Health insurance rant

posted by Jeff | Tuesday, October 29, 2013, 10:57 PM | comments: 0

It seems like health insurance is all the rage to bitch and moan about, so why not, I'll do that too. I'm not sure why the 80% of people who get their insurance through work are bitching about Obamacare, because aside from the typical annual increases, it's business as usual.

I decided this year to do the contract thing for a number of reasons, most of which was the ability to bank a bunch of cash so we could move, and also afford to take a little time off in the spring. As it turned out, the job I got here in Orlando is also contract. Regardless, part of that extra money is always dedicated to buying your own health insurance. It comes with the territory.

The ACA has had the effect that the individual policies offered have to meet certain requirements, which is a load of crap because these kinds of policies are typically based on high deductibles. I learned quickly that these make the most sense for a family of three, including a toddler/preschooler. My existing policy will have to be replaced because it won't be offered, and that doesn't matter since my carrier doesn't write policies in Florida anyway. My preliminary shopping shows about a 25% increase, which blows. Even if the Healthcare.gov site worked (what a steaming pile of shit that is), there's little point to even trying because I make too much to qualify for subsidies.

While the consumer protection parts of the ACA are wins, I've never been a fan of the individual mandate. It was always a flawed idea. (A real "public option" should never have been taken off the table.) The bigger problem is that the ACA doesn't address several of the fundamental problems:

  • Health insurance is associated with healthcare.
  • Full-time employment is associated with health insurance.
  • Healthcare costs account for more of our GDP than any developed nation, and we spend more per capita than anyone else.
  • Nothing controls the costs because there is no incentive. It's not like you're gonna say, "Oh, that's OK, I'll treat that cancer next year."
  • You can't price shop between providers.

And if you've ever had any treatment of any kind, you can see the kind of stupidity that makes the cost worse. We had "the scare" this year with Diana. They saw something they didn't like on the mammogram, did the follow up high resolution scan, and eventually a biopsy. It turns out she's fine, after five figures of necessary care.

We'll hit our deductible, which I expected. We did it last year with Simon's pneumonia. Again, you just budget for it. But for Diana's treatment, the claims just sat around with no action, until the Cleveland Clinic was like, yeah, here's your bill. The insurance company wanted more information about whether or not Diana had some pre-existing condition, which is the provision of the ACA that doesn't kick in until next year (fuckers... that's completely immoral). So because it just sat there, the clinic hasn't been paid, and that kind of stupidity costs them money.

I don't mind paying for health insurance. I don't expect anything for free (unless it's something I get as a taxpayer). But the system is so fucked up that no one can think through it and lead us out of the broken system. Honestly I feel a little dirty sometimes having worked for an insurance company, because they're certainly part of the problem.


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