Friday, January 22, 2010

Health Care in America

To say it is a dilemma is an understatement. My dad went without health insurance for many years when he owned his own ski shop, when he was employed as a Sporting Goods Rep and when he worked for other small businesses. Both my parents who are divorced from each other, are now are medicare eligible and are enrolled. My sister, a Culinary Institute of America Graduate and trained chef finally purchased her own insurance last year at age 46. My mom was covered by her employer, a division of McKesson up until her retirement. I've worked for major corporations for years and have always been covered, short of a 1.5 year stint 20 years ago, after I left my cushy financial sector job and went uninsured while attempting a career change during the height of my alcohol abuse.

I've worked for a major health insurer in dental claims/customer service for the past 12 years. You can imagine that recent debate among many of my uninsured or under-insured friends has made me uncomfortable, especially when the industry that employs me is deemed corrupt and crooked. I have no answers, on how to fix the system. Heck people have worked their entire lives on this issue and we are still worlds apart on a solution today. For what its worth, most of my beliefs lie closer to the European models (call me a Socialist if you must).

I'm not here to say anything more then the system is broke and has to be fixed. What I am going to tell you is to read Otis's recent blog post THE REAL COST OF HAVING A BABY.

It's a fascinating albeit personal story on the cost of having his second son who we call DOS (for #2 if you hadn't already guessed) down in GVegasland. Many of you may not realize that Otis is one of the main contributor's to the Pokerstars Blog. For those of you not familiar with Otis's BP (before poker) work, I suggest you click here.


Memphis MOJO said...

I know health care reform is important, but I'm not sure I trust the government to do it right.

Otis said...

Many thanks for the link, IG.

抽菸 said...

人要先學會做一隻駱駝,然後才能做一隻獅子 ..................................................

blog said...

I recommend you look into medicare supplemental plans for your parents. They're not that expensive and cover some of the things medicare doesn't like deductibles and longer stays. Might want to look into long term care if god forbid the need arises.

The AARP plans are pretty good and when one of my parents got sick the monthly premiums seemed like peanuts.

There are some other ones where you basically forgo medicare and sign up with an HMO type plan and the medicare premiums go there instead of to medicare. You get some more coverage but I wasn't too sure about them and heard some negative things.

I don't remember the full conversation but when filling out paperwork for them the administrator asked if they switched to that type of plan and when I said no they said "Oh good!"

As for Memphis MOJO's comment. It's a catchy little statement that's used often but the reality is that there are only maybe 3 entities that can make the necessary changes. The gov't, the insurance industry and maybe the healthcare industry. Reforms could put a big dent in the profits of 2 of those groups. Who would you rather trust?

We have to start somewhere.