Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Even with "hellth" insurance


…What the patoot is happening in Health Care Land? The pundits are gassing on about how cool it is to “own” our health care (meaning finding out costs in advance, comparison shopping, pitting docs against each other, etc., like we have time, and the doc will just send you to the hospital where he or she has privileges anyway).

…Deductibles are arbitrarily invoked. HA’s daughter had to go to the hospital for smoke inhalation. The EMTs insisted.

…Can we have the envelope, please? A whopping $736 bill for the ambulance…$12 cab ride and pair of rubber gloves.

…Deductible? Why has that never been invoked before, co-insurance, copays, yes. Oh, it says in the book—3 pages before discussion of ambulance services—that some “covered” items might be subject to a deductible. Oh, well gosh…got HA there. She wishes now she
carried the book with her at all times and had had it out there on the street with the EMTs crowding around.
Even then, though, it did not say the ambulance was subject to a deductible!

…And get this one! According to the WSJ (March 13), some health plans, notably United and Aetna, are setting up plans to pay docs and then suck the money out of their members’ checking accounts or garnishee their paychecks.

…Those docs and hospitals are getting theirs, babies!

…Of course, this is billed as a convenience for the member. Uh-HUH. Detractors say this does not give patients time to scrutinize bills. Like we could understand them if we did.

…In the last few days, there have been stories about the millions pharmacists chucked out to give sick people their medicine during the onset of that ridiculous drug plan. Now the government is stalling on payback.

…Also a story in HA’s local paper about a nearby hospital, which was so overloaded it closed its doors for a few hours in January, which was against state law. It also was scurrying around trying to find beds for people in Las Vegas (which is not exactly close to Phoenix). One woman’s son found her a bed in San Francisco. The air ambulance would like a check for $50,000, please.

…HA bets they would.

…This is getting to be war.

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