Denied Again

Denied Again
December 12, 2005 Jon Armstrong

Today we were notified by a different, out-of-state provider that they wouldn’t cover us. They cited the same things the local company did; my already treated “condition”, Heather’s post-partum depression and Leta’s plagiocephaly (her head is normal shaped now). Plagiocephaly is something that is red flagged until a child reaches the age of thirteen. Part of me feels that we are living in a combination Brave New World slash Gattaca world where we shouldn’t have conceived without consulting a geneticist first.

Thanks to everybody who commented and made recommendations. Our monthly premium will be nearly four figures on the state plan. This is with a $1,000 deductible with an out of pocket maximum of $3,000. I think we’ll probably end up doing the next scale up, which reduces the fees by almost a third and will be the $2,500 deductible and the $$6,000 out of pocket maximum. The good thing about the state plan is that it’s month-to-month, so if other options open up, we can bail.

I’m going to look into the Chamber of Commerce, small business associations, catastrophic only and other options that you’ve all mentioned and sent in. Thanks so much for all the suggestions. As we’ll be forming a business, I have a feeling that while we’ll be able to get insurance, the fees will be higher than the state plan. We’ll also probably do a health savings account or some kind of savings plan for health care. I had hoped that some of the money we made could go into a college fund for Leta, but that may have to wait awhile. I don’t say this for sympathy, I say it because I think we’re not alone. I think a lot of people are taking the money they’d use to do other things with and pay for health coverage.

If you live in a country besides the U.S. and have universal coverage, what is the cost? Does it work for you? Do the taxes kill you? Do you think the medical care you get is adequate? Excellent?

Here’s the freedom and peace of mind I think every person deserves: if one is sick or has a health-related problem, one finds the nearest or most favorite physician and makes an appointment or walks in and gets help. Every person alive deserves this. That we don’t live this way is hypocritical and inexcusable. We have the technology.

If you want the scary big picture, look at the charts (PowerPoint, but Keynote will open them) on this page (source: US National Center for Health Statistics). According to the charts, in 2003, $1.3 TRILLION dollars was spent on personal healthcare in the United States. That is 15% of GDP. Where does the money go? The biggest slices go to hospitals, physicians and “other”. I’d love to know what that other is. Prescription drugs and nursing homes get the rest.

How do we make a change? How many of us will it take? Where do we go and who do we talk to that will listen? Is it time to start petitions and marching? Protests? What do we want? What sacrifices will have to be made? How will universal care take away someone else’s freedom/liberty (fries)?