Posted by: guinness222 | February 26, 2009

“Anyone want to blow up Health Insurance Companies?”

       AS I get older one of the inevitability’s is a more frequent interaction with the damn Health Insurance Companies, and I think they have a winning test system out there to completely document Alzheimer’s, Dementia, and decreased brain function, it’s called the policy and the patients “Right to know”. I’m ready, lock me up, throw away the key and just shove a bowl of Oatmeal under the door in the morning and the evening. When the bowl is not returned empty after two feedings come in and remove the remains, send me to the crematorium, and forward my medical bills to 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, Washington, D.C. (Oh, and if that “money” shit still exists take a handful for all your kindnesses to a former human being!)

        OK, let me go back and re-cap here. We, the most capable country (at least we used to be) in the free world established the entire private health car insurance thing. Ever since I was a kid, i.e. 17 years old, I’ve had some form of health insurance, and every week a little bit of my wages disappeared into a black hole called “Health Insurance Deduction”. I say Black Hole, for a few reasons, it wasn’t THAT much money, I never really missed it (I have come up short for a pack of Cigarettes back then and thought about cancelling the insurance, but…). Oh and being the regular “Superman”, as all younger people think they are, I never had a need to use it.

             Then I got married, but I was in the Navy then, and they covered everything, including my wife’s pregnancies with outside Doctor costs, hospitals, medications etc. because there was no Naval Hospital nearby. Then after our second child I got finished up with the Navy Contract, was Honorably Discharged (something no one really gives a shit about today. For you younger folks it means you served your country honorably for your contracted enlistment period and your country wanted to recognize you for it), and had to “get health insurance”  as part of my civilian employment, through my employer. I think the first job I had it amounted to about $10 or so a week. That was 10% of my gross pay back in 1969. It covered a lot of “stuff” and you just gave them the medical card you carried as your ID and proof of being on the policy.

        As time went on the industry, (evil bastards that they are) determined they were not making enough money, so instead of everything being covered a few things became “exempted”, and a new little thingy called a “deductible” appeared, but they offered more appealing “prescription insurance” features where you saved money and prescriptions were sort of “price fixed” to the patient at $2.00 or something. (I know, I was needing some penicillin to help my oldest son,who was scratched by a dinosaur in the backyard, you know?) AND no one bothered to send you anything in the mail, stuff just got taken care of,…end of situation.

       Sometime in the late 70’s or so, the “malpractice moguls” figured,”hey these Doc’s are making a lot of green, let’s get a piece of that, jack up their malpractice insurance.” , and the steady rise began. Not to take it lying down, Doctors re-calculated their fees and started billing the insurance companies more to cover their costs and make a few more bucks for their “businesses” and thier own retirement plan. A little bit of an uproar occurred and the Doctors stopped making “house calls” (an amazing phenomena of which I participated in as a “child” patient), I think it was called “efficiency of cost benefit relationshps by the Harvard “B” School guys),good old Doctor Donavan always came to the house when I was a kid. I never knew he even had an office (and it was in his house by the way) until I was almost 16 years old!

          Life moved on, no more “house calls”, now we were making appointments, putting up with crotchety old ladies “protecting the busy and sainted Doctor from trivial busy work”,…”step on the scale ,sonny, my but you’re a plump one aren’t you?”

        Fast forward again, to our 1970’s, 1980’s family and health care. My wife began to nag me about taking care of the outstanding “deductibles” we were being billed for by Doctors, Hospitals, Pharmacies, etc. I of course had moved that responsibility to the Health Insurance company when I agreed to pay my hard earned money for “Health Insurance” , as I most certainly paid the doctor the $5 required for the office visit, the pharmacist the required $3.00 for the prescription at the time we were there, and received thier services. She told me things were changing, now some of those “deductibles” were being “re-named” to be a “Co-pay”. My response is “Whatever, so how much are we talking about?” It seemed innocuous enough and we moved on. Flash into the 1990’s now, the health insurance costs were getting very expensive. The old $70 a month that I was paying Blue Cross Blue Shield per person for healthplans, as a resonsible business owner,for each of my employees was fair enough, and then they came out with two tier plans, Single person’s and Family plans, the costs then really began to escalate. Soon I had to spend time re-evaluating the cost of health plans paid for by my business. It seems like in the blink of an eye my costs for a “family plan” for an employeeand his family were now up over $350 a month. Multiply that by 20 employees and shit!  The unfortunate thing is $7,000 in “premiums” is unbearable for a small business like mine was at the time. AS an example consider this, if you have wait staff, and they are paid $2.13 an hour plus thier tips (which notoriously disappear into a pocketas opposed to being reported as income, hence taxable, even if you are supposed to be “pooling tips”), ergo the gross for a 40 hour week waitress is $85.20, (which I have to pay them, and is within my “sphere of control”), times four weeks in the month, that’s $340.80 a month, minus the “pre-tax” benefit of the health insurance, and excluding the 50% I was contributing, they would have to have $175 deducted from their checks, leaving them $165 a month to pay their bills and live on! And that was fifteen years ago!

