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Topic: I HATE Anthem Blue Cross!< Next Oldest | Next Newest >
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 2:46 pm  Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Just got a notice from them -- basically, to expect yet another double-digit premium increase!  Been with them for 9 nears now, with zero claims (I opted for high deductible to minimize premiums).  I guess what I really hate is the near-lack of competition for health insurance.  :(

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 2:52 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

All the more reason to support joining the rest of the developed world with single payer.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 3:51 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I feel ambivalent about this,.

There should be no reason why capitalism can't work within the health care and insurance industries -- supply and demand -- plus some financial support for the truly indigent.  How do we improve the system by encouraging more competition?  One can meaningfully shop around for car insurance -- but not really for health insurance.

OTOH, yes, a single payer system CAN work.  UK has an OK system.  Canada's seems pretty good.  And other countries in Asia -- such as Taiwan -- run pretty decent systems as well.  But how to control "demand bloat" and other inefficiencies??

The current system is OK to most people because their employers help pay for some of the burden.  But seriously, quit your jobs (or get laid off) and see what happens!  In my case, I chose  to retire early and I am perfectly happy to pay for my own insurance until SS and Medicare kick in.  But seriously, this has to be the third or fourth double-digit premium jump in 9 years!!  :angry:


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 3:54 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes Ben. Ignore the fact that is doesnt work. It must do or you would have to question a central item of faith.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 5:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Land Rover @ Nov. 24 2012, 12:54 pm)
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Yes Ben. Ignore the fact that is doesnt work. It must do or you would have to question a central item of faith.

It must do?  KIndly look up the meaning of the word I used above:  ambivalent.   :;):

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 5:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

There are other health insurance providers. So try another one? That's sort of the point of the market.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 6:08 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yeah, a very small handful, HSF -- as described above.

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 9:07 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

"has to be the third or fourth double-digit premium jump in 9 years!"

And yet there you are. "Handful": so choose another finger. Since you've been getting one particular one for so long.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 9:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yep.  Seems like he has been on the receiving end of more than 2 digits for several years now.  I would say, "Welcome to Capitalism", but in this instance maybe true capitalism would allow for more choices.  Or just one with a monopoly, if we didn't regulate the industry.

Give me Single payer any time.  Jack my taxes to pay whatever my share is deemed to be, even if I need to pick up some slack for the less fortunate.  


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 9:17 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

HSF -- you likely have your insurance through your employer -- and have NO FRIGGIN' IDEA that the very small handful of insurers pretty much raise their rates in general lockstep with Anthem (one of the biggest out there).

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

OK, so it isn't Anthem you hate so much, since all companies raise their rates the same.  You must then hate needing to get your own insurance from the small pool of providers who sell to the uninsured.  No matter what you can afford to pay, 10% rate increase per year will quickly add up.  Every 7 raises like that and your rate doubles.  

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 9:23 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

nm

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 9:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Nov. 24 2012, 6:17 pm)
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HSF -- you likely have your insurance through your employer -- and have NO FRIGGIN' IDEA that the very small handful of insurers pretty much raise their rates in general lockstep with Anthem (one of the biggest out there).  ???

"NO FRIGGIN' IDEA"

Less than convincing.

Just sayin'

9 years of self-imposed victimhood getting you down?

#InsincereSadFace
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 9:38 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Yes, HSF, we who buy our own insurance are just idiotic victims because we don't shop around -- until you mentioned it just now.  Thanks!!

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 10:03 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Nov. 24 2012, 3:51 pm)
QUOTE
I feel ambivalent about this,.

There should be no reason why capitalism can't work within the health care and insurance industries -- supply and demand -- plus some financial support for the truly indigent.  How do we improve the system by encouraging more competition?  One can meaningfully shop around for car insurance -- but not really for health insurance.

OTOH, yes, a single payer system CAN work.  UK has an OK system.  Canada's seems pretty good.  And other countries in Asia -- such as Taiwan -- run pretty decent systems as well.  But how to control "demand bloat" and other inefficiencies??

The current system is OK to most people because their employers help pay for some of the burden.  But seriously, quit your jobs (or get laid off) and see what happens!  In my case, I chose  to retire early and I am perfectly happy to pay for my own insurance until SS and Medicare kick in.  But seriously, this has to be the third or fourth double-digit premium jump in 9 years!!  :angry:

What do you feel ambivalent about?

