thedailyinquisition

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Ensuring My Health is Killing Me

Not literally of course. The death I’m talking about here is slow, agonizing financial death. I just received my new “Open Enrollment” health insurance letter from my company which was filled with shiny highlights and positive wording. Ironically, looking at just the facts, everything in the letter informed me that I was going to be paying more money and getting less for it.

My company decided to stop flip-flopping between health care providers this time and stuck with United Health Care. Below are the semi-monthly costs (Keep in mind that I have a wife and two little girls):

 

So, if you’re following along, that’s a whopping $888.28 a month to keep my family healthy. I’ll spare the suspense and tell you that it’s almost as much as what is direct deposited into my account bi-monthly, which is $1038. Now, that’s currently deducting my health insurance, 401K, and a few other things, but suffice it to say its no small chunk of change for me.

I’ve got to tell you folks, socialized medical care is looking pretty good to me about now. I’m not advocating it, I’m just jealous. The real reason why our healthcare is going up, and thus our insurance is escalating, is three-fold. First, we have the fact that the number of doctors and hospital beds compared to our population is pathetic. Secondly, the doctors that we do have are charging and arm and a leg for their healthcare. We don’t normally see it, but the insurance companies sure do and that’s part of the reason they are hiking up their rates. Last, we’re on the verge of having a healthcare bill that forces every man, woman, and child into the hands of the private insurance companies. Additionally, it forces those companies to accept preexisting conditions, which inflates the prices for all consumers.

I, for the life of me, don’t see why we don’t fix the problem at its root. Provide more funding for students going into medical care fields and incentives, penalize doctors and facilities that charge over the acceptable amount (might as well standardize pricing while we’re at it), and then come up with a fair plan to help everyone get health coverage. You have to solve the first two before you work on the last. Providing a solution that doesn’t address the problem is counter-intuitive and would have cause you to fail even second grade Math.

Please forgive this rant. I know I’ve lost most of my objectivity due to money being torn from my hands. I can’t be alone here. We need to stand on our rooftops and shout, letting the government know that we’re mad as hell and we’re not going to take it anymore. I could give two shits about the political campaign right now. My family should have decent, affordable health care no matter who is in office. I think this is not too much to ask of my country. I’ve served it, now it’s time that I get the same respect.

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2 thoughts on “Ensuring My Health is Killing Me

  1. Hi. This is your friendly neighborhood stalker seeing if you would be a fun target. Your comments on my blog made me think it a possibility. 😉

  2. I just paid a bill for routine labs. Before insurance, the charge was around $78. After insurance contract pricing, I was left with the full amount because my deductible hasn’t been met. My total came to just over $11. I kid you not.

    my complaint (and one that I’ve yammered on my blog about) is that those of us with insurance have been taking it in the shorts for a really long time, mostly because doctors have to eat costs for the uninsured. Absolutely, costs should be standardized.

    I know a number of people who have children with conditions that were uninsurable until recently. I don’t know what to do about that- the cost of care is outrageous. While I do think pre-existing conditions should be covered, I can also see how that drives up cost. Would fixing costs avoid raising rates? I don’t know.

    I do know that no one should be forced to *have* to get insurance, though. If costs were reasonable, there would be a lot more people who wouldn’t have to be in a position where they couldn’t afford medical care.

    The problem is, though, is that when you remove the free market aspect, you lose the ability to filter through to get to the creme da la creme because there is no incentive for excellence.

    may a tiered system would work for providers- higher education; higher specialties could charge more, but there would be a cap. Routine stuff falls into one category; other specialties fall into others.

    I don’t have any answers, but mandatory health care coverage is not it. There’s a reason why people from Canada come across the border to US doctors. I know numerous people in the UK who struggle to even get appointments, and most of them are months and months out. They have to call and “prove” that they are sick enough to be seen by a doctor, and if not, oh well.

    Going off that system, I would likely be dead by now (no kidding) because I had to filter over 30 doctors and nearly 5 years to get to someone who could DO something for me because I “didn’t look sick” or “they could tell something was wrong” but they didn’t know what.

    Anyhow. The medical system is broken, but the fix isn’t coming any time soon, imo……….

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