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I’ve read recently online a compelling personal story of a family who got screwed by a bad employer not paying their health insurance premiums. Because of this, the author says, we should have government health care. Hm.
Let me tell two personal stories.
My grandparents found out that their insurance agent took their premium money for their health insurance and put it in his pocket. He did not pay their premiums. For a long time. They had no idea. (because, had they suspected, they would have – rather than asking HIM – called the insurance company to ask.) One day, they got a notice that their policies were being cancelled for nonpayment. I don’t know the details very well, but I do know that they knew that what the agent did was illegal – insurance fraud and theft. Between the Attorney General’s office and the Insurance Commissioner’s office, they got the agent stripped of his license, pursued criminal charges, and also got things made right with the insurance company. It was several months of phone calls, yes, but it got worked out. They were not, ultimately, screwed, because they pursued their legal rights.
My mom’s health care is something I know intimately. She was on Medicare, plus private insurance. When she was working, and only on private insurance, her insurance paid for a new insulin pump when the old one was no longer repairable, or after a certain number of years. Once she had to stop working and was on Medicare as primary, Medicare would not pay for a new pump for her when her old one was having lots of problems, and was also very outdated. Like, if I were still using an Apple IIe. It was a CLUNKER. Not only that, Medicare would not allow HER to pay for one herself. I no longer remember why, but that was what they said. So when she was in the ICU and unable to program it herself, it was so outdated that only one nurse on the hospital staff, who use to have the same pump, knew how to operate it. She had to be called down from another floor to help with it when it started giving error messages.
What conclusions can we draw from this? Well, none, really. Those are ISOLATED incidents. SINGLE stories of one family. One personal experience does not a trend make.
I do hope, I guess, that we can draw one conclusion… that there are compelling stories on all sides of an issue.