We have the WORST healthcare system in the world-aside from 3rd world ghettos.

If you think healthcare should be capitalized on and made to be a commodity,that is the biggest part of your problem.Hopefully with these raises you will get that.

Only place in the civilized world that has these healthcare nightmares and we wonder why the workd thinks we are idiots.People from other countries just cant believe our scam system.

BTW,i have anthem also and they fkn suck.I have 5k deductible which means i have to pay for everything unless i get hit by a train.Pointless,almost.Then if you go to a low cost clinic they tell you to get lost because you have insurance-catch-22 !!!!.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 10:15 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Ben2World @ Nov. 24 2012, 3:51 pm)
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OTOH, yes, a single payer system CAN work.  UK has an OK system.  Canada's seems pretty good.  And other countries in Asia -- such as Taiwan -- run pretty decent systems as well.  But how to control "demand bloat" and other inefficiencies??

Seems like a contradictory statement.Control demand bloat?Seems like they figured it out no?I think these countries figure its better to have people going for a lot of small preventative visits than to come in and have massive surgeries/procedures for illness that has grown out of control.

Dont mean to be harsh but i cannot for the life of me figure why Americans think we have a wonderful or superior system.Its not and its immorality is unparalleled.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 10:34 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

If only the govt would allow true competition

Instead of Obamacare


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 10:36 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Does anyone know the numbers on health insurance balance sheets over the last couple of decades? The inflation drivers should be revealed there. Soaring profits or soaring payouts?

I've a suspicion the escalation of premiums hasn't been due to their profits or operating expenses but rather by the American healthcare delivery system's disfunction. A case of shooting the messenger, or rather in this case, the middlemen.

Might be a place to start, this was referenced a few other places:
http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-M....ef.aspx

From the chart the net cost of health insurance: 6%, while "Health expenditures in the United States neared $2.6 trillion in 2010, over ten times the $256 billion spent in 1980." My take is something else is going on a long way beyond insurance. Divided between healthcare itself and our national healthcare demands. Remember about 70% of healthcare treatment dollars go to treat chronic, largely lifestyle related diseases.
http://www.cdc.gov/chronicdisease/overview/index.htm

http://www.nytimes.com/2009....ll&_r=0

This analysis, mentioned by Pllan, is especially illuminating on the issue of ourvdemandbforntreatment being a very significant contributor.

INTERNATIONAL DIFFERENCES IN LONGEVITY AND HEALTH AND THEIR ECONOMIC CONSEQUENCES

There's a cost floor below which we'll not be able to get just because of our fundamental health, or lack thereof. No matter how hard we squeeze insurers, providers or anyone else.

"We have met the enemy and he is us" ?

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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 24 2012, 11:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Nov. 24 2012, 10:36 pm)
QUOTE
Does anyone know the numbers on health insurance balance sheets over the last couple of decades? The inflation drivers should be revealed there. Soaring profits or soaring payouts?

I've a suspicion the escalation of premiums hasn't been due to their profits or operating expenses but rather by the American healthcare delivery system's disfunction. A case of shooting the messenger, or rather in this case, the middlemen.

Ever day being Earthday.

How about 1.6billion dollars alone to the CEO of United Health?

http://www.startribune.com/business/11093081.html?refer=y


This is an amoral 'industry'.If there is anything that needs govt control it is this industry.The idea that your health is a financial commodity is the most obscene issue of this nation.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 12:02 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

That might be why my company switched from Anthem to Aetna.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 10:19 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Davela said "...The idea that your health is a financial commodity is the most obscene issue of this nation."

Yep.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 2:53 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(Old Frank @ Nov. 25 2012, 7:19 am)
QUOTE
Davela said "...The idea that your health is a financial commodity is the most obscene issue of this nation."

Yep.

The challenge is how far out do you run that string?

Is the construction and maintenance of a hospital a commodity? Electrical power for the medical equipment? The advanced medical equipment themselves? The advanced pharmaceuticals? The physicians' mortgage payments? The nursing staffs' cars? The university infrastructure housing the medical and nursing schools that train the deliverers?

