Interesting letter by one woman to her health insurance company in the Huffington Post this week:
Dear CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield,
I just received your letter, announcing the 20 percent hike in my health insurance premiums, due no doubt to rising health care costs. And I understand how insurance works: The healthy pay for more than they use to subsidize those who need more than they could afford to pay for. I’m grateful to be in the first group rather than the second (at least, so far).
As your records will show, the benefits you’ve paid on my behalf over the past 16 years amount to a small fraction of the premiums you’ve received from me. In part, this is because I’ve been lucky enough not to suffer a traumatic injury or be diagnosed with a catastrophic illness. But it’s not only luck. I keep up with preventive maintenance, like Pap smears and flu shots. I buckle my seat belt. I eat right, exercise, and maintain a healthy body weight. (What’s more, I spend the bulk of my professional life encouraging others to do the same.)
But the most significant thing I do, by far, is this: Whenever a practitioner proposes a test, drug, or procedure, I explain that I have a high deductible health insurance policy and will be paying entirely out of pocket. They almost always respond with an alternative plan that is equally satisfactory but less expensive. It turns out that an $8 antibiotic is often just as effective as an $80 one. A $100 ultrasound can sometimes render a $1,500 MRI unnecessary.
Do you have a high-deductible health insurance plan? Tell us about it in our discussion forum!
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