Friday's Fare

Friday’s Food for Thought: Is There Any Care in Healthcare?

Let’s face it. Our healthcare system stinks. Really stinks.

If you are lucky enough to have decent healthcare, you definitely pay a hefty price. If you have insurance through your workplace, you still have to pay enough money that it financially hurts.

Really hurts.

But let’s try a different scenario.

Imagine that you are diagnosed with cancer and, despite offering to work online or offsite, your employer terminates you.

Now, you have:

A. no income,
B. no ability to get a new job (who wants to hire you when you have surgeries galore?), and
C. Cobra payments, which are almost $2000 a month for two people (you and your husband).

No wonder they call it “Cobra”: that’s a lot of shekels to shell out, considering you have to earn 30% more in order to have the $2000 to pay…but can you afford it? After all, you were just terminated from your job because you have cancer.

Where is the logic in this system?

Let’s continue the story. The insurance company sees that your cancer treatment is a-typical, full of extra surgeries, infections, multiple reconstructions, blood transfusions, hospital stays, and endless other medical bill. What do they do? They raise the premium. Whenever they want.

When you pay the old rate, not knowing that they have changed the premium for the second time in four months, they cancel your health insurance.

No letters. No warnings. Just cancel it.

And, after receiving a letter dated 5/3/15 that I was qualified to continue my insurance for another year, I contacted the number and spoke with the supervisor of billing (who is answering the main telephone number, btw): “It was canceled last Thursday. Sorry. You have no health insurance and we will not reinstate you.”

Thank you, Ms. Mary Lou Ext. 4965853 (that was all the information she would give to me). Your emotionless and shocking announcement showed exactly how compassionate Aetna is about their clients.

I wonder how it feels to work at a company that provides health care insurance? Raising premiums on sick people. Canceling policies without telling the policy holders. Underpaying medical bills, even though they agreed to pay a certain percentage.

Gee, I’d go home at night and really feel like a louse.

The problem with our healthcare system cannot be fixed with political programs and Obamacare. It needs to start with accountability by the insurance companies.

They can do what they want. They simply do not care.

Here’s a little tidbit for you. Did you know that if you sue a health care provider, chances are that the insurance company pays out of court just to get rid of you? Then they spread the cost of that payoff to the people paying insurance. They don’t even bother considering whether it is a frivolous lawsuit or the fact that the person signed a waiver stating their awareness of the risks.

The insurance companies just write a check.

And guess who pays for that check? YOU! ME! Everyone with healthcare.

That’s illogical.

So many people in our country need good healthcare. Americans are supposed to be the leading world power, but we have horrendous healthcare (among other things). Who, exactly, do we complain to about being mistreated? The insurance company leaves us with one, and only one, choice: lawyers. And, as mentioned above, the insurance companies know how to resolve litigious problems—which, ultimately, increases the price for everyone else.

I’m tired of dealing with what should have been a simple, routine breast surgery. The first plastic surgeon messed up and then left the country on vacation for ten days. Other doctors came along to try to fix his mistakes. TWO YEARS LATER, I’m still not finished. The physical stress and emotional strain has been so horrible that I’ve been diagnosed with cancer-related PTSD (but that is another post). Only now, I don’t have the healthcare to keep on trudging…with no warning, no explanation, no anything. Nice.

We call it healthcare, but tell me where, exactly, is the “care?”

10 thoughts on “Friday’s Food for Thought: Is There Any Care in Healthcare?

  1. I am so sorry to hear all you have been thru. I wish our country was like Canada or the UK and the insurance is given to everyone by the gov but allow us to purchase supplement insurance if we want it. Moms should be in charge of all, we seem to think rationally.
    I will keep you in my prayers.

  2. Socialized Medicine won’t work. Many people come from other countries to be treated here because it takes so long to see a doctor there or have a procedure done. The procedure is done when they say you can get it done. Who will pay for this medical care?? The taxpayer that’s who.
    Healthcare reform I believe needs to start with tort reform. Once they stop frivolous lawsuits the price of insurance will go down. With everything being electronic these days doctors & nurses spend more time with computer charting than they do at the bedside. We pay a ton of money for our insurance & I’ve been told by Aetna that I couldn’t get a needed MRI because they said “just because you’ve had Cancer once doesn’t mean you’ll have cancer again” Guess what it was Cancer so my treatment was delayed by a year costing them more money since more complex surgery needed to be done.
    This is thanks to Obamacare. More cost for less care!! I could keep going but I’ll get off my soap box now!

