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Friday, January 21, 2011

Health Insurance Concerns Even After Reforms

A couple of years ago many of us were on pins and needles with anticipation for the promised reform bill. We had visions of better health care that didn't put us into bankruptcy. We rejoiced when the promised bill passed finally after much pulling and scheming and screaming. Today, can we really say we are better off?

I'm not. I'm still in the same boat as I was in a couple of years ago. Thank goodness I managed to keep my job that luckily provides a somewhat affordable if not cheap health insurance. My kids and I still try to only visit the doctor at a minimum because whenever we have had a medical emergency, it ended up costing me an arm and a leg in fees. Fees that my health insurance does not cover.

With the beginning of a new year, it's open enrollment at my job again. Time to renew benefits and time to review affordable health insurance quotes. It would be nice to be able to afford private health insurance and go to whichever doctor you want at whichever hospital, but for us working folks it's going to be the HMO route. It's cheaper for us to be in a network or group but it also means that we have to limit some of our choices. The cheapest plan being offered at my company is a group plan where we can only go to service providers that are also signed up on the same network. Most of them are local which is good, and really for the most part, they are competent doctors. It's not like only the losers sign up for these networks.

It's just that if we ever require a specialist, god forbid one of us gets seriously ill, it would not be as easy to go out of our network. But, that's the gamble that most workers in this country take. We pay high insurance premiums for mediocre care and pray like bloody hell that we remain mean and healthy so we can whine another day.

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