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Maybe Sarah Palin Was Right About Death Panels

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hypocritexposer

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Sarah Palin warned of government “death panels” on her Facebook page and was nationally ridiculed. Politifact.com awarded Palin with the “Lie of the Year” for that statement. President Obama called her out during a joint session of Congress saying the claim is “a lie, plain and simple.”

I thought of Sarah Palin when I heard the story of Helen Wagner. Helen is 91 years old and is the mother of my sister-in-law Peggy. Give Helen five minutes and she will list a dozen times she has held death at bay. But now she is up against a much greater force: Medicare.

Helen lives with Peggy and my brother Bob. In August, she fell and broke her arm. In the emergency room at Lansdale Hospital, a doctor examined her and determined that the fall was probably caused by a minor stroke, possibly two. He was also concerned about a spot he saw on her lung on an X-ray. The doctor ordered more tests and said Helen would be “admitted.”

Only she wasn’t. Instead she entered a Twilight Zone of new Medicare regulations. Two days later the hospital called and said Helen would have to be picked up. When my sister-in-law asked about the tests, she was told they had not been done. In fact, Helen was never admitted to the hospital. She was just being “held for observation.”

A flurry of dialogue among the hospital, my brother and sister-in-law and doctors lasted four days and ended with a threat that Helen would have to be picked up or she would be transported to a nursing home with an available bed and the family would be billed.

My sister-in-law rushed to the hospital where, she says, her mother was weak and barely conscious. Peggy navigated her Mom’s broken arm and bruised leg as she dressed her and wheeled her out of the hospital. There were no discharge papers. (Lansdale Hospital would not comment on this specific case because of privacy laws.)

Helen and her family are just one of the latest victims of new Medicare regulations, and an even more recent crackdown on those regulations that cause agita for hospitals and heartbreak for families who care for the elderly.

The cost-saving rule is just a few years old and requires hospitals to hold some patients “for observation” instead of admitting them. The difference in terminology means that the hospital is reimbursed far less money than they would have if the patient had been “admitted.” When I asked a spokesperson from the hospital to tell me the difference in care between admission and observation, I was told, “There is none. It is just billing.” And yet, one would have to believe, that hospitals are reluctant to conduct tests that will be under-compensated or not covered at all.

Observation can last up to five days, according to the new rules. That may explain the hurried need to get Helen out of the hospital on day four. If a hospital doesn’t adhere to the Medicare regulations, it will face an audit that could mean a huge loss of federal reimbursement dollars.

The burden on families is even greater. If a patient is not admitted, rehab at the nursing home is not covered by Medicare. Even if you have private insurance, many companies base their criteria on Medicare. If Medicare is not covering, the insurance company isn’t either.

My brother and sister-in-law recently had a meeting with administrators at Lansdale Hospital, including the COO, who called the new Medicare rules “the bane of our existence.” Thousands of families have complained since “observation” started over five years ago.

According to the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, “observation” status claims climbed 26.7 percent from 2006 to 2009—from 828,353 to 1.131 million. The increase in claims for “observation” patients kept for more than 48 hours is startling. It tripled from 26,176 to 83,183.

Observations are supposed to be limited to 24 or 48 hours, with five days being the absolute maximum. CMS believes this shows hospitals believe many patients are too sick to go home and feel pressured into not admitting them under Medicare rules.

So what is the criteria for who gets to be admitted and who gets “observation”? Those who don’t get admitted don’t meet the “evidence-based criteria.” A minor stroke, for instance, can be seen as part of the normal aging process. Helen Wagner, like many people who make it to 91, has a pacemaker and can’t undergo an MRI, the test that would provide evidence of a stroke and its severity.

Helen is now at St. Mary’s nursing home. St. Mary’s is also feeling the Medicare pinch and support Bob and Peggy’s efforts to get the “observation” status changed to admission. The matter is going to an appellate board.

