Sunday, February 27, 2011

Buying health insurance

I am glad I soon will be buying health insurance from the company I recently started working with.  Group rates make useful insurance doable.  Unfortunately buying private health insurance means paying lots of money for very little coverage in return.

My Doctor if I do not get company insurance soon
When I had a plan with Blue Cross Blue Shield I was paying close to $150.00 a month for coverage with a $5,000 deductible a year.  That was with me being fairly young (not in my 20s anymore, but not near 40 either), good weight, no smoking or drinking habits, no drug habits and no chronic health problems.    If I actually needed something other than a lung transplant the only doctor I would be able to afford to see is a Hooter's girl who practiced medicine on the side when not lifeguarding for the summer.  Seriously!

Why did I get the insurance you ask? It would be good were I to have some major accident or something.  So I will not say it was all bad.  Still, it was not something I could use for a regular doctor's visit if I had the flu or something like that.

I have heard many politicians say joining collectives would allow individuals the ability to pull their buying power together as a group (these same politicians are against unions though, hmmn).  Unfortunately I was unable to find one of these collectives.  They sound good in theory, but without a company behind them I have not found one that actually exists.

Another thing I read was that interstate laws for insurance needed to be broken up so insurers could sell across state lines. Why that would drive the prices down.  Unfortunately many of the same insurance companies, i.e. Blue Cross Blue Shield, operate in many states, just under different sub companies.  Therefore I am not so sure prices would be affected much.  Even when there are several choices of private insurance companies in a given state the prices are about what I mentioned previously.  Apparently those who think the private sector can always work everything out with deregulation (and before you think I am some socialist, I believe in the basics of the free market, but also believe it needs supervision unfortunately) forget the one big flaw with capitalism - collusion.

Sure one insurance company could suddenly drop prices and try to gain more market hold, but then the other companies would soon follow and then they would all be making less.  That or the other companies would dig up dirt and use their lobbyists to have that company buried.    After all, you do not see Sony undercutting the cost of Compact Discs versus the other CD manufacturers.  Nope.  Heck, in the music industry though they are separate companies, they get to meet as a group called the Recording Industry of America (RIAA).  Convenient isn't it?

So I guess what I am saying, is if all these so called conservatives really want people to go out there and start up their own individual businesses, they better find a way for these people to get individual insurance that is worth a darn and does not cost a fortune.  There simply has got to be a better way to buy health insurance.  Real health insurance!

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