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Re: Holy SH*T this stuff is $$!! Quintal

Posted by Racer on June 15, 2007, at 12:47:01

In reply to Re: Holy SH*T this stuff is $$!! LlurpsieNoodle, posted by Quintal on June 14, 2007, at 10:26:35

>
> Is health insurance very expensive? I'm surprised the guy didn't get some if he had a job, but I guess many policies will be reluctant to take on - or place restrictions on a new customer with a serious illness who needs expensive medication?
>
> Q

I'm another who's been turned down for insurance coverage, because of pre-existing conditions. In my case, it was disclosing the anti-depressants I was on and disclosing that I had osteoarthritis. They insisted on a physical exam, and blood work, which I had to pay for out of pocket. The blood work showed elevated rheumatoid factor, which means only that I had some sort of inflammation going on somewhere for some reason. The insurance company announced that I must have rheumatoid arthritis, despite my paying out of pocket to see a rheumatologist who wrote a nice letter telling them they were wrong.

They respectfully declined to cover me.

Had I been accepted, I would have been paying about $200 to $250 a month for minimal coverage. I can't remember the specifics, though. I was in my mid 30s, otherwise the cost would have been much higher.

My alternative at that time was to enroll in a State program, which provided catastrophic coverage, for $1200 per month -- but they had a waiting list of anywhere from six to eighteen months. That's why I remained uninsured.

Group coverage from employers is easier. Then it's mostly a fixed rate based on things like age, with a few pre-existing condition restrictions. And most anyone will be accepted for group coverage, since the risk is spread across so many people.

When I was uninsured, I was taking 225mg of Effexor XR and 10mg of Prozac. At the time, that was approximately $400 per month. Since I was not making a whole lot more than that, I was in deep doo-doo. The companies that make the drugs, though, had programs that provided free drugs to people who didn't earn enough money to pay for them and were uninsured. I got my drugs that way for a while.

One other problem, by the way, is based on averages: the averages of what someone can earn and still be called "low income" for the purposes of programs like this are based on a national level. That means that, for instance, the government program which would have provided assistance for me had a living expense allowance of $540 per month. Anything above that had to go to the cost of the drugs and other treatment I received. Every penny -- if I only had, say, $25 of treatment in a month, but I earned $740, I still had to pay $200. That might have been fine -- if my rent hadn't been $850 per month! And that rent was low for the area.

Anyway, this is one of those things that raises my blood pressure, so I'll stop now. Let's just say that I think there's {ahem} room for improvement in this area in this country...


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poster:Racer thread:762971
URL: http://www.dr-bob.org/babble/20070613/msgs/763392.html