When I heard Helen’s story about a new crackdown on government rules that can impact a patient’s care because of their age. I couldn’t help but think that maybe Sarah Palin was right.

http://blogs.phillymag.com/the_philly_post/2011/10/20/sarah-palin-death-panels/
 
A

Anonymous

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Hypo: Went to the website you referenced and found quite a few post that do not agree with the article posted: Here is one of them. Plus I know of one woman that died several years ago, she had private insurance but the hospital that they wen to would not admit her. Her husband offered to write a check to pay, hospital said no way. This woman died in the ambulance on the way to another hospital. The hospital was sued and paid a pretty hefty award for this decision.

John Galt MD says:
October 20, 2011 at 2:11 pm

I see your policy is that you welcome thoughtful comments. I suggest that you begin applying that same standard to your thoughtless writers. Mr Mendte relates a personal anecdote that is consistent with what has been taking place for years and for many other people and has nothing to do with the new healthcare law. Ms Palin, like Mr Mendte is someone who is too stupid or too partisan to get her facts straight and when describing the non-existent death panels she was referring specifically to and lying about the new healthcare law. By choosing the title you did your writers and editors purposely linked two unrelated items. The other thing this ridiculous article missed is the fact that BEFORE medicare and medicaid hospitals refused treatment for tens of thousands in just the same way Mr Mendte described in his anecdote. The problem is with the hospitals not the law. You totally missed this one – the only open question is did you do do so purposely or out of incompetence?
[/url]
 

hypocritexposer

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and yet another comment:

Ozstickman says:
October 20, 2011 at 12:01 pm

Palin’s “death panels” is an apt description of bureaucrats made responsible for mandating levels of treatment Vs decisions made by patients in consultation with their physicians and patient’s families. Obamacare has to be repealed because it focuses on the wrong problem … access to health insurance, and then access to healthcare (rationing) because market forces are not allowed to operate freely …. health insurance is a problem not a solution. When the patient is responsible for payment (using cash from health savings accounts) they will question fees, tests ordered etc. and drive healthcosts down. Tort reform with loser pays is required so physicians do not order tests because they fear lawsuits …. get the lawyers out of healthcare. Reform the FDA and therefore neuter large pharma …. lots of other market driven reforms are available if we get government and bureaucracy out of the way


Hurley, is it true that the Government panel will now decide what treatments and drugs are available to a patient under "obamacare"?
 
A

Anonymous

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I thought this was about medicare. I am on medicare. I pay 30% each time I go to the doctor. I was diagnosed with diabetes a year ago. I was told that with a prescription I could get my glucose meter and supplies free. I elected not to. I bought a meter at Walmart for $9.00 and the strips cost $37 for 100. Works okay. I ask for generic every time a medicine is prescribed. I pay out of my own pocket. Had a prescription filled today 90 day supply $12. Beats the hell out of paying $2400 a year for a supplement policy that only pays for what medicare does not pay. I know friends that brag about being the most conservative in the county but want every thing that the government throws out that is free. Three year ago I went to the hospital emergency room. They did not know what was wrong but had me diagnosed before the wife had the car parked. All test were done and not any turned down. I had a lot of ex-rays when a MRI would have shown more. Maybe because of medicare. Any way to make a long story skinny I had a twisted intestine. Surgery required. Hospital bill $11,000 my part a little over $800. My take on Medicare best insurance I was ever on. Thanks to you all for helping me pay for it. My premiums are $1500 a year. A lot more than Tri-care that had a small raise and every one bitched about it.
 
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Anonymous

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Well hurley-- you are doing good with your payments/bills.... My current insurance- which we have paid into for 30-40+ years (for 25+ years on 2 separate companies because they were partial paid for by employment- which I picked up after retiring--- but when we started using it a few years ago-they told us we had to pick a "primary" one and the secondary wouldn't have to pay anything- even tho we paid to it for years - and up to date :???: )-- pays 80% of "SOME" of our hospitaliztion (emergency rooms, ultra sounds, cat scans- anything they don't want to pay tho they don't pay- or pay at a much less rate) and then of which the hospitals ask for immediated full payment- or that you have to sign up for a payment program note at an interest much higher than the banks... Doctor visits are part paid- we pay $20 of every $40-$60 visit.....

