Santa Venetia woman joins suit against Anthem Blue Cross

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. Full Story
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Martina2

San Francisco, CA

#42 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. 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.
Well, I suspect that most Americans believe that we shouldn't pay for anything. Look, employers are looking to get out of the benefit business, so are we looking to change our system to something similar to what other advanced nations are doing? Of course not - we don't want to do anything that involves change. We really are too stupid to get it done.

My family insurance premiums have gone up by an average of 9% per year since 1997, about 3 times the avg. annual rate of inflation. I have my coverage because I need to have coverage - am I grateful that the premium rates are extortionary? Oh sure. Despite reasonable deductibles and HSA accounts to squeeze out what ever advantage I have, I'm being clobbered every year with near ly 10% increases in premium costs (who wouldn't be grateful for that?

Tax the rich? Mathematically it's a dead end. Lower middle class people THINK that they're taxes to death when in reality they pay very little in federal income taxes. America is in a state of decline, we've dumbed down so far that we can't solve something as important and fundamental as health insurance reform.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#43 Mar 4, 2010
Realist wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
You would be surprised to learn that many people who do pay for medical insurance go bankrupt when they get ill.
I have personally paid for medical insurance for 15 years since I have been self employed, and before that I worked for others both public and private who have been paying into my medical insurance account for another 17 years. I have paid my dues.
What happened with me is my business started slowing down, I was earning enough to stay in business but started putting my medical insurance payments on my credit card.
Then I woke up one day and realized I was wasting my money and could not keep on going into debt to support the multi billion dollar corporations high profits. I have my own welfare to look after that doesn't include donating to the corporate welfare fund.
Maybe I am just lucky, but in all the 33 years that I have been paying medical insurance I have been to a doctor maybe 5 times mostly for very minor medical concerns except once when I had a wisdom tooth pulled, I got an infection and that was serious. If I did not have insurance I would have gladly paid $150 to a doctor to prescribe antibiotics that one time. I have paid them tens of thousands of dollars for nothing, and I am still in debt for past insurance payments, but at least I am still in business and paying down my huge debt.
If they offered a reasonable catastrophic insurance policy for no more than $50 per month with NO COPAYS FOR HOSPITALIZATION, I would sign up. They know that most likely I would never need to use it, so it would help others. Any more than that and it's a complete ripoff.
I know plenty of people who do not want to pay for medical insurance, and like myself do not want others to have to pay it for me. Maybe you are right , I am a special person because I am healthy and can afford to live in Marin even though I am not wealthy. One can live a happy, healthy life if they trim the fat ! And medical insurance is the first fat to be cut for me.
Imagine all the good organic food I can afford with the extra $600 per month I save by not paying for useless insurance papers !
travis

North Fort Myers, FL

#44 Mar 6, 2010
Martina2 wrote:
<quoted text>
Well, I suspect that most Americans believe that we shouldn't pay for anything. Look, employers are looking to get out of the benefit business, so are we looking to change our system to something similar to what other advanced nations are doing? Of course not - we don't want to do anything that involves change. We really are too stupid to get it done.
My family insurance premiums have gone up by an average of 9% per year since 1997, about 3 times the avg. annual rate of inflation. I have my coverage because I need to have coverage - am I grateful that the premium rates are extortionary? Oh sure. Despite reasonable deductibles and HSA accounts to squeeze out what ever advantage I have, I'm being clobbered every year with near ly 10% increases in premium costs (who wouldn't be grateful for that?
Tax the rich? Mathematically it's a dead end. Lower middle class people THINK that they're taxes to death when in reality they pay very little in federal income taxes. America is in a state of decline, we've dumbed down so far that we can't solve something as important and fundamental as health insurance reform.
Good post, but your 9 pct premium increases actually are very modest compared to health care cost inflation over that period. And you say you have a reasonable deductible on top of that? To quote Kelly Willis, if I could be you I'd be happy with that :)

As to why health care costs are skyrocketing, well that's an issue with real meat on the bones.
Martina2

Sebastopol, CA

#45 Mar 6, 2010
travis wrote:
<quoted text>
Good post, but your 9 pct premium increases actually are very modest compared to health care cost inflation over that period. And you say you have a reasonable deductible on top of that? To quote Kelly Willis, if I could be you I'd be happy with that :)
As to why health care costs are skyrocketing, well that's an issue with real meat on the bones.
Thanks Travis. I've tried to buy down my premium costs by taking deductibles and using HSAs, but it's a lost cause. The cost increase far exceeds my ability to offset with tax breaks.
So just dont buy it

Novato, CA

#46 Mar 7, 2010
I haven't had health insurance for four years now (I'm in my 50's). The money I've saved I've reinvested. If the time comes I need to pay for medical expenses I'll do it out of pocket. In the meantime I'm increasing my wealth instead of a faceless corporation that could care less if I live or die.

Since: Feb 08

Hana, HI

#47 Mar 7, 2010
So just dont buy it wrote:
I haven't had health insurance for four years now (I'm in my 50's). The money I've saved I've reinvested. If the time comes I need to pay for medical expenses I'll do it out of pocket. In the meantime I'm increasing my wealth instead of a faceless corporation that could care less if I live or die.
Right on. I do wonder how the corporations were able to pay the government to brainwash the people into thinking that every man woman and child in this country must feed a greedy multi billion dollar profiteering insurance company protection money just to be able to live.
You and I both know that what they have told us about the need for insurance is a lie.
My money is much better spent on good quality organic food. With all the chemicals in regular foods, poison pharmaceutical drugs the corporations push and unhealthy urban living conditions, it's no wonder that so many people get sick.
I wish more people would join me and boycotting the medical insurance corporations. Actually Anthem Blue Cross expects 250,000 people to drop their company in California this year alone. That is a lot of people. Of course not everyone is healthy, but more are than not. So if all the healthy people boycotted the medical insurance corporations, we could put them out of business in California. That would be the single best thing we could do for the economy of California.
Incredulous

San Francisco, CA

#48 Mar 7, 2010
Blue Shield increased its health insurance premiums to small policy holders by about the same percentage as did Blue Cross. Included at the heart of the problem with health insurance costs is that there is, basically, no competition in the health insurance industry. Health insurance companies are not subject to anti-trust laws. They have an exemption from anti-trust laws that dates back to 1945. The four, or so, health insurance companies that sell health insurance in California have a monopoly. This is the situation in most of the United States. It is time for the law to change and make health insurance companies subject to anti-trust legislation. The reason that the exemption was granted in 1945 no longer makes any sense. Also, California should pass a state law similar to that passed in Washington state a few years ago. That law requires health insurance companies to no longer require single policy applicants to provide proof of insurability. When first passed, all but one of the health insurance companies left Washington state. Now, they are all back and selling health insurance. If Ford Greene really wants to make a big name for himself, he should take on this problem and go after the health insurance companies.
Henry

Fairfax, CA

#49 Mar 8, 2010
MarinCitizen wrote:
<quoted text>
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.
I absolutely agree that litigation costs are a huge issue, and not addressed by the proposed health plan changes. Fraud is also a significant component.
Martina2

Sebastopol, CA

#50 Mar 8, 2010
Same old bulls***, America is too stupid enact real health insurance reform. other advanced countries can get it done, not us. In the mean time, I guess I accept the market-based solution of annual double-digit percentage increases in health insurance premium costs. After all, the market best handles this.

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