The Joy of Shopping for Insurance

The Joy of Shopping for Insurance

January 7, 2010  |  Blog

Ah, the search for the right health insurance plan. So much fun!

Recently, my fiancé was laid off. We’re in that in-between phase of coverage I’m sure a lot of Americans experience. Looking for insurance can be quite daunting. There are so many options, classifications and terms to know. It can become overwhelming. Like most people, we’d just like to be able to go to the doctor when necessary and know that our insurance will provide what we need, but there are so many limitations and options that one doesn’t know what they’re getting when seeking out the right plan. Why is it all so complex?

I’ve spent hours researching what our best choices are and I have to say, I can’t get over the details in each plan that directly affect the quality of insurance you receive. Do you elect to go with COBRA or do you shop around and figure out which insurance package will cover all bases and hope you don’t overlook something of major importance.

What irritates me most is treatment of “pre-existing conditions…” or, rather, lack thereof.

Scenario: You hurt your foot from a major fall in May ’09. You’ve gone through the many stages of treatment — x-rays, casts, splints, therapy, etc. required and are still going through treatment in December ’09. Whoops! You are laid off in December ’09. Uh-oh! You will lose your insurance unless you elect to go on COBRA. You know there are options available that would cover your needs as well as save a bit of money for other living expenses now that you’re unemployed, but oops… you don’t qualify because the foot you’re trying to fix is classified as a pre-existing condition. Game over. You lose!

That’s just bizarre. Some would say that person is lucky because they have at least one option for insurance. Never mind that they are receiving a fraction of their salary from unemployment benefits and may not be able to afford that option. But hey! They have the option, right? It’s their fault if they don’t use it. Ugh.

How about the millions of people looking for coverage whose pre-existing conditions will never qualify for treatment? Oh, you’ve been treated before for that foot. We’re pretty sure our services will be required more than anticipated up front so, no, we can’t treat your foot that will affect your quality of life and may eventually cause even more issues (that we will treat, by the way, since they don’t exist yet). Yeah, something is majorly wrong there. I know it’s an on-going issue and thank goodness our president, Mr. Obama, is working on it, but wow. I’m just appalled that this has been going on for so long and continues today.

As someone who’s currently experiencing the joys of the health care system first hand, I thought I’d share my thoughts on the issue as this week’s post. I’m sure there’s a lot to it I’m unaware of and I don’t claim to be 100% knowledgeable regarding the intricacies of the health care system, but as a consumer I just wish there were better/simpler options. While I’m glad I don’t have a pre-existing condition to worry about, I really feel for those who do. It makes the search all that more difficult.

A video from our president on the issue. I just hope that this all works out sooner than later.

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