Monday, March 22, 2010

Too Little, Too Late

2018 ... at sixty seven (if I am not living the life of an ex-pat in some third world country leveraging the development of their economy) I'll have been Medicare eligible for two years. That's when the real changes go into effect from the 'historic' health care reform passed by the House of Representatives over the weekend.

But hey. What about those of us individual self-employed insureds now? Where's the benefit for us? The baby boomers who have been downsized in a shrinking economy and are going it alone? Especially those of us in Maine where the monopolistic Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield has a virtual stranglehold on the market? Where the other major health care insurance providers have been squeezed out of the state or are rated very poorly by Bests and the Maine Insurance Commission for fraudulent marketing practices. Where remaining players now offer competitive pricing a dollar or two below the usurious premiums in place by Anthem.

I am angry. Very. For a tad under $500 per month ... nearly $6,000 a year BEFORE rapidly excalating medical costs .... my annual individual Lumenos coverage allows me the privilege to 'contribute' to an HSA (health savings account) to cover the $5,000 deductible. That's for me. One person. Not a family. Not my son. Moi seulement. And to make matters worse Anthem decides which medical payments and what percentage are applicable towards the deductible. No rhyme. No reason. No advance notice.

Falling through the cracks. Living further off the grid. Hell ... I am not even on the page.

Even the New York Times is astonished: With so many mechanisms available to hold down medical costs, it’s hard to believe that they won’t bear fruit, if not in the next several years then in the decade thereafter.

But I suppose, despite the vitriolic legislative process, political wrangling and utter polarization of our out-of-touch, selfish Representatives and Senators in Washington with lifetime guarantees of a government provided health care coverage we the citizens are not entitled to without running for office and being elected, the process has begun.

Cheers? All the more reason to get out of Dodge!

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