Santa Venetia woman joins suit agains...

Santa Venetia woman joins suit against Anthem Blue Cross

There are 49 comments on the Marin Independent Journal story from Mar 2, 2010, titled Santa Venetia woman joins suit against Anthem Blue Cross. In it, Marin Independent Journal reports that:

Mary Feller's family spends nearly $25,000 a year on health insurance premiums, which is more than they pay for the mortgage on their Santa Venetia home.

Join the discussion below, or Read more at Marin Independent Journal.

Since: Dec 09

Santa Cruz, CA

#22 Mar 3, 2010
Marin Progressive wrote:
<quoted text>
Just because my French sister in-law has to wait weeks to get an appointment to see a health worker for a cold doesn't mean their system isn't better than ours.
Don't forget the many elderly who are simply bumped out of the system. Because you think insurance companies are the only ones who use actuary tables? Canadians, especially elderly (60+) often die waiting for needed care because the system will not express them through. Quality of care generally is not better than ours. Think of a massive mega-HMO that restricts you from freedom of care and fights you, and doctors, constantly. Their system has large issues like ours, same with GB and France.
Citizen Premium Payer

Alamo, CA

#23 Mar 3, 2010
I am ready for health insurance reform to proceed.
This industry is out of control. Anthem has raised
my premium by 56% over the last two years. Its well
past time to fight back. "Citizen tax payer" defends Anthem by saying they have ". Anthem has very low margins". Anthem spends 70% of each dollar on claims. That's not a low margin.The republican party has advocated an unrestrained "free" market place as if that will solve this problem. They had their chance and they failed its time for them to get out of the way.

Since: Dec 09

Santa Cruz, CA

#24 Mar 3, 2010
Citizen Premium Payer wrote:
The republican party has advocated an unrestrained "free" market place as if that will solve this problem. They had their chance and they failed its time for them to get out of the way.
I a disagree a bit, and I also recommend we all try to get out of the thinking of either political party Repubs or Democrats. There essentially wasn't ever a "free" market place for insurance, nor for heavily regulated practice of medicine (not always correct), nor free from so many lawsuits and heavy rewards placed upon it.

If insurers were forced to effiencies and market pressures to a more free consumer that can move easily without risk of being locked out by denial of existing conditions, for example, we might break the oligarchy. Reforms are needed for consumer rights and transperancy. However that is one part of the spectrum, not the whole solution - for health care needs reforms in out of control costs and tort reform.
Martina2

San Francisco, CA

#25 Mar 3, 2010
Marin Progressive wrote:
<quoted text>
Just because my French sister in-law has to wait weeks to get an appointment to see a health worker for a cold doesn't mean their system isn't better than ours.
My brother in law and a cousin have lived in France for over 25 years and their families get the care they need. We have rationing here - it's called expensive premiums - if you can afford a good policy, you don't have to wait for a damned thing.
Martina2

San Francisco, CA

#26 Mar 3, 2010
I find it interesting that the Tea Party ilk has no comment on the 30% to 40% increase in premiums being implemented by Anthem. I guess they like the market-based extortion that characterizes our health insurance markets. Since 1997 my family coverage premiums have by an average annual rate of 3 times the rate of inflation. We've shopped for new insurance 3 times in these 13 years, it seems to make no difference.
Joan

San Anselmo, CA

#27 Mar 3, 2010
THE IJ neglects to mention how much BCross paid over the last few years for the care of malignant melanoma. I think her complaint is absurd. As for insuring the parents with asthma and migranes, those can be very expensive diseases. There is no way a national health insurance plan will do better for her.
Martina2

San Francisco, CA

#28 Mar 3, 2010
Joan wrote:
THE IJ neglects to mention how much BCross paid over the last few years for the care of malignant melanoma. I think her complaint is absurd. As for insuring the parents with asthma and migranes, those can be very expensive diseases. There is no way a national health insurance plan will do better for her.
a 40% increase in premiums will solve all of her problems.
contractor

