560 Health Care Blues
A lot of the present debate about who pays for health care is focused on the uninsured, and it should be. But what about the under insured?
Blue Cross sends out a mountain of propaganda about preventive care. That, too, is as it should be, or at least the attitude is, if not the expense of producing and mailing said mountain.
They get enough dough for their individual coverage. Plenty dough. Three years worth would buy you a new car or a decent down payment on a house. Such are things in 21st century America.
But they don't put your money where their mouth is.
Comes time for the annual physical and the claim bounces back. "We don't cover annual physicals." What? Common sense leads you to believe that if a doc spots something early, fixing it will be faster, less invasive and cheaper than waiting until the patient can't walk or can't breathe or can't digest. You'd think that, right?
Blue Cross (and probably other plans) beg to differ. Well, not exactly beg. They just won't pay for it. Apparently, they have some clout behind them. If you put the phrase "annual physical as preventive medicine" into a search engine, you'll get pages of stuff that "prove" the concept is outdated, costly and ineffective.
But wait. Look a little closer. Where are all these web pages from? They're from insurance companies and their lobbyists and apologists. Shocking, right? If so, you sure shock easily.
"Oh, there are other ways to get preventive tests we DO cover," they'll tell you. How do you know what to look for? What to test? You don't. Mammograms, sure (most are covered,) colonoscopies likewise. Then what?
Maybe they figure you'll croak before you need treatment. That will "rob" them of your premiums. But what's one lost customer in a sea of millions?
The bill for the annual comes in the mail. You call the doctor. They tell you to call the insurance company. You call the insurance company. They tell you "that's not covered, sorry for the inconvenience."
Those exams are not cheap. So you pay the bill if you can and stall them if you can't.
You send an e-mail, "what's better preventive medicine than a doctor's exam? Wouldn't that save you money in the long run?"
No answer. That's because there IS no answer, at least not a rational one. Maybe they should be called Blue Double Cross.
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I'm Wes Richards. My opinions are my own, but you're welcome to them.®