A medical treatment budget may be set by government fiat but the price of nitrile gloves won't be.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 4:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE


(High_Sierra_Fan @ Nov. 25 2012, 2:53 pm)
QUOTE

(Old Frank @ Nov. 25 2012, 7:19 am)
QUOTE
Davela said "...The idea that your health is a financial commodity is the most obscene issue of this nation."

Yep.

The challenge is how far out do you run that string?

Is the construction and maintenance of a hospital a commodity? Electrical power for the medical equipment? The advanced medical equipment themselves? The advanced pharmaceuticals? The physicians' mortgage payments? The nursing staffs' cars? The university infrastructure housing the medical and nursing schools that train the deliverers?

A medical treatment budget may be set by government fiat but the price of nitrile gloves won't be.

huh?that s a lot of equivocating.

The rest of the civilized world has figured it out.Why cant we?Is it really that hard to pull our heads out of the sand finally?We spend more and receive less healthcare and have a lower life span  and now a declining life span.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 5:55 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Well "controlling" the last levels costs will get squeezed by the underlying operational costs. So I don't see "equivocating" at all, just the complexity of the subject.

Maybe, just maybe, that Pogo quote applies. We just are that sick. Not to say costs couldn't still be reduced, of course they can, but the floor might be a lot higher than a simplistic approach tends to assume.
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 9:22 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

As others have stated, no citizen of the greatest country in the world should lack nutrition or healthcare.  Yep, even the laziest moochers amongst us (fewer, I suspect, than many claim) are deserving.  

To deny them, lessens us all.

But, universal healthcare should be delivered in the cheapest manner possible.  The current system (pretty much unbridled capitalism) is doing a lousy cost-effectiveness job.  No other country in the world would model their healthcare system after ours.

ObamaCare will morph into a single payor system sooner or later mainly because it makes more economic sense.

At some point, we will look back and wonder why it took so long.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 25 2012, 9:56 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

A single payer system aka eliminating the private insurance company aspect, reduces costs 6% (see the pie chart in*). These are big numbers so that's a lot of mony but per Ben's original post, double digit annual increases, not much at all. Btw, a single payer system doesn't touch the unbridled capitalism of the delivery system, where the real money is spent.

* http://www.kaiseredu.org/Issue-M....ef.aspx
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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 26 2012, 12:06 am Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

Who is governor of Florida?

Healthcare ripoffs will be a looooong fix.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 5:26 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

I have Blue Shield of California, and I've been quite happy with them.

I have a high-ish out of pocket maximum - $7500 - but no deductible. I pay 30% of pretty much everything until I get to $7500, then full coverage. I pay under $200 month for my premium, and I've never, ever even come close to my out of pocket maximum - even this year with 2 ER visits and a colonoscopy.

With my recent diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, I've had some interesting experiences. Since I have a PPO, I was free to research and find my own GI, book the appointment, schedule the colonoscopy, and get it done without any consulting. I went from "something is wrong" to the appointment to the biopsies and diagnosis in less than 4 weeks (once I actually called to make the appointment...the messing around was my fault). I have had excellent, excellent care, and while it has cost me several thousand dollars, that was my choice for choosing a lower monthly payment over higher coverage. If I look at costs over the last 10 years, I have definitely come out ahead.

Now, I have met several people with UC or Crohn's diagnoses that live in Canada. They don't pay for anything...but depending on the geographic region, it can be MONTHS before they can get in to see their GI, and they are forced to rely on the ER and clinics. IBD is not a disease you can wait around on if you need a medication change or change in the way your are treating it. If I have a problem, I have my GI on the phone the same day. If they have a problem, it is very much a "no one sees the wizard, go to the ER" situation.

Not that our system doesn't have problems - it does. I just don't like the fact that everyone says "yay, single payer" and thinks that that system is perfect.

As far as doctors making too much money - well, how else are we going to convince people to take out $200k in student loans and pay malpractice premiums that can be as high as $150k/year? They aren't going to do that for just any salary.

I may just be lucky, but I have been very impressed with the hospital network I have chosen (Providence/St. Joe's) and the doctors/specialists in that network. My ob/gyn, GI, and dermatologist all know each other. When I went to the ER for food poisoning about 2 weeks ago, I spent less than 5 minutes in the waiting room and was immediately on IV hydration in a room, and my GI was already talking to the ER doc. It was great.

