Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Preventive Care News

The folks at United Healthcare recently announced "New Preventive Breast Screening and Cardiovascular Disease Services." On the one hand, this is welcome news for UHC insureds who worry about these kinds of things. But I'm not quite so sanguine.

Here's why:

First, UHC doesn't pay for these services, its insureds do. And since the mammography benefit continues to be for women only, it is grossly unfair to men whose premiums help fund it but cannot benefit from it (despite over 2,000 new cases of male breast cancer each year).

Second, the cost of the service itself is about $65 (over and above the "free" regular screening), so why is this even something for insurance to be involved with? And we wonder why health insurance premiums continue to skyrocket.

And what, exactly, does the new "Cardiovascular Disease Services" actually cover?

"Screening and medications for cholesterol to help prevent cardiovascular disease."

Well first, isn't Lipitor (et al) already covered under the prescription drug benefit? Well, yes, but this new "enhancement" covers them at 100%. And what's the actual cost to the consumer?

Less than $12.

So I ask again, why is this even "a thing?"

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