Tuesday, November 17, 2009

Rant. Rave. Repeat.

This post has nothing to do with my personal health, running, knitting, losing weight or fitness. It has everything to do with the health of our country and our economy.

I don't care what political stripe you wear, we can certainly agree that the U.S. economy, while showing signs of a comeback, is in dire straits. One of the major reasons companies are struggling is trying to keep up with increasing health insurance rates.

The simplest solution for everyone except Big Insurance and Big Pharma is to enact Medicare for All legislation.

I've been a single-payer advocate for years, but kind of backed off when healthcare reform seemed like it was really going to happen. Something is better than nothing, I thought. I'm rethinking that stance, particularly in light of the letter I received yesterday from Aetna, who provides my private health insurance.

My premium (and yours, too, if you're an Aetna member) will be increased in January 2010. Since I became a member 18 months ago, my premium will have risen 33 percent. This is the second rate increase within a year. They have provided exactly one benefit service to me, an annual visit to my OB-GYN.

Is it just me, or is it a coincidence that less than two weeks after major legislation is passed in Congress, Aetna needs to raise their rates across the board to all "current and new customers"?

I've written to my state insurance commissioner and to Aetna, and I've sent faxes to my legislators and to the President.

I've scanned the somewhat local classifieds and written to one company about a job opportunity, which might pay enough to cover my monthly premium and travel expenses to and from the job but, being part-time, most certainly won't offer benefits.

I've cried. I've ranted. I've raved.

I'm sick about this, I truly am. Unfortunately, my policy doesn't cover office visits.

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