These Health Care Costs Are Killin’ Us
I’ve had health insurance with Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina for a couple of years independently now. When I switch to my company’s health insurance it will still be Blue Cross Blue Shield, this time out of Virginia, as Womack Publishing is based in Chatham. I’ve been really pleased with my coverage thus far: it’s been affordable, accepted almost anywhere and there are never any questions asked or hoops to jump through to get things covered. It’s the first insurance company I’ve ever used where if it says this or that is covered in the plan then it’s actually covered. I don’t get some kind of surprise bill a couple months later saying, ‘“Oh, by the way, section 142.26.428.27-C says that particular style of syringe the doctor used is not covered and you now owe us $2,500. Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating a bit but you get the point. It seems like insurance is there to protect the company, the doctor, the legislators or anybody except the patient.
I’m a hard workin’ man, by cracky, and all I expect is for folks to come through like they say they will. I was taught growing up that if I was working for someone for pay then I owe them my time and honesty on the job. So when I hire an insurance company I expect them to do the same. In my case, BCBSNC has lived up to their end of the bargain.
Recently I received a letter from BCBSNC stating that health care under North Carolina Baptist Hospital at Wake Forest will no longer be covered. I can still get emergency care there, but no other. Those of you who have BCBSNC are probably aware of this and, like I was, may be a little disappointed. When I moved to the area six months ago I thought, ‘“Wow, I’ll be able to get health care at one of the nation’s top hospitals if I ever need it.’”
Not anymore, though. But the company I’m disappointed with is not BCBSNC. Instead it’s NCBH. They sent me a letter long before BCBSNC did, telling me that patients under that insurance company would soon lose coverage. Their reasoning? They said that BCBSNC is not willing to pay what the hospital needs to charge due to rising costs in health care. BCBSNC explains it as ‘“an obligation to resist NCBH’s non-negotiable demand for an initial reimbursement level that would be 36 percent higher than their current level.’”
And I say, ‘“You go BCBSNC. It’s about dang-tootin’ time somebody stood up for the cost to patients.’”
Now I’ve been a staunch Republican for many years and remain so. But the Democrats are right about one thing: health care in this country is out of control. I’m more than willing to give up health care at NCBH if that keeps my cost down.
Health care has gone up, gas prices have gone up. Heck, even the price of a 20 ounce soda has gone up. The cost of living is constantly on the rise but the average worker’s income usually doesn’t increase enough to compensate. Countless factory workers have lost their jobs to other countries so their boss’s salaries can go up. And when a company goes under, who gets the benefits? Not the workers; they just get the shaft while the CEOs and CFOs get million-dollar bonuses. Then, we all go home, turn on the TV and watch a bunch of overpaid actors portray our lifestyles in sitcoms while they themselves have no idea how it really is to live week-by-week.
It’s not something I blame employers for as much as society as a whole. We need to wake up as a people. Turn off our TVs, stand up to rising costs, demand what we’re worth. Wouldn’t it be great if we paid actors minimum wage to entertain us after a hard day’s work? We’ve got a lot of things backwards in this country.
I’m just glad there’s finally someone willing to say, ‘“No more. The bucks stop here.’” If all health insurance companies would stand up for their patients like BCBSNC has, then things would eventually begin to turn around.