Have You Been ‘Purged’ By An Insurance Company?

Health insurance whistleblower Wendell Potter explains how to recognize it. Unfortunately, neither he nor I nor anyone else can tell you what to do about it. What? You don’t think the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act will really provide you, um, patient protection, or affordable care, do you? How naive of you!

I was “purged” several years ago. When I started in business solo, about 23 years ago, I purchased conventional medical insurance for myself. When I first went into business, it cost me less than $150/mo. When I gave up the insurance two decades later, the rate from the same company had just been raised to over $2000 a month. And so for a couple of years now, I’ve been among America’s vast and growing number of uninsured. I have one of those “concierge medicine” arrangements with my primary care physician, and I pay cash out of pocket for procedures elsewhere. You don’t want to know what my last hospital visit… purely for diagnostic work… cost me. Ouch.

As insurance executives would doubtless remind me, I simply should have chosen my parents better. If they’d been Canadian, or British, or even French, or if I had not been born with my family’s typical incurable conditions, I might have had more regular health care.

But no, I was born American, and thus my highest priority is to make sure the wealthy stay wealthy, and that my death not inconvenience TPTB. So far, I’m doing great on both priorities.

UPDATE: The Onion gets into the act with “Man Succumbs To 7-Year Battle With Health Insurance“.

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  • Kay Dennison  On Tuesday May 17, 2011 at 10:55 am

    That is so very wrong!!!! I was thrilled a couple years ago when my Medicare kicked in and I was accepted as a patient by a practice set up as a non-profit foundation which was the brain child of a local family physician who believed that *everyone* deserves quality care — you know — and really believe the Hippocratic oath. They give excellent — no, outstanding — care and have the best specialists associated with them. I’ve written about it on my blog. I’m sure the doctors aren’t living in poverty but they aren’t millionaires either. (You don’t see BMWs in the parking lot.) They accept what my Medicare pays and I have little out of pocket expense. I just wonder if there isn’t a similar practice there as the doctor who founded it worked, before his death, for others across the country to do the same. I’ll send you the link if you like.

    • Steve  On Tuesday May 17, 2011 at 1:17 pm

      Kay, I am very glad you have those services; goodness knows you’ve earned ’em. By all means send the link…

      For the record, I am very happy with my PCP, and from the number of seniors coming to his office, he pretty definitely takes Medicare patients. He is very generous with his services; appointments rarely feel rushed, and on occasion he will do a small procedure without billing me for it, instead regarding it as covered by my (very reasonable) fixed quarterly fee. (On top of all that, I discovered one day that his political views are within the general category “Democrat”!) I think he’s a “keeper”.

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