Wednesday, July 29, 2009

New Healthcare Reform

But first this is in the category of you can't make this stuff up: Why would anyone put pet baby snakes in their pockets? I think a cage would do much better.

There was an article the other day on the number of bills in front of the legislature to expand insurance health coverage. There are something like 70 bills trying to mandate coverage for a whole range of things from vitamins, aquatherapy, cleft palate repair, wigs for chemotherapy patients, etc. I am not sure I agree with all this.

You buy the amount of insurance you think you need/can afford and hope that if the worst happens you are covered fairly. The premiums we pay (here's my non technical understanding on how insurance works) go into a big pool that the insurers use to pay the medical professionals for the care we receive. If insurers become mandated to pay for more things, guess what? The pool and our premiums will need to be bigger. Or insurers will stop paying as much on other treatments.

Taking the example of wigs for chemotherapy patients (or cranial prostheses) of which I do have personal experience. My insurance did not cover them. I know people who were appalled that the insurance did not. I was told by well meaning friends I should fight this, blah, blah, blah. I didn't. I bought a relatively inexpensive wig and deducted it as a medical expense on my taxes. I have friends with insurance who bought an expensive wig and then never wore it because they hated it. I had other friends who just wore scarves and know one person who bought a bright blue wig and one who bought a bright pink wig. So should insurance cover the fact that you didn't like your first wig or never wore the damn thing? Should you be able to get a second wig on insurance if you don't like the first? I don't know.

But I do know my insurance didn't pay for my wig but they did pay for a lot of other stuff. If someone said I had a choice between full coverage for chemotherapy or partial coverage and a wig. I'll take the full coverage. My insurance bills were relatively small for the duration of my treatment.

There are also the modalities that help one in a million or one in ten million. Should there be a mandate that they are covered for all? If vitamins are covered, are we all going to start taking them and be healthier? We are trying to keep health care affordable. There also is some logic to changing the system on how the reimbursement process works but that's a whole other issue.

Okay, enough soap box for now. Today my back hurts (now there's a change). My rash is better. I think it is a reaction to one of my prescriptions (that says you may develop a rash on the warning label) so I am going to stop taking it for a day or two and see if the rash goes away. It feels better today already.

The car is not fixed. They called yesterday and said they couldn't find anything wrong but were still checking and want to keep it for another day. Hmmm... do I feel reassured by the fact that they didn't find anything wrong? No. I'm not driving it anywhere until it is fixed. We bought a new car so we had a reliable vehicle. I don't consider it reliable at all anymore. Yes, cars break down, I realize that but to have one that breaks down for no determinable reason is not acceptable. In case you are wondering its a 2009 Nissan Versa which right now I would not recommend to anyone.

1 comment:

Arla said...

Caroline - may I borrow (copy) your post on the healthcare reform? I will give you the credit - I think it is SO important for others to be aware of this.