Mill Valley, CA

#29 Mar 3, 2010
Yeah Mary! Win Girl!
Snark Attack

Chicago, IL

#30 Mar 3, 2010
MarinCitizen wrote:
<quoted text>
I a disagree a bit, and I also recommend we all try to get out of the thinking of either political party Repubs or Democrats. There essentially wasn't ever a "free" market place for insurance, nor for heavily regulated practice of medicine (not always correct), nor free from so many lawsuits and heavy rewards placed upon it.
If insurers were forced to effiencies and market pressures to a more free consumer that can move easily without risk of being locked out by denial of existing conditions, for example, we might break the oligarchy. Reforms are needed for consumer rights and transperancy. However that is one part of the spectrum, not the whole solution - for health care needs reforms in out of control costs and tort reform.
Reforms and consumer rights have no place in a "free market". You can't have it both ways.
Citizen Premium Payer

Alamo, CA

#31 Mar 3, 2010
Marin Citizen replied "I a disagree a bit, and I also recommend we all try to get out of the thinking of either political party Repubs or Democrats. "

Its recent history and a matter of holding
each party accountable. The republican party is not
interested in any type of health insurance reform.
If they were they would have acted on this while in power.They did nothing. Now that they are the minority party all they do is obstruct. That's
not partisan that's reality.
Joan

San Anselmo, CA

#32 Mar 3, 2010
Martina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
a 40% increase in premiums will solve all of her problems.
Sounds like BCross paid out a lot more in medical payments than she paid for - care for malignant melanomas is very expensive, and the recovery is slow. In addition, both the parents have costly diseases (asthma and migrane). There's no easy fix here. National health insurance won't allow her the care she gets now, and in the same timely fashion, and will limit care to asthma and migranes as they are 'come and go' diseases - sometimes the person is sick, sometimes they're not. So it's hard to judge the actual long-term costs of treatment of when figuring insurance rate increases. Her lawsuit against the carrier is one of the aspects that drive up costs for everyone.
Citizen Premium Payer

Alamo, CA

#33 Mar 3, 2010
Joan stated "Sounds like BCross paid out a lot more in medical payments than she paid for - care for malignant melanomas is very expensive"

I am an Anthem subscriber who has never used his
policy (luckily enough) If I adopted Joan's attitude I would feel completely ripped off.$ 4,000 a year for what? Where's my return on my money ? Its a simple answer. I have coverage in case something comes up. Joan's statement really implies that you should not get more in benefits than pay in. If that's the case why buy any insurance ? People would pay 100% out of pocket.
One advantage in this would be avoiding anthem's
Utilization Review Committee. This is the part of
Anthem that overturns the patients care plan
as prescribed by the patients physician. They also
deny claims based on "pre-existing conditions".
I support this suit. Hold Anthem accountable
original

AOL

#34 Mar 3, 2010
lol
BGHOZ

Hayward, CA

#35 Mar 3, 2010
Yay!!!!Finally some one is listening....right on!
I hope you start a trend that brings down the house. I will sign up, just tell me where to start. Hey folks proud to say, she's from the neighborhood!
Patriot

San Rafael, CA

#36 Mar 3, 2010
Is access to health care a privilege for only those who can afford it (closing in on less than 50% of the population)? Jeez, what a great nation we have become. Go free market! Damn the "poor."

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#37 Mar 3, 2010
If one listens to the medical insurance saleswomen, they will tell you that everyone will get struck down with some catastrophic illness or get into a terrible accident that will require hospitalization.
That is a lie, most people are healthy and don't need to pay insurance corporations to take care of the few that do need care. This socialized private insurance system must go. Insurance is for the people that need it, spare everyone else the expense please.
I quit paying for medical insurance 3 years ago because I had more important things on my list to fund, like housing, food, utilities and transportation. I refuse to go bankrupt and lose my business just to support some greedy medical insurance corporation. If I went bankrupt, I would have had to quit paying those greedy pigs anyway, so I quit while I was ahead.
Realist

