Friday, June 19, 2009

Feelin' Lucky?

If you can answer yes, then you are probably in the minority these days. Why? Well...you could/should feel lucky if: 1) You have a job. 2) You have a job and you have health insurance. 3) You don't have a job, but you can afford COBRA. 4) You don't have a job, you have health insurance and you can still afford to pay for your medical care. 5) You're just as healthy as a horse and may not fit in any of the above categories!

This is a real crisis and I'm not sure when or how this will get resolved any time soon. In North Carolina a new unemployment rate was posted today ... 11.1%. That captures alot of folks and some of them probably aren't lucky.

Imagine scheduling surgery for chronic back pain. You're all set. It's day of your surgery. You check into the hospital, insurance card in hand. Then, they tell you, "Your copay for this service is $500!" What? "You need to pay your coinsurance prior to your surgery, or we will have to reschedule your surgery." What would you have to do? Many are rescheduling. Sad, but true fact.

Can you see both sides? I can. On one hand, you've paid your premiums and now you need to use your insurance, but you still can't get the treatment you need. On the other hand, the hospital has bills to pay, payroll to meet, etc. Face it insurance companies pay less and less each year and the patient is expected to pay more and more. Hospitals aren't banks and they need cash to operate. Ditto for the Physicians.

So, now who's the luckiest of us all? Just might be the insurance companies!

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