Maybe it is the individual hospitals themselves that need to be given more control? I know with this particular hospital/network, it has been a huge community effort to make it as amazing as it is. The facilities team and the care board are fantastic, and I credit them with implementing the policies and procedures that make it so good.

It is a religious/charity hospital, too - when one of my husband's employees had a heart attack, we drove him to this hospital, rather than county, even though he had no insurance. They saw him right away and he got great care. The bill was around $200k, and he was just months away from being eligible for medicare - which is why he didn't have insurance. They forgave the ENTIRE bill. I know that is probably the exception, but they have let me make interest free payments before and have generally just been very reasonable.


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PostIcon Posted on: Nov. 27 2012, 10:13 pm Skip to the previous post in this topic. Skip to the next post in this topic. Ignore posts   QUOTE

YG,
Does your employer also pay towards your plan?  

Less than 200/month sounds low for BC.  I'm under family coverage with BC and the total premium is over 1300/mo.  My employer pays a portion of the premium and I pay the remainder.
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(yosemite girl @ Nov. 27 2012, 5:26 pm)
QUOTE
I have Blue Shield of California, and I've been quite happy with them.

I have a high-ish out of pocket maximum - $7500 - but no deductible. I pay 30% of pretty much everything until I get to $7500, then full coverage. I pay under $200 month for my premium, and I've never, ever even come close to my out of pocket maximum - even this year with 2 ER visits and a colonoscopy.

With my recent diagnosis of ulcerative colitis, I've had some interesting experiences. Since I have a PPO, I was free to research and find my own GI, book the appointment, schedule the colonoscopy, and get it done without any consulting. I went from "something is wrong" to the appointment to the biopsies and diagnosis in less than 4 weeks (once I actually called to make the appointment...the messing around was my fault). I have had excellent, excellent care, and while it has cost me several thousand dollars, that was my choice for choosing a lower monthly payment over higher coverage. If I look at costs over the last 10 years, I have definitely come out ahead.

Now, I have met several people with UC or Crohn's diagnoses that live in Canada. They don't pay for anything...but depending on the geographic region, it can be MONTHS before they can get in to see their GI, and they are forced to rely on the ER and clinics. IBD is not a disease you can wait around on if you need a medication change or change in the way your are treating it. If I have a problem, I have my GI on the phone the same day. If they have a problem, it is very much a "no one sees the wizard, go to the ER" situation.

Not that our system doesn't have problems - it does. I just don't like the fact that everyone says "yay, single payer" and thinks that that system is perfect.

As far as doctors making too much money - well, how else are we going to convince people to take out $200k in student loans and pay malpractice premiums that can be as high as $150k/year? They aren't going to do that for just any salary.
J
I may just be lucky, but I have been very impressed with the hospital network I have chosen (Providence/St. Joe's) and the doctors/specialists in that network. My ob/gyn, GI, and dermatologist all know each other. When I went to the ER for food poisoning about 2 weeks ago, I spent less than 5 minutes in the waiting room and was immediately on IV hydration in a room, and my GI was already talking to the ER doc. It was great.

Maybe it is the individual hospitals themselves that need to be given more control? I know with this particular hospital/network, it has been a huge community effort to make it as amazing as it is. The facilities team and the care board are fantastic, and I credit them with implementing the policies and procedures that make it so good.

It is a religious/charity hospital, too - when one of my husband's employees had a heart attack, we drove him to this hospital, rather than county, even though he had no insurance. They saw him right away and he got great care. The bill was around $200k, and he was just months away from being eligible for medicare - which is why he didn't have insurance. They forgave the ENTIRE bill. I know that is probably the exception, but they have let me make interest free payments before and have generally just been very reasonable.

How would your treatment have been should you have lost your job Yosemite Girl? How about if your employer have dropped coverage with a pre-existing condition? Is your treatment be most cost-effective way to treat things?

You can get fantastic treatment in the US if you have insurance and/or money.

You can not base your judgment of an entire system on anecdotes you read on the Internet. Single payer doesn't give you priority treatment based on your ability to pay.

I don't think anyone thinks its perfect, and there is a realization of certain issues and flaws, but when you are comparing systems on merit you have to look at overall outcomes for the nation.
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