Thursday, October 29, 2009

extended warranty

It is that time of year again, time to get a new health insurance provider. The same angst every year, the same stress over rising premiums and diminished coverage. Since it has all been said before, here is a re-run of my thoughts one other time...

(reading between the lines)

2 weeks ago: Husband receives e-mail received from boss - we are changing health insurance companies, effective September 1, and since you folks out in the field cannot come to the office for the meeting, we are sending out a video for you to watch. (Don't leave the job, you can do this on your own time at home).

Buddy replies: Yippie! A new video to watch! We will make popcorn, and get out the Preparation-H because I know when I am about to get !@#$%ed… - (sorry, construction humor).

Highlights of the video:
  • Insurance is simple - if we pay out more in claims than we collect in premiums, your rates go up. (Don't send in claims, claims are bad, we don't like claims) Question - So, if our claims are less than the premiums paid in, do we get a rate decrease? ROFL (roll on floor laughing)!

  • Never, never, NEVER go to the ER! You should only go to the ER for 3 reasons: Break, bleeding, or dying. The first two are obvious, breaks and bleeding. But you may think you are dying when you are not, so call the number on the back of your insurance card and speak to the nurse. If she tells you to go to the ER, then you can go, but be sure to get her name (so we will know who to blame later).

    And if the chest pain turns out to be gas, we will pay for the first time, but no more after that, next time you will have to pay the entire ER bill, and it will NOT go toward your deductible.

  • If you are feeling sick, don't just automatically go to the doctor, try other methods, like the local CVS pharmacy has a 'mini clinic' where they will check you out and write you a prescription. If after you try this for a couple of times and you are not better (or you die), then you can go to your physician. (Real doctors charge more, so try to avoid them).

  • Get your teeth cleaned twice a year, all sorts of things can be detected like gum disease, mouth cancer, etc. (If we find that you missed a cleaning and get one of these diseases, we won't pay).

    Also, by getting the plaque cleaned off your teeth, you avoid the risk of that plaque breaking off and getting into your bloodstream, causing a stroke (the last time I checked, whatever came off of my teeth might go into the digestive system, but I am pretty certain it couldn't find its way into the bloodstream…).

  • And check out this perk:
    Toll-free call to our Work-Life balance program will get you a confidential telephone consultation with an expert concerning everyday issues such as home repairs, emotional wellbeing, financial, legal, addiction and recovery, parenting and childcare, education, older adults and work related issues. (So the next time I can't program the VCR or am stranded on the side of the road, you know who I will be calling!)

Was all this really on the video, you ask? Yes, it was very entertaining! "This here is real. You can't make this stuff up." (~Larry the Cable Guy)

Okay, the deadline has come and gone. We are no longer insured by the old company. We have yet to receive new cards from the new company.

Now we are into a holiday weekend with the heightened potential for injury and illness.

For example - hypothetically speaking, of course - what if I am out hiking and get a snake bite - of course my first instinct would be to whoop out my insurance card in the woods and hope my cell phone has a signal so I can call the number on the back of the card to get permission for treatment. Oh, wait - I don't even have a @#$%ing insurance card!

And say… I go to the ER anyway (at least they have that sign that says - we don't treat in the order of arrival, but in the order of severity of injury/etc.) Unless you have a pitiful story about not having an insurance card...


June said...

This would be funny if not true...I do believe Americans are over medicated and over treated, but these measures aren't the solution!

janeywan said...

This is so funny but NOT. God help us all!

Bonnie Jacobs said...

This should be published in all the big newspapers across the country.

Motherkitty said...

You should try dealing with workers' comp folks. They pay doctors to deny essential tests and treatments and keep this up until you give up. As far as insurance premiums increasing, no COLA from MC or SS, but BC/BS and MC still raising their premiums. Go figure. We are addicted -- addicted to health insurance just in case we get sick or injured, but hope we don't because we will pay in the end. Yes, where's the Prep H?