get a bill for a service six-month’s ago to remove a skin cancer for which Anthem Blue Cross paid nothing. Their explanation on the phone was that my $1000 deductible “had not been paid at that time“.

The 2010 “Medicare & You” directory says that Anthem Blue Cross (Freedom Blue’s new mask) was rated “POOR” among members. Recently my Premarin prescription cost  ME $40 of the $68 bill for only thirty pills. In 2008 Freedom
Blue paid $108 of $138 for one hundred pills. What changed? Prices and my health insurer’s profit. 

And now I’m reading that come March 1st, we will all be paying 39%  higher premiums for Anthem Blue Cross coverage because …. ?

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It’s that time of year again. It always makes me sick.

Every year on November 15 th a six-week-long window opens when older folks can change our current insurance plans. We have to do it before December 31st or IT’S TOO LATE.  (Sound a little like Big Brother?)  This year I think that’s actually pretty funny!

The greatest genius among us seniors has no idea what insurance we have already, leave alone what we’ll have by January 1. We’ve been manipulated, people. We’ve been led to believe that you HAVE to have Prescription Drug Insurance, for example. You don’t. It’s an option. It’s always been an option. (Big Brother?) If you don’t WANT it, call and cancel it, NOW.

I don’t know about you, but I’m pretty fed-up with a few insurance companies and all pharmaceutical companies having us by the “short hairs” as the crude saying goes. This is not what Medicare was supposed to be. My parents had the Medicare that was supposed to be.

They got sick; they went to the hospital; Medicare picked up the bill. Yes, ALL of the bill. No paperwork, no claims, no question.

How can we have come so far from that original Medicare plan? Well, I’m afraid that we’ve attracted some PARASITES along the way. There is no other word for the insurance companies and pharmaceuticals who are blackmailing the good ole U.S.A. and having their way with the senior citizens of America.

They say that these special interest groups are spending one and a half million dollars a month paying filibusterers in order to maintain their control over America. If that’s not the dreaded “Big Brother,” I don’t know what would be.

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Nowhere is it written that you have to go to a doctor. It’s never been mandatory; it’s a choice that we make. People have lived to a ripe old age who have never been in a doctor’s office. I have to admit that for me, life would have ended at 30, at 50, and again at 76 except for a doctor’s intervention and immediate surgery.

But because it is my choice to go to a doctor in the first place, I wonder why I have the right to sue the doctor should he/she do a less than perfect job? Law suits are, after all, at the root of today’s exhorbitant medical costs. I knew a Japanese gardener who was married to a doctor. His entire earnings for all that hard work barely paid his wife’s malpractice insurance each month.

Maybe suing a doctor should be limited to getting a refund for  the actual expenses incurred instead of expecting to “never have to work another day.” Maybe it’s time for us all to start living a little more responsibly, to stop mistreating our bodies and looking to doctors to fix it.

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