For some time I’ve noted the inappropriate behavior of the health insurance industry. It works hard to increase it’s profits by decreasing coverage of those who need it most. Our non-system of care not only allows this but a significant political party has made it part of their political goals.
This from an interview with a former insurance executive: (Wendell Potter author of “Deadly Spin”)
If you’re trying to buy insurance in the individual market, you should know that those insurers are looking to sell coverage only to young and healthy people. If you aren’t particularly young or healthy, you’ll be charged more or have limited benefits or both. And even if you get insurance through your employer, you need to read carefully.
I’d be wary of these so-called mini-med or limited-benefit plans. These are sold largely to individuals or through small employers, but we’re also seeing more big companies, such as fast-food chains, offering these plans.
This is fake insurance, in my view. Most policies have low premiums but also unreasonably low annual or lifetime caps on coverage. Some don’t pay for hospitalizations.
Medicynical Note: We have the least efficient most expensive health care non-system in the world. It’s not even close. And there are over 50,000,000 uninsured (rising rapidly).
The macro health care game is to make money, not necessarily provide care or improve health. Scamming patients (buyer beware) seems part of it. Those trying to do good are being undermined by a system that rewards those who want to do well. Amazing.
Agreed — lowering or denying coverage seems to be great cost cutting device. In Missouri, for example, a bill has been tabled that sets out a process before a “patient’s medication [can] be switched by the original prescribing practitioner to a different medication than the medication originally prescribed”. In short, the bill would stop health insurers from drug switching, presumably because drug switching has helped them cut expenses — or why else would they engage in the practice? Missouri Association of Osteopathic Physicians and Surgeons is supporting the bill. For further details and links to the news release, bill, and the physicians survey indicating how doctors feel insurance practices have affect healthcare, please see http://wp.me/p1fYJ7-4C
I have no objection to use of generics or other less expensive drugs if the Doctor is consulted.
The dirty secret of the pharmaceutical industry is that many, if not most, new drugs offer marginal benefit over less expensive even generic agents. Their marketing strategy is to never, never advertise a drug out of patent; to encourage the use of the most expensive agents; to obfuscate the limited efficacy and high cost of the drugs in their ads. It’s no wonder that the companies oppose doing studies to compare face to face, the efficacy of new drugs versus older established (and less costly) agents.