  3. I was fortunate with my breast cancer because it was caught early and was removed completely. I am on Medicare and even with and Advantage plan a lot is not covered or inadequate. They will not cover my glasses unless I switch to regular bifocals even though I have worn progressive lens for 20 years. Hearing aids they will only pay $2000 every other year and that is total not per aid. Too costly to have them. Still work because social security isn’t enough

  4. Ive had the chronic neurological condition, dystonia for almost 24 years. I have numerous horror healthcare stories. The latest being that the best neurologist I ever had just quit because he can’t make it under Obamacare. Insurance company profits are only three percent, and now that the government is involved, they are telling them how much of their money gets spent where. Having the government involved with anything with the word “care” is an oxymoron. I’ve been fired by doctors, refused a wheelchair by insurance when I had no way to get around without one, and dozens of more stories.

    The answer is the free market. We need to have a system where the individual shops for their insurance plan…and where it makes a difference to the patient who they choose for their care based on their own money. We had two privately purchased plans when we were self employed in Oklahoma. Great price, great plans. We moved to Maine with all their government laws, and we couldn’t even afford a horrible plan for our daughter never mind any other plan. Capitalism, free market, and competition among insurance companies is the only answer.

  5. You are the rule not the exception. Like Core learning and the lunch program, they look for two positives and ignore thousands of negatives and call their program a success. My daughter and son-in-law have to deal with all three. He teaches kids with severe handicaps in an elementary school. They have 5 children under 12. Their insurance has a $3,000 deductible and doesn’t prescription coverage. The kids get state insurance, but they don’t. With their low wages the premium and health care costs them a lot. Their kids are underweight and could use a healthy meal, and one size fits all doesn’t fit learning all. The government wants us to fit in that mandatory one size. The majority of Americans have a strong value system, but we don’t get a say. Somehow we have to speak louder or this socialized liberalism will continue. Thank you for opening the dialogue. I love your books, especially the Amish. My husband was born and raised in Lansdale, PA. He was Mennonite before we were married. I have a love and appreciation of those godly people. —Diana Hunsaker Myers

  6. Sarah, I sure wish I could tell you where it ends. Unfortunately, I can’t. First of all, your employer should have been paying you disability since you were unable to work, insurance included. How they got around that, I have no idea, but I know several people who have had to leave their jobs for health reasons, and disability and Medicare are available. I don’t know what your employer used as an excuse to terminate your employment, but you were being treated for cancer! It seems to me that they had no right to terminate your position under those circumstances. It breaks my heart knowing what all you have been through. I love you, dear friend, and pray that justice prevails.

  7. I’m sorry about the situation but … if you think that Obamacare is wrong, then you Ms. Price are part of the problem, rather than part of the solution.

    GI’s get single payer care. Veteran’s get single payer care. When Carter, Clinton and then Obama tried to get single payer care … you know who opposed it.

    The GOP did everything it could to hamstring Obamacare, As a result, it is better than nothing but not great.

    You ask about Romneycare? (Aka Obamacare) Well, Massachusetts has the best public health care system in the nation. Which party gets the insurance company dollars?

    I really like your Amish books. I like people who live their lives according to their principles 24/7/365. I’m a Quaker. I try to live my life by my religious and spiritual principles. Leaving poor people – or not poor people like the person in your post – without health coverage is not moral. No way, no how.

    Sorry I ranted. Sorry for your medical situation. With a hug, Jon

  8. I work for an insurance company in customer service. I really understand your frustration. In most cases the insurance companies only administer the plan. Most employer plans are self funded. The employer determines what the benefits are going to be how much of the premium the employee will have to pay and who is covered by the policy.

  9. Yes, you should also:
    1. Contact a lawyer about the employer violating the Americans with Disabilities Act
    2. If you are under 50 and think that you will be unable to sustain any full time work for at least a year (dating back to when the medical conditions made you unable to work) consider contacting a lawyer member of NOSSCR, the Nat’l Org. of Social Security Claimant’s Representatives.
    3. Usually if a woman has breast cancer, it doesn’t qualify for social security disability because – if successfully treated – the average woman is able to return to work within a year. If a woman’s breast cancer isn’t resolved to the average, there may be a good claim.
    4. Consider blogging and otherwise publically shaming the company.

  10. This sounds awful. Whenever I read or hear stories like this I thank god I live in Australia. Our government pays for our healthcare with our taxes. Sure we can take out extra insurance for non essential stuff and to make sure we have private rooms in hospitals etc but nobody in our country goes without health care.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.