Thursday, August 27, 2009

Insurance Companies - Evil Incarnate

Let me be up front - I hate health insurance companies. They are the reason I quit practicing psychology. They are also the reason I work at the Library. I was self employed my whole life and always had health insurance. I was diagnosed with cancer in 2001, and my insurance did pay for my initial treatment. But when it came time to renew my policy, they increased the premium by so much that it was more than my income. My only hope was to find an employer that provided insurance. When you're recovering from cancer is not the best time to look for a job, and it took several months - during which I am paying the insurance premium using my savings. Finally, I found the job with the Library. The salary was significantly less than I was earning, but I had no choice. I love my job, but I think it was horrible that I was forced to make such a decision so late in my career.

I'm one of thousands, maybe millions, of Americans whose lives were damaged or destroyed by the practices of insurance companies. There are many that I know of right here in Natchez. You may be thinking there's probably another side to these stories. The only other side is greed. Let me give you just one example.

A few months ago, the U S Congress held a hearing on the practice of rescissions in the health insurance industry. I had never even heard of this before, and it is absolutely unbelievable.

This is practiced by all insurance companies in the individual market, which covers all those people who are not covered by their employers - including the economic engine of our country - the entrepreneurs who go into business for themselves. These individuals fill out an application, have it approved, pay their premiums, and assume they have health insurance. NOT!

Apparently, the companies do not even look at those applications - it would cost too much money to evaluate them. They wait until the policy holder makes a significant claim - and then they evaluate them - pouring over them looking for a reason to "rescind" the coverage. In other words, they take back the policy - as if you never had it. They even pay bonuses to employees who save the company the most money through rescissions.

Here's a little video clip of the Chairman of the Committee questioning the insurance executives of the largest companies in the country. Although it's all appalling, the most outrageous was when the Chairman asked them if they would agreed to discontinue with rescissions except in the case of fraud - and they all said no.

And here is another video clip from the same hearing - this one of a victim testifying before the Committee. If you're not crying and outraged after watching this, you are one cold hearted SOB.

By the way, this was not a partisan hearing. Both Democrats and Republicans were outraged after this hearing.


Elizabeth said...

Great post, Casey Ann. It's a terrible practice. I didn't know your personal story, and thank you for telling us. No wonder you're so angry with the insurance companies -- what a horrible experience.

jane said...

This is terrifying. I have personal insurance and it has steadily gone up each year and I never meet my deductible so therefore I am paying for all medical bills and so if I have a major illness because of this rescission it could be cancelled and I would be on my own.? It's overwhelming and I think everyone feels helpless.

I know one answer is reform -- getting Obama's health reform passed, but after attending the Wicker meeting, I am deflated, discourage and disappointed in the lack of education in this town and in the country.

This health reform bill has nothing to do with pro-life issues, it is about helping the middle class get affordable health insurance. It's that simple. There should be no compromises; I hope Obama has the guts to push it through for the sake of the majority in this country. Let's stop worrying so much about what others might get who you feel may not be entitled and worry about yourself and what is best for your family.

Art Vandalay said...

There is no doubt that there are health care issues. NOBODY ARGUES THIS!!!!!!

The only argument is that government can't make it better! Sorry, it's a strong argument with plenty of history to back it up.

mintjulep said...

Jane.......I could not agree MORE.

I hope the reform is shoved thru without worrying any more at all about courting the approval of people who are partisan (or maybe just dim-witted) to the point of being totally without logic.

Art Vandalay said...

Wow, "partisan and dimwitted"?? Now there is good debate. Seems that sums up democrats debate on the entire issue. If you don't agree, you are an idiot. Thanks!
That kind of attitude is what has constantly gotten liberals in trouble. As John Stossel (a fiscal conservative and social liberal)once said, "i'd rather debate a republican because they actually engage in debate, liberals just sneer at me." Yes John, yes they do.

mintjulep said...

Art....if you read my post, or any other, in complete sentences, it will help your comprehension skills.

So far you have offered such pearls of wisdom as needing to see the President's birth certificate, fear of Chicago gangster tactics, and shrugged off guns at town meetings with a 'so what..there were only a few'..explained by your opinion that left wingers shoot presidents.

My apology to the moderator, who suggested we ignore Art. I promise to comply in the future.

Jane said...

Art, why can't the government make it better? As Casey has said they manage medicare and medicade. As it stands now the health insurance & pharmaceutical industry are big business, I'd like to see the government intervene.

Art Vandalay said...

Jane, THEY MANAGE MEDICARE AND MEDICAID???? Did you just say that. That's the best two examples of why government shouldn't intervene. How many times have we heard those two words coupled with "bankrupt" in the last 7 years? A lot.

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Elizabeth said...

Mint Julep,

Ignoring Art is a very good strategy. Thanks for the tip.

vince said...

This is an outrage!! These greedy insurance companies take and take then,when you need them they act as if you were stealing thier money!!Not only are they the problem so are the hospitals.Where do they get off charging what they do?? I can buy a case of asprin for what they charge for one tablet.This whole system is out of control!!