Wednesday, February 13, 2008

Save Us From Ourselves

Health insurance is a hot topic these days. Politicians and voters are asking for change.

Perhaps what we need instead of a change in the health care delivery & payment system is a change in attitudes by consumers.

The story of John's misadventure is given as a primary reason for universal health care.

John is a well-informed investor who has bankrolled a small amount of money into a five-figure nest egg including a new home bought with 20 percent down.

His wife had worked for the same company for 20 years. Her employer provided a health insurance program that included an employee contribution of $250 per month per family.

John's wife was promised a new job available in six months. Because her current employer got wind of the move, she resigned.

Their health insurance was "tied" to her employment. She voluntarily quit her job, and simultaneously voluntarily "quit" her health insurance.

John, who never had a health problem, was stricken with kidney cancer during his wife's period of unemployment. He has had two surgeries with one more in the offing. His bills total more than $140,000.

Never had a health problem. Many view this as a justification to go naked (no insurance cover).

John's health problem materialized while his wife was unemployed. Going without a paycheck is not an excuse for going without health insurance . . . especially when one has a "five figure nest egg".

The new health insurance plan and any other plan available exclude his pre-existing condition. John has become despondent and depressed.

This is odd.

A new individual major med plan would simply deny his application. However a group plan cannot exclude him forever.

Had John been wise enough to secure cover while his wife was voluntarily unemployed a new group plan would have been obligated not only to include him but cover his pre-existing conditions.

Regardless of your politics, I ask you to consider only candidates who want to solve the medical insurance problem in our country

So we must now rely on the government to save us from ourselves.

Give me a break.
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