Thursday, December 9, 2010

Well my blood is now boiling.

A little background first. Recently my favorite aunt passed away from a massive brain hemorrhage. She was 62 years old and I consider that to be way too young for that kind of thing. After thinking about family history my sister and myself decided it was time to go in and get checked out. My grandmother and aunt died of strokes, my grandfather and uncle had heart problems. My other grandmother died of brain cancer and my brother had a brain tumor\cancer that was successfully treated.

Looks like my family covers all the bases when it comes to illnesses.

I made an appointment with my primary care physician for a physical. I'm almost 44 years old and it seemed like it was time. The physical happened today and went well so that's not really what I'm writing about. I'm writing about my health insurance, or my "changing because it was purchased by a mega-insurance company" insurance.

There are two different PPOs that you can choose from, the basic plan and the choice plan. I had been using the choice plan which lets you use out of network doctors more readily without having to pay as much to do so. The deductible is the same ($250) as the basic but it's pays %90 for the bill after that.

The I talked to the HR person who asked me why I was doing that when my doctor was in our network and would still be covered by the basic plan. The basic plan is 1/2 the cost of the choice plan. I thought about it and decided I would change to the basic plan. We knew that Cigna had purchased Great West but we had been told that Great West would be run as a subsidy and it wouldn't affect us.

Well today I found out that was not true.

I was pulled aside by the person who works with the insurance companies at my doctor's office and was told that after January the 1st I would no longer be in network because they stopped taking Cigna ten years ago. Looks like Cigna is just taking over all the accounts that Great West had but not running Great West as a subsidy but closing the brand.

What does that mean for me? $250 deductible before they even think of paying only %60 of the bill if I choose to still use my doctor, who by the way has been my doctor for the last ten years. This is compared to a $20 co-pay that I had to pay for office visits before.

Now this just pisses me off to no end. Not just for the out of pocket cost for me but for the insurance industry and health care in general. How much more can it go up and how much more can we be expected to pay? And how come the heads of the health care cost cutting companies are making multi-millions of dollars.

One more quick example of raising cost. I had a stomach bug at the beginning of the week. Went to the doctor and got three prescriptions for it. One of the prescriptions was for twelve pills and my co-pay was $50. The co-pays on the other two were $25 each!!!. I was expecting about $40 for all of it and when the pharmacist said $108 I had to ask twice to make sure I heard right.

Health Care should not be a for profit business. Period!!!!

Ok, steam now blown off.

P.S. HR person came and talked to me. Said that this was the first she had heard about it and would be contacting the insurance company to figure out what was going on. Stay tuned.

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