The worst is the agreement they have for paying 80% of the medicines...Some of the Pharmaceuticals that haven't lost the -patent yet on their medicines- charge exorbitant prices - to where when I developed a staph infection ( from I don't know where) it cost me $1000 a shot- for daily shots for a week... :shock:

My monthly pill bill (because of my diabetes) started running $150 a month after what the insurance would pay because of medication that had patents on them that charged as much as $350-400 a month for the medication... I told the pill companys and insurance folks they were what I qualify as "rapers and pillagers" (especially when you paid to 2 separate insurance companies for years and never used them- and they said only the one you picked as a "primary: would have to pay :roll: ) -- and told the Doc to stick the pills in her ears- and I would handle it myself..
 

Soapweed

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Oldtimer said:
Well hurley-- you are doing good with your payments/bills.... My current insurance- which we have paid into for 30-40+ years (for 25+ years on 2 separate companies because they were partial paid for by employment- which I picked up after retiring--- but when we started using it a few years ago-they told us we had to pick a "primary" one and the secondary wouldn't have to pay anything- even tho we paid to it for years - and up to date :???: )-- pays 80% of "SOME" of our hospitaliztion (emergency rooms, ultra sounds, cat scans- anything they don't want to pay tho they don't pay- or pay at a much less rate) and then of which the hospitals ask for immediated full payment- or that you have to sign up for a payment program note at an interest much higher than the banks... Doctor visits are part paid- we pay $20 of every $40-$60 visit.....

The worst is the agreement they have for paying 80% of the medicines...Some of the Pharmaceuticals that haven't lost the -patent yet on their medicines- charge exorbitant prices - to where when I developed a staph infection ( from I don't know where) it cost me $1000 a shot- for daily shots for a week... :shock:

My monthly pill bill (because of my diabetes) started running $150 a month after what the insurance would pay because of medication that had patents on them that charged as much as $350-400 a month for the medication... I told the pill companys and insurance folks they were what I qualify as "rapers and pillagers" (especially when you paid to 2 separate insurance companies for years and never used them- and they said only the one you picked as a "primary: would have to pay :roll: ) -- and told the Doc to stick the pills in her ears- and I would handle it myself..

You weren't very nice to that lady doctor. :roll:
 

Faster horses

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Soapweed said:
Oldtimer said:
Well hurley-- you are doing good with your payments/bills.... My current insurance- which we have paid into for 30-40+ years (for 25+ years on 2 separate companies because they were partial paid for by employment- which I picked up after retiring--- but when we started using it a few years ago-they told us we had to pick a "primary" one and the secondary wouldn't have to pay anything- even tho we paid to it for years - and up to date :???: )-- pays 80% of "SOME" of our hospitaliztion (emergency rooms, ultra sounds, cat scans- anything they don't want to pay tho they don't pay- or pay at a much less rate) and then of which the hospitals ask for immediated full payment- or that you have to sign up for a payment program note at an interest much higher than the banks... Doctor visits are part paid- we pay $20 of every $40-$60 visit.....

The worst is the agreement they have for paying 80% of the medicines...Some of the Pharmaceuticals that haven't lost the -patent yet on their medicines- charge exorbitant prices - to where when I developed a staph infection ( from I don't know where) it cost me $1000 a shot- for daily shots for a week... :shock:

My monthly pill bill (because of my diabetes) started running $150 a month after what the insurance would pay because of medication that had patents on them that charged as much as $350-400 a month for the medication... I told the pill companys and insurance folks they were what I qualify as "rapers and pillagers" (especially when you paid to 2 separate insurance companies for years and never used them- and they said only the one you picked as a "primary: would have to pay :roll: ) -- and told the Doc to stick the pills in her ears- and I would handle it myself..

