next_to_normal: (Buffy punchy)
[personal profile] next_to_normal
UGH. The organization that I work for decided to switch insurance plans, undoubtedly because it's cheaper for them. They didn't give us any choice of plans, but our HR lady's all, "Our premiums have been reduced, isn't that nice for everyone!"

Well, sure, as long as you don't actually use your insurance.

Because while the premiums have been reduced, all the co-pays have gone up, and some of them have DOUBLED. But hey, as long as you don't go to the doctor, you're saving money! Isn't that NICE?

On the other hand, if you're someone like me, who uses a lot of health care services, the savings from the lower premiums is wiped out pretty quickly. Sure, I'm saving $20 a month on premiums, but it's now $50 every time I see a specialist (which I generally do once a month because of the Crohn's), instead of $25. $50 every time I see my therapist or psychiatrist (also previously $25), which I had been doing twice a month, but now I think we'll be cutting back. $70 for chemotherapy (aka my Remicade treatments), which used to be $25. If I have to go to the hospital again, it's $500 per day instead of $100. Prescription drugs now $10 for generic and $35 for brand name, and by the way, I take five of them (and at least one I can't get as a generic). This shit adds up.

I have multiple preexisting conditions, which means that I almost certainly couldn't do any better if I tried to get health insurance on my own. Premiums would be through the roof - assuming I could even find someone to insure me. So I'm stuck until 2017 when the health care reforms kick in (assuming the country hasn't descended into anarchy they haven't been repealed by then).

And I know, I should be thankful I have insurance at all. And I am, because otherwise I'd be paying my entire salary toward medical costs. But, seriously, it is pretty ridiculous when you have insurance and still can't afford care.

This all comes after a scare with my therapist, where the insurance just decided to stop paying for my visits and I was looking at a pretty steep bill. We managed to get that straightened out, and the insurance will (theoretically) provide back payments, but it's been quite a week for health care.

Date: Aug. 10th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
alexeia_drae: (Default)
From: [personal profile] alexeia_drae
I've met people who say that insurance is just a waste of money. They must be lucky enough to not have a chronic medical condition, must not get sick often, and must not have small children.

That sucks that your co-pays have doubled. It seems that you have to be rich to afford good healthcare these days, and that's just wrong.

Date: Aug. 10th, 2011 10:27 pm (UTC)
pocochina: jed bartlet is a liberal egghead (jed liberal)
From: [personal profile] pocochina
I think it might sometimes be a chronic condition that leads people on the individual market to think insurance is a waste of money? At least where I live, it pretty much means the privilege of paying higher premiums just to have to pay out of pocket for all of the care I need. I do think there are people who talk about insurance as if it is some sort of luxury, which I agree, it clearly isn't.

Date: Aug. 10th, 2011 10:09 pm (UTC)
randi2204: EVIL! (buffy - dream on)
From: [personal profile] randi2204
I work for a health insurance company. One of the things I've learned is that the plans that we create follow the market. For example, in order to reduce their own costs, employer groups want plans that put more of the burden of healthcare back on the member/employee. That's why we have plans with monstrous deductibles on certain services, and plans with very limited networks of doctors/hospitals... which really creates a class of under-insured people. My state requires that everyone have health insurance or they get whacked with penalties, so they can't afford not to have it, but they also can't afford to be sick, either, which is really sad.

... which is a really long-winded way of saying *sympathy* and I completely understand. Having smaller premiums is not so much "YAY!" as people think it is.

Date: Aug. 10th, 2011 10:19 pm (UTC)
pocochina: tvd: tessa campfire story (nikki the vampire slayer)
From: [personal profile] pocochina
health insurance companies = blind rage. that blows, I'm really sorry.

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 12:33 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gabrielleabelle
Ugh. I'm so sorry. I was able to get free therapy as a student at my university. Do you have access to a counseling program at your school?

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 01:59 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] gabrielleabelle
Eh, that sucks about the therapy. But, yeah, I hear you on the meds. I hope that things start to work out for you on that front soon. :/

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 03:14 am (UTC)
ever_neutral: (btvs ~ she alone)
From: [personal profile] ever_neutral
:( Sorry to hear about this, man. Ugh.

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 05:58 am (UTC)
eilowyn1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eilowyn1
Oh, bb! I could rant right along with you! My old school had an excellent health care plan that covered everything for a very reasonable price and a low co-pay. Now my coverage is sketchy, my premium is much higher, as is my co-pay. Total sympathy from me here.

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 05:59 am (UTC)
eilowyn1: (Default)
From: [personal profile] eilowyn1
Have you looked into getting the Remicade through patient assist? That's how I get most of my drugs.

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 06:57 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] urania_calliope
I will admit to be one of those lucky people for many, many years who didn't really worry too much about insurance because I lucked out.

Then earlier this year I was hit with bronchitis (2X) and a large doctor's bill and then the car accident a month ago which has been a horrible parade of drugs and bills.

I hate thinking about people who are chronically stuck with garbage like this. Despite the crap that's flown at me this year I am STILL one of the lucky ones in that I'll eventually recover and move on. I can't imagine being stuck dealing with stuff for life. You're all made of stronger stuff than I.

Also, next person who talks about how 'free' healthcare is in Canada is getting a big ol' boot to the face.

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 08:24 pm (UTC)
zanthinegirl: (angry calvin)
From: [personal profile] zanthinegirl
Much, much sympathy. I'm lucky enough to have really good insurance (I work for the state) but they ended my insurance plan a couple years ago. I had to pick another plan. My premiums are a little cheaper, but the out of pocket costs go up every year. And like you I have several chronic conditions that need medications-- the cancer aside, I have a chronic kidney disease (FSGS, in remission at the moment) and am having a really bad asthma year.

Date: Aug. 11th, 2011 10:15 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] elynittria
I hate our so-called health care system. It doesn't work, and it's too expensive. I doubt the mild reforms passed in the latest health care bill will do much to change things (if the act even manages to survive the Republican's onslaught on it). The whole structure needs a radical overhaul.

Date: Aug. 14th, 2011 12:01 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] elizabethhartung
Know what the truly sad part is? As I understand it, a health care system where the federal government pays for all health services would be unquestionably constitutional, where the mandate to buy health insurance isn't necessarily.
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