Monday, January 28, 2008

Private Health Insurance Has Its Limits

It seems some Americans are learning that their gold-plated, private healthcare insurance policies may not be all they bargained for. According to the Washington Post, if you get really ill, you could be in a lot of trouble - financial trouble.

"A small but growing number of American families beset by major medical problems are learning the hard way that simply having health insurance is sometimes not enough.

Those who need organ transplants or who have hemophilia, Gaucher disease or other costly chronic illnesses can easily rack up medical bills that blow through the lifetime benefits cap of $1 million or more that is a standard part of many insurance policies.

That has left some very sick people facing health-care tabs of hundreds of thousands of dollars or more, prompting their families to seek help from the government, or to scramble to change jobs or even divorce for no other reason than to qualify for new health insurance. And it has led some advocates for the chronically ill to plan a new lobbying effort in hopes of persuading Congress to require that insurers increase lifetime caps to as high as $10 million.

Statistics on how many people exceed the lifetime caps are hard to come by, but advocates note that the amount of many caps hasn't changed in decades, or at least has not kept up with health-care inflation and the sky-high cost of lifesaving new therapies, making it more likely that people will reach the limit."


Anonymous said...

I do not think there should be caps when it comes to healthcare.

What do you think of some of the politicians in Canada who want to go to private sector for healthcare? Stelmach and company? It is scary.

Anonymous said...

Yes and those insurance companies would dearly love to move north of the boarder. Is that why our health care in Canada is so very bad? Make it bad enough and people will opt out for private health care...which is what is happening. The Americans look upon us as the 13 Federal Reserve anyway. Just a matter of time.

Anonymous said...

Private Health Insurance has its Limits --- Absolutly true -- so does Public Health Insurance. The difference is that NO ONE is calling for a totally private health insurance scheme while the NDP, Liberals and Bloc all demand that ONLY public health insurance system is permissible. There is overwhelming proof it is failing. Overwheliming proof people are suffering and dying because of its limitations and, still, we are not permitted to discuss any of the dozens of alternatives because to do so brings out the screaming harpies on the left with their US style health care rants. There are literally dozens of examples of better systems and better outcomes that we should be examining but until the left wing opens its eyes, we will be stuck with a system that is growing worse and worse. One day, enough people will be upset enough they will strom parliament and demand a deconstruction of the current system - at that stage it will be too late to convince them there are benifits to public health -- a mix of both is the solution.

The Mound of Sound said...

Ron, do you have anything to back up your opinion that there are "dozens of examples of better systems?" There have been several studies over the past few years of various healthcare systems and public healthcare consistently comes out on top. I'd like to read what you're relying on.