You weren't very nice to that lady doctor. :roll:

With the government taking over healthcare, you won't have to be
nice, will ya? I mean, they have to take care of you regardless, right?
:p I thought since we won't have a voice in where we go, they
won't have a voice in yes we will care for you vs. no, we won't... :wink:
 
A

Anonymous

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Soapweed said:
Oldtimer said:
Well hurley-- you are doing good with your payments/bills.... My current insurance- which we have paid into for 30-40+ years (for 25+ years on 2 separate companies because they were partial paid for by employment- which I picked up after retiring--- but when we started using it a few years ago-they told us we had to pick a "primary" one and the secondary wouldn't have to pay anything- even tho we paid to it for years - and up to date :???: )-- pays 80% of "SOME" of our hospitaliztion (emergency rooms, ultra sounds, cat scans- anything they don't want to pay tho they don't pay- or pay at a much less rate) and then of which the hospitals ask for immediated full payment- or that you have to sign up for a payment program note at an interest much higher than the banks... Doctor visits are part paid- we pay $20 of every $40-$60 visit.....

The worst is the agreement they have for paying 80% of the medicines...Some of the Pharmaceuticals that haven't lost the -patent yet on their medicines- charge exorbitant prices - to where when I developed a staph infection ( from I don't know where) it cost me $1000 a shot- for daily shots for a week... :shock:

My monthly pill bill (because of my diabetes) started running $150 a month after what the insurance would pay because of medication that had patents on them that charged as much as $350-400 a month for the medication... I told the pill companys and insurance folks they were what I qualify as "rapers and pillagers" (especially when you paid to 2 separate insurance companies for years and never used them- and they said only the one you picked as a "primary: would have to pay :roll: ) -- and told the Doc to stick the pills in her ears- and I would handle it myself..

You weren't very nice to that lady doctor. :roll:

The lady is a sweetheart-- hell of a calf wrestler- even did some castrating- but everyone got tired of her being too slow- and precise- and surgical- and removed her from that job :wink: :lol:

And I got asked to by her and allowed to perform the wedding ceremony of her to a Nebraska boy a year ago ( who's mother was a kick in the butt country gal :) ) and we get along good...

And she realizes some medical things are becoming too expensive for folks- even with years of paying into insurance- to be able to live the lives the way they do or have in the past.....
 

hypocritexposer

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Oldtimer said:
Soapweed said:
Oldtimer said:
Well hurley-- you are doing good with your payments/bills.... My current insurance- which we have paid into for 30-40+ years (for 25+ years on 2 separate companies because they were partial paid for by employment- which I picked up after retiring--- but when we started using it a few years ago-they told us we had to pick a "primary" one and the secondary wouldn't have to pay anything- even tho we paid to it for years - and up to date :???: )-- pays 80% of "SOME" of our hospitaliztion (emergency rooms, ultra sounds, cat scans- anything they don't want to pay tho they don't pay- or pay at a much less rate) and then of which the hospitals ask for immediated full payment- or that you have to sign up for a payment program note at an interest much higher than the banks... Doctor visits are part paid- we pay $20 of every $40-$60 visit.....

The worst is the agreement they have for paying 80% of the medicines...Some of the Pharmaceuticals that haven't lost the -patent yet on their medicines- charge exorbitant prices - to where when I developed a staph infection ( from I don't know where) it cost me $1000 a shot- for daily shots for a week... :shock:

My monthly pill bill (because of my diabetes) started running $150 a month after what the insurance would pay because of medication that had patents on them that charged as much as $350-400 a month for the medication... I told the pill companys and insurance folks they were what I qualify as "rapers and pillagers" (especially when you paid to 2 separate insurance companies for years and never used them- and they said only the one you picked as a "primary: would have to pay :roll: ) -- and told the Doc to stick the pills in her ears- and I would handle it myself..

