Monday, February 08, 2016

1601 Blue Cross Bribe

1601 Blue Cross Bribe

Something we all know:  the main job of insurance companies is denying claims while raising rates. They will deny this.  But you know it’s true.

So when an out of the blue gift comes from one, who can blame you if you have suspicions of nefarious intent?

The health insurance company has recently given us two cases of possible nafariosity.

  1. Reduced its premium by about ⅓ compared with 2015 and
  2. Sent a $25 gift card from Target as a “reward for healthy living.”

In #1, there’s probably some “change” in coverage.  When corporations use the word “change” in the fine print it usually means either a rate increase or a coverage reduction which you will find out about in detail when the next “explanation of benefits” monthly notice arrives.

#2 is a little harder to figure.  First, they announce the promotion, which goes only to those who have met the demands of the Affordable Care Act, including some preventive exams, being up to date on our rabies shots… things like that.

Since they lowered rates, “change” is a synonym for coverage reduction.

So naturally, there must be some kind of catch.  Some fine print on the card.

And there is.  But it’s just the usual stuff about not exchangeable for cash, notice that they’ll sell your name to everyone who doesn’t yet have it from their getting hacked… too bad if you lose it… and made of 43% recycled materials.

So, an outright gift.  From an insurance company? It appears so.

But the insurer is a non-profit. Non-profits are taxed differently from public companies.  So they’ll lump the cost into some kind of legal sales promotional campaign which will get no scrutiny from the IRS.

On receiving this manna from Blue Cross, the first instinct was to rush over to Target and spend it on something before the size reduction clock starts ticking in ten days.  But there is no size reduction or user fees or any of that.

Okay, this is on the level.  We’re surprised… shocked, even.  But we still have questions:

  1. Did the insurance company get a quantity discount on the $25 dollar cards?
  2. If they didn’t, did Target agree to place all its health insured with this company?
  3. If #2 happened was the agreement (a) formal and in writing or (b) a wink and a nod?

Since emails are immortal, no matter how you try to stab, shoot, bludgeon, poison or burn them, there are a lot more winks and nods these days.

Quote of the day:

“...if you try to manipulate or damage it in any way it snaps a picture of you.” --Det. Kevin Bretts of Batavia, Illinois, explaining how he found a mug shot of someone they think broke into a photo booth.

--Happy Asian New Year.  It is the Chinese year of the monkey.  If you were born in a previous year of the Monkey, you’re said to be quick witted and enthusiastic. Typically, people make little of the year number because they’ve been around so long they’ve lost count.


-Of course Hillary never changed a vote in return for a speaking fee if only because the votes come only after the fee is in the bank.

-There was plenty on Mrs. Clinton’s private server, maybe even messages disclosing the nuclear missile launch codes forwarded to Kim Jong Un’s housekeeper, but what WASN’T there were the texts to those speeches.

I’m Wes Richards. My opinions are my own but you’re welcome to them. ®
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© WJR 2015

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