Saturday, May 21, 2011

To Your Health

The decision about whether to go without health insurance is, for me, purely a financial one. It's simply about weighing options: do I want to hand over $700-$800 per month to an insurance company for me and for each of my staff members or do take a risk and set aside some money to help pay for "catastrophic" medical bills?

It's not a decision I want to make, but I have to make it. Of course it's not only about money. It's about whether I can keep staff; will they decide they cannot risk it and simply go to a larger company at which "exposure" is not the insurance company's only criterion for pricing?

I learned from one person that the threshold at which insurance companies no longer look at rating individuals is 100 employees. Below 100 employees, you're screwed if you have employees who are "aging" and/or who have any pre-existing conditions that frighten the insurance companies. Beyond "rating" each individual, the companies can "rate up" the high risk people by 67% of the peak premium for those individuals considered to be high risks. Me. My wife. My client services manager.

So, our glorious government decided to get tough with insurance companies and require them to offer coverage to groups of at least two people. Hooray. But they allowed the companies to "rate up" individuals to the tune of 67%. Not so hooray.

The ugly, but not-so-secret, secret about insurance companies is that they are wallowing in obscene profits. While claiming they cannot risk their "low" premiums on "sick" people for fear of spreading unreasonable burdens to others who pay premiums, they are literally awash in money. One piece of evidence of that fact is the fact that they are deluging with wife with marketing materials for Medicare Part B coverage; they are actively SEEKING people over 65 as policy-holders? These are the same people they will not write without being forced to in small group settings? Aahh...but the Part B coverage is in addition to coverage provided by the GOVERNMENT. It is ADDITIONAL coverage. So catastrophic coverage is already "covered." I see. So, if you remove the risk for insurance companies, they are willing to take the risk. What the fuck, EXACTLY, is the business they are in? RISK! But they want ME to pay for it. They do not want to risk their profits by taking risks. They want ME to take the financial risks for the policies they write.

I absolutely LOATHE the insurance industry right now. I loathe the healthcare system in this country. I loathe the greed-driven approach to health "care" in this country.

I am an unhappy camper. And I don't know just what I'll do, but regardless of the direction I take, it will be financially very difficult and very hard on my ability to get and retain staff. Thanks to my old age and my perceived ill health. NOT, of course, the greedy bastards who run the healthcare insurance system in this country.


Tara Rinaldi said...

you, and a gazillion other US citizens caught in the ugly web of health insurance companies. They ARE wallowing in profits -- that is what makes it all so obscene. And it's not as if our country doesn't know that other health care models exists...those insurance companies use a lot of their profits to lobby our elected officials, both state and federal.

I am soooo lucky to have worked for a large organization that had excellent health insurance coverage that I carried into my retirement. I pay $123 a month. A pittance compared to most. I stayed with that enterprise for 23 years because of the health insurance coverage. I have diabetes, and no way could I ever find affordable coverage any other way.

I'm with you, buddy, I LOATHE insurance companies. Good luck on your decision making. It's a tough one.

Sondra said...

Its legalized extortion--Im so over capitalism period--they should rename it--STICK IT TO'Emism cause thats all it is, we get stuck with greedy oil co's, greedy DR's, greedy Insurance, greedy banks, greedy grocers, we live in a shark pool---and the circle is getting smaller all the time!