Monday, June 30, 2008
Who can pay even with insurance?
…Sarah Rubenstein (WSJ, June 16, 2008), says the Center for Studying Health System Change has concluded that an increasing number of people who have insurance are delaying health care because the fees they do have to pay are too high.
…No kidding! Hello?
…They surveyed 18,000 people with insurance, and 20% had put off treatment in the last year, as compared with 14% the year before.
…Even people with employer-provided insurance have shouldered more bills in the form of large deductibles (the amt people eat in cash before the insurance starts paying) or large coinsurances (the percentage you owe of the bill).
…Copays at the doctor’s office can also be a factor discouraging treatment. It is for HA--$35 is money in her world (this on top of the $700 a mo for the insurance and the $3,000 deductible).
…Either these costs have reached a tipping point at which consumers simply stop going or the feeble economy is the reason—they are not sure.
…The uninsured—now a whopping 38%--often go without treatment, foreseeing a bill in the hundreds or thousands. But now a lot of those with insurance are priced out of the market.
…One guy in the story sliced off half his thumb, but turned down the multi-$$$ helicopter ride to have it reattached, settling for $5100 in cleanup—of which he was socked with $1400.
…HA was in the ER on Memorial Day and left rather than spend the night waiting around for a specialist to come in (they are supposed to come…big “supposed to”). The staff threatened her with paying full price for all tests she had had if she left.
…She is still in discussions with the hospital. Seems like she saved the insurance company money, so they should not screw her.
…Oh, what is she saying…insurance company!