Sausalito, CA

#38 Mar 3, 2010
Pulipaca wrote:
If one listens to the medical insurance saleswomen, they will tell you that everyone will get struck down with some catastrophic illness or get into a terrible accident that will require hospitalization.
That is a lie, most people are healthy and don't need to pay insurance corporations to take care of the few that do need care. This socialized private insurance system must go. Insurance is for the people that need it, spare everyone else the expense please.
I quit paying for medical insurance 3 years ago because I had more important things on my list to fund, like housing, food, utilities and transportation. I refuse to go bankrupt and lose my business just to support some greedy medical insurance corporation. If I went bankrupt, I would have had to quit paying those greedy pigs anyway, so I quit while I was ahead.
That's wonderful that you do not "need" health insurance.

I think most of us purchase health insurance to prevent from going bankrupt. I don't want to give up my home if one of my family members gets sick and is hospitalized.

I didn't know anyone was immune to illness or injury but congratulations to you Pulipaca. You are one special person.
Martina2

Sebastopol, CA

#39 Mar 3, 2010
Joan wrote:
<quoted text> Sounds like BCross paid out a lot more in medical payments than she paid for - care for malignant melanomas is very expensive, and the recovery is slow. In addition, both the parents have costly diseases (asthma and migrane). There's no easy fix here. National health insurance won't allow her the care she gets now, and in the same timely fashion, and will limit care to asthma and migranes as they are 'come and go' diseases - sometimes the person is sick, sometimes they're not. So it's hard to judge the actual long-term costs of treatment of when figuring insurance rate increases. Her lawsuit against the carrier is one of the aspects that drive up costs for everyone.
Well Joan, that certainly justifies the market-based solution of 30 to 40 percent hikes in premium costs doesn't it? Why is it that no other country wants to change from their system to ours? I mean we have the greatest health care system in the world, don't we?
Henry

San Rafael, CA

#40 Mar 4, 2010
Martina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
Well Joan, that certainly justifies the market-based solution of 30 to 40 percent hikes in premium costs doesn't it? Why is it that no other country wants to change from their system to ours? I mean we have the greatest health care system in the world, don't we?
Yes, it's easy to get angry at the rate increases. And I think the system needs fixing. But the bottom line is that people don't want to pay for health care, they want someone else to pay for it, which is unrealistic. And tax increases aren't the answer (the top 5% income pay 90% of the taxes -can't push them too much further). Health insurance is a 'pool'- insureds pay into it, and hopefully the pool is big enough to take care of sick people and catastrophic claims like this malignant melanoma. It is illegal to mandate that people buy health insurance (it;'s not like car insurance, as driving is a privledge) so this becomes a hard issue to fund. Joan makes a good point that the Sanra Venetia woman is lucky to have the coverage and the bills paid.

Since: Dec 09

Santa Cruz, CA

#41 Mar 4, 2010
Henry wrote:
<quoted text> Yes, it's easy to get angry at the rate increases. And I think the system needs fixing. But the bottom line is that people don't want to pay for health care, they want someone else to pay for it, which is unrealistic. And tax increases aren't the answer (the top 5% income pay 90% of the taxes -can't push them too much further). Health insurance is a 'pool'- insureds pay into it, and hopefully the pool is big enough to take care of sick people and catastrophic claims like this malignant melanoma.
The portion of the issue of grave importance, that isn't a part of the national conversation enough, is COST. The cost of health care has risen dramatically. Without looking at why and how to remedy the out of control costs, we are only talking on one dimension of how to pay - which is asinine. Inside of that is needed litagation reform in health care. We all are paying for a system controlled by excessive issues in litigation around medicine. The bill currently being sold by Obama and Congress makes no tangible effort in these areas.

I am not advocating Anthem's increase. I find it deplorable given their financials, and a sign of bad management either way you slice it. They need to come to the table and further justify it transparently.

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