You weren't very nice to that lady doctor. :roll:

The lady is a sweetheart-- hell of a calf wrestler- even did some castrating- but everyone got tired of her being too slow- and precise- and surgical- and removed her from that job :wink: :lol:

And I got asked to by her and allowed to perform the wedding ceremony of her to a Nebraska boy a year ago ( who's mother was a kick in the butt country gal :) ) and we get along good...

And she realizes some medical things are becoming too expensive for folks- even with years of paying into insurance- to be able to live the lives the way they do or have in the past.....


for some reason you think those of us that have "Universal Healthcare" don't pay into it for years and do not deal with rising costs.......
 
A

Anonymous

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hypocritexposer said:
Oldtimer said:
Soapweed said:
You weren't very nice to that lady doctor. :roll:

The lady is a sweetheart-- hell of a calf wrestler- even did some castrating- but everyone got tired of her being too slow- and precise- and surgical- and removed her from that job :wink: :lol:

And I got asked to by her and allowed to perform the wedding ceremony of her to a Nebraska boy a year ago ( who's mother was a kick in the butt country gal :) ) and we get along good...

And she realizes some medical things are becoming too expensive for folks- even with years of paying into insurance- to be able to live the lives the way they do or have in the past.....


for some reason you think those of us that have "Universal Healthcare" don't pay into it for years and do not deal with rising costs.......

Do you pay into 2 "separate" (totally separate companies) systems for 40 years- and then when you file a major claim--get told by one that you have to choose which one you want to pay- and might as well drop the other because the Thousands $ you paid in to the other one mean nothing- and that only one policy (which you have to then choose) will pay for your coverage.... :???:
 
A

Anonymous

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hypocritexposer said:
Oldtimer said:
Soapweed said:
You weren't very nice to that lady doctor. :roll:

The lady is a sweetheart-- hell of a calf wrestler- even did some castrating- but everyone got tired of her being too slow- and precise- and surgical- and removed her from that job :wink: :lol:

And I got asked to by her and allowed to perform the wedding ceremony of her to a Nebraska boy a year ago ( who's mother was a kick in the butt country gal :) ) and we get along good...

And she realizes some medical things are becoming too expensive for folks- even with years of paying into insurance- to be able to live the lives the way they do or have in the past.....


for some reason you think those of us that have "Universal Healthcare" don't pay into it for years and do not deal with rising costs.......

Do you pay into 2 "separate" (totally separate companies) systems for 40 years- and then when you file a major claim--get told by one that you have to choose which one you want to pay- and might as well drop the other because the Thousands $ you paid in to the other one mean nothing- and that only one policy (which you have to then choose) will pay for your coverage.... :???:
 

hypocritexposer

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Oldtimer said:
hypocritexposer said:
Oldtimer said:
The lady is a sweetheart-- hell of a calf wrestler- even did some castrating- but everyone got tired of her being too slow- and precise- and surgical- and removed her from that job :wink: :lol:

And I got asked to by her and allowed to perform the wedding ceremony of her to a Nebraska boy a year ago ( who's mother was a kick in the butt country gal :) ) and we get along good...

And she realizes some medical things are becoming too expensive for folks- even with years of paying into insurance- to be able to live the lives the way they do or have in the past.....


for some reason you think those of us that have "Universal Healthcare" don't pay into it for years and do not deal with rising costs.......

Do you pay into 2 "separate" (totally separate companies) systems for 40 years- and then when you file a major claim--get told by one that you have to choose which one you want to pay- and might as well drop the other because the Thousands $ you paid in to the other one mean nothing- and that only one policy (which you have to then choose) will pay for your coverage.... :???:


yes, I pay into 2. Part of my taxes goes to paying for the "Universal" and then I pay for Blue Cross suplemental, because my government coverage does not cover everything.


And no, I would not try to scam the system, by trying to have both of them pay for the same thing. That is fraud and only raises the cost for us all.

Do you have 2 insurance policies on your truck? Would you expect both insurance companies to pay for the same autobody work?

Were you hoping to have your doctor friend slip you the cash difference?
 
