Letters and Opinion

Health care system is a travesty

August 29, 2009

I just want to thank you for [Bruce Hetrick’s] insightful article in the Aug. 10 issue regarding health care reform. You say it well. And I applaud you for saying it in a business publication.

I wonder how many people don’t realize that this is a problem that faces all businesses, large or small.

My husband and I are a self-employed couple who pay $20,000 for coverage (with $10,000 deductibles). This is for group coverage in what is probably a very unhealthy group. We’re afraid to join the ranks of the individually covered folks where the rules of engagement are even riskier.

Most people with employer-sponsored health care do not understand that purchasing individual health insurance is a lot like purchasing car or home insurance: a company doesn’t have to take you as a customer. They don’t insure for known issues. They insure for unknown issues. They can look at your health risks and conditions and say, “No, not worth the risk.” They can favor younger, healthier individuals where they collect premiums but seldom pay.

A greater travesty still are those who don’t have coverage and are billed by providers for services at non-discounted rates. So the guy who can afford it the least gets a bill for $10,000 for the same service an insurer pays $2,000. This is a system that makes no sense.

And yes, we’re all paying for it. Most just don’t know it.

I love your column and read it faithfully.

Crystal Hammon

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