I interrupt this blog to bring you an insurance rant…
As a former insurance broker, I understand what goes into underwriting an insurance policy. I also understand that there are rules and regulations that insurance companies and agents must follow. Without those rules, the insurance industry would be in chaos.
My Health Insurance Rant
I’m old enough to remember when HMO’s first became an option when selecting a health insurance plan. They were touted as a way for the insurance industry, medical industry and the consumer to streamline costs and manage a person’s health care needs better.
Like most of my counterparts, we all bought into the program. After all, having to pay a $5 co-pay to obtain medical care was a steal. Better yet, the copay for prescription drugs was a mere $2 or $3. I thought it was a win-win situation. All I had to do was make sure that my current doctors were in my health insurance company’s network and all was good.
Times, They are a Changin’
To take a phrase from the Bob Dylan song, insurance times have changed. Over time I noticed that the HMO insurance premiums slowly began to increase and so did the copay. In addition to the increase in premium and co-pay, there was a decrease in coverage and more red tape when I needed medical attention. My health insurance plan was becoming more and more of a headache.
My usual chiropractic needs were barely covered by my insurance plan. I had to go to a primary care physician to explain why I needed to see a chiropractor. After jumping through many hoops they allotted me a miserly 6 visits. When will the insurance and medical community realize that chiropractic care is a preventative type of care? Traditional medicine is a reactive type of care. You wait until you get sick and then go to the doctor to get better. Chiropractic care works in reverse. It keeps you well (this is a subject for a different rant…back to my insurance rant).
How High or Low will it Go?
My HMO $5 co-pay is now $25. My prescription co-pay goes as high as $50. My chiropractic care is not covered and my insurance premiums keep going up. My daughter’s dislocated pinky not only required a visit to her doctor but out of frustration I ended up in the emergency room in order to get her finger fixed.
The primary care physician wanted me to take her to the orthopedic doctor who didn’t have hours until the following day. Additionally, that doctor wasn’t accepting new patients and was located 45 miles away (he was, however, in my health insurance plan’s network). In the meanwhile, my daughter’s pinky was pointing due east and sticking out like a weather vane. Off to the emergency room we went to the tune of $95. At least they x-rayed and splinted her finger.
Two days later we were able to get an appointment with an orthopedic doctor to care for her finger (another $25 please).
From the Health Insurance Plan to the Homeowners Insurance
Several days ago as a result of a vicious storm, a tree fell and pulled down the power lines to my house. It also ripped the wood panel that affixed the electrical wires to the house.
I called my homeowner’s insurance company, my electric company and my cable company (in that order). They arrived as follows, my electric company, my cable company and still, 5 days later, nothing from the homeowner’s insurance company.
When I reported the claim, the claims handler said, “If they have to shut your power down and your food begins to spoil in your freezer, save the labels and we’ll reimburse you.” Oh, great! It’s been 5 days. If my power was out, they would have a heck of a claim because I’d be living in a hotel room eating out every day adding to the total amount of the claim.
If I paid my homeowner’s insurance bills the way they responded to this claim, they would cancel my coverage.
This Concludes My Insurance Rant (for now)
Just felt I had to get that off of my chest. Thanks for reading.
I will now return this blog back to the somewhat informative usually level-headed insurance blog that it was…