Insurance Rant

Look, I understand, we all need insurance. Right? It is supposed to be there for us when we need it. But let’s face it, insurance is one of the biggest money making scams out there. You pay and pay and pay, and when you do need it, you end up jumping through hoop after hoop to get what you need. They always have some clause or reason that you won’t get what you need. It doesn’t seem to matter what the outcome is for YOU, because in the end, the insurance companies keep making bank!

I guess I am going to sound like an old man here, and I am ok with that. There used to be a time where your place of employment gave you decent insurance as part of your benefits. Out of pocket costs were often very minimal unless you had a lengthy hospital stay. People who worked for a hospital or health care were taken care of by their employer. The auto industry also tended to have some of the best benefits. This just isn’t the case anymore.

Years ago, I remember deductibles were reasonable. Now, they are outrageous! How many people actually meet their deductible in a year? Not too many people I know. Now they have higher deductibles for how many people are in your family and so on… They raise them so you will end up paying it (as well as your monthly costs) and they will always come out ahead! Last year I put the amount of my deductible on my FSA card (because when it was all gone, I would know I hit my deductible, right?!). I used it for all out of pocket costs – co-pays, prescriptions, etc. After I had used the entire FSA balance, I got a bill for something and I called the insurance company. I was told that co-pays don’t go toward your deductible. Maybe I am just stupid (or maybe the rules of the insurance companies are so vague purposely), but I questioned just what they considered “out of pocket” costs. To me, if I am paying for it – it is OUT OF MY POCKET! So I got screwed there.

I have found that I am not the only one who pays high costs for medical insurance, only to wind up with a stack of medical bills that I will spend years paying off. And by the time you get close to paying them off, you get hit with another one! A friend of mine who works with some financial company told me that medical debt is one of the reasons so many people in this country are struggling. So many people file for bankruptcy because they will never get their head above water because of medical expenses. Look on Facebook on any given day – there are always “go fund me” pages for people who need help with medical bills. It is SO unfair.

I wish I had a dollar for anytime someone has said to me, “Why do I bother having insurance?!” If I did, I would take those dollars and pay off some of my medical bills! How sad is it that people won’t go to the doctor or to the hospital when they need to because they are afraid of racking up thousands in medical debt?!

So where did this rant come from? Let me tell you. We recently received the bill for Ella’s ear surgery. How much of that was covered by insurance? According to the bill – ZERO. Zilch. NOTHING! Well, you can imagine how well that sat with Sam and I. It was all I could do to not use some choice profanity while I was talking to the insurance representative. The bill was close to $9000! The entire surgery took 6 minutes! (That works out to $1500 a minute! Nice gig, huh?!)

When the ENT called to talk about the bill prior to surgery, they told us our cost (after insurance) was less than $800. As a matter of fact, they even offered to take 5% off the bill if we paid it all off prior to the surgery even happening. Gee, thanks! Anyway, when that bill showed up, Sam and I about lost it. All we had to see was “claim denied” in big red letters at the bottom and our anger (and stress levels) were through the roof!

So I called and got some clown with a smile in his voice on the line. I held back all my anger and explained why I was calling. He stated that he needed to make sure that there was no other insurance that might be considered “primary” insurance that would cover this. I told him no, we only had this insurance. He immediately stated that they would rebill it and take care of it and we should see an adjustment within 7-10 days.

So what is that all about?! I can barely afford the insurance YOU provide. I guess the answer is to pay for more than one insurance policy in order to make your bills. But in the end, if I am paying for more than one insurance, is it really saving me any money? These insurance companies have you by the shirt collar and you are their pawn. You need insurance. Yet, you will still go into debt with it. I just don’t get it.

Don’t even get my started on car insurance…. because that is just as bad or worse!

Ok. I’m raising my blood pressure, so I will stop. I’ll be ok …. until the new bill arrives!

Classic Calvin and Hobbes