         But today it is ridiculous to the “n”th degree. For the past year I have had a “moderate” healthcare plan which cost $773.47 a month for myself and my wife. My employer, “The Boy King” pays $251.47 of it, leaving me $522 a month to pay from my paycheck. That’s a total of $6,264 a year out of my wages.

       Last week he announces he’s changing companies and the insurance is better and we’ll have better benefits and pay less. (Hooray!!!!!,….or so I thought.)

     Bottom line, the new policy options give us a choice of two plans. the “low end” plan which has a deductible five times our current plan, a cost of $1,072.13 a monthof which the company will pay $288.25 , leaving me $783.88 out of my pocket to pay, and increase of $261. 88 out of my pocket per month for a toal I pay of $9,406.56, or $3,142.56 more out of my pocket this coming year. REMEMBER, this is the “low end” plan.

     The “high end” plan, which is extremely comparable to what we already have, has gone to $1,965.93 a month, minus the $288.25 “The Boy King” is paying, leaves me having to come up with $1,677.68 a month! An increase of $1,177.68 per month, or $13,868.16 MORE from my paycheck.

     Let’s recap here. To get the same health insurance I had on February 28th 2009, beginning March 1st 2009 my annual paycheck is going down by $13,868.16 MORE! Add the $13, 868.16 and what was  coming out additionally from last year’s  $6,264.00 and I’m getting a paycheck reduced by $20, 132.60!  Compare that to what I pay per year for a mortgage, insurance, including Hurricane Insurance, and Real Estate taxes  in buying my home of $18,948.00!!

      Just to pay for my home and have health insurance for the next 12 months I need to make $39,080.60, net after payroll taxes!! Add electricity, telephone, food, gasoline for the car, car insurance, etc., etc. We are already in deep shit here in this country!

    I know I am!

    Have a good week and don’t worry, be happy, I have plenty of pantyhose left and have been practicing an French accent to use at the local 7-11 markets.

   NOTE TO OBAMA: Yo’ Barry, the $45 a month additional in my paycheck is not going to cut it, that’s only $540 a year, Hey I got an iidea, have the health insurance companies calculate our tax rebates, then they will be the right size for our needs!

🙂

-30-


Responses

  1. Here’s some options…

    Go back in the Navy – “Be all that you can be, in the Navy”

    Join a seminary – “Be all that you can be, in the Jesuits”

    Rob a bank go to jail – get free care with meals & a room

    Rob a bank and get a billion in bale-out cash from the Gov’t

    There ya go, plenty of choices. No problem.

    Seriously, hearing these stories is quite startling. Cloe got an email the other day from a cousin, her friend was retired and lost all savings as the banks crashed and cashed out. House was being foreclosed so she said enough is enough and killed herself. I bet that scenario is being played out every hour of the day in the USA.

    Sometimes there just isn’t an attractive choice to be had. Stay healthy dude, these things can drive your mind and body into the dumpster. “Open a window and scream ‘I’m NOT going to take it anymore'” until you feel better.

  2. Notice a trend here? We get lazier and sicker and spend more and more time in front of the t.v. and computer, and the dresses get shorter and the necklines plunge lower and lower and we get fatter and sicker and uglier faster and faster until we need Viagra in our ’30s…

    And they get thinner and richer and thinner and richer and shinier and healthier and more beautiful…

    Notice a trend, my friend?

    I just found out that the government institution that is paying out my Grandmother’s pension has lost 40 Billion dollars, and I am worried sick about her as well as myself and my kids.

    But they get sexier and prettier and richer and they party on and on and on…

    The insurance companies get stingier and stingier and the bank fees get steeper and steeper for less and less services.

    Notice a trend here?

  3. Guinness you are right and insurance companies are one of the worst things altoguether with banks and financial institutions, actually they are the same thing, they only care about themselves and how to get more money from you, and any patient, no matter what.
    Hey Im ready to blow any insurance company!

  4. i hate ins companys so bad id nuke em if i had one !!


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