Wednesday, April 22, 2015


     It's gotten steadily worse.  When I started in my present job -- which was, I admit, before anyone outside of colleges and the .gov was on The Innerwebz -- my employer offered traditional insurance.  It was a benefit.  Didn't take a dime from your pay.  It didn't cover routine doctor visits, just hospitalization, imaging and physical therapy.  Then they added prescription drugs and physicals and the price went up, up--

     And my employer switched to a PPO.  That cost employees a little, but in return, there wasn't much they didn't cover and their network of physicians was huge.   Even then, in-network and out of network  payouts differed by less than ten percent, anyway, so you really only needed to keep track for big stuff.

     Over time, options shrank, the network shrank, and it cost more.  Eventually, my employer switched to a different company.  They had a smaller network and only two plans, a kind of high-deductible basic one and a fancier one that cost more, but had a low deductible and slightly better coverage.  Out of network providers were not covered very well.

     Their network kept getting smaller, they dropped the "nicer" plan, and the price kept going up.

     After I went to the ER with a kidney stone earlier this year, I had a call from the hospital: according to their records, I didn't have insurance!  I was annoyed the hear this and gave them my insurance information again.  I haven't heard back.

     Recently, we were informed that our PPO no longer has a network in Indiana.  They were one of the smaller companies in this state, and their analysts decided it wasn't cost effective.  As of the first of this year, they are still our health insurer -- but we have been in some other network.  And none of the online network-membership checking works for us.

     Do I even have insurance in any meaningful way any more?  I'm not sure.

     I think I might do better going to Vegas, finding a bookie, and making a series of bets against my health. --And paying for my own routine medical stuff.