A

Anonymous

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hypocritexposer said:
Oldtimer said:
hypocritexposer said:
for some reason you think those of us that have "Universal Healthcare" don't pay into it for years and do not deal with rising costs.......

Do you pay into 2 "separate" (totally separate companies) systems for 40 years- and then when you file a major claim--get told by one that you have to choose which one you want to pay- and might as well drop the other because the Thousands $ you paid in to the other one mean nothing- and that only one policy (which you have to then choose) will pay for your coverage.... :???:


yes, I pay into 2. Part of my taxes goes to paying for the "Universal" and then I pay for Blue Cross suplemental, because my government coverage does not cover everything.


And no, I would not try to scam the system, by trying to have both of them pay for the same thing. That is fraud and only raises the cost for us all.

Do you have 2 insurance policies on your truck? Would you expect both insurance companies to pay for the same autobody work?

Were you hoping to have your doctor friend slip you the cash difference?

I would never double charge an insurance compay for something I didn't receive...But for years I- and many others expected (and were told would happen) that our policy would cover what the other policies our spouses had- and were paying for family plans on would not cover....But as the years went by- that apparently went down the tubes....

But then the programs offered by the employers (who paid all/part of a single coverage) and would not allow you to put it into a "supplemental" coverage program- or a long term care program- or even take it in a life insurance policy....That is the reason this country needs major insurance reform.....

You pay for years- but when they are asked to come forward and pick up the overrides- they leave you setting... Things they never told you for years- until you needed it...

We definitely need major health care insurance reform... Why have insurance- that is worthless too you- as a job/salary benefit--- if the only one profitting from it is the insurance companies ?????
 

hypocritexposer

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Oldtimer said:
I would never double charge an insurance compay for something I didn't receive...But for years I- and many others expected (and were told would happen) that our policy would cover what the other policies our spouses had- and were paying for family plans on would not cover....But as the years went by- that apparently went down the tubes....

But then the programs offered by the employers (who paid all/part of a single coverage) and would not allow you to put it into a "supplemental" coverage program- or a long term care program- or even take it in a life insurance policy....That is the reason this country needs major insurance reform.....

You pay for years- but when they are asked to come forward and pick up the overrides- they leave you setting... Things they never told you for years- until you needed it...

We definitely need major health care insurance reform... Why have insurance- that is worthless too you- as a job/salary benefit--- if the only one profitting from it is the insurance companies ?????


buyer beware, I guess.

why would anybody pay for 2 employer plans?

Usually you choose between which spousal plan you are going to purchase as coverage.

You don't purchase both, expecting your employer to pick up part of the cost and then try to double claim.

sounds like you were trying to scam the insurance companies and got caught.
 
A

Anonymous

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hypocritexposer said:
Oldtimer said:
I would never double charge an insurance compay for something I didn't receive...But for years I- and many others expected (and were told would happen) that our policy would cover what the other policies our spouses had- and were paying for family plans on would not cover....But as the years went by- that apparently went down the tubes....

But then the programs offered by the employers (who paid all/part of a single coverage) and would not allow you to put it into a "supplemental" coverage program- or a long term care program- or even take it in a life insurance policy....That is the reason this country needs major insurance reform.....

You pay for years- but when they are asked to come forward and pick up the overrides- they leave you setting... Things they never told you for years- until you needed it...

We definitely need major health care insurance reform... Why have insurance- that is worthless too you- as a job/salary benefit--- if the only one profitting from it is the insurance companies ?????


buyer beware, I guess.

why would anybody pay for 2 employer plans?

Usually you choose between which spousal plan you are going to purchase as coverage.

You don't purchase both, expecting your employer to pick up part of the cost and then try to double claim.

sounds like you were trying to scam the insurance companies and got caught.

Many are paid for you totally/partially paid as an employment benefit..... My argument back then- even when they were falsely telling us they would pick up additional costs-- were to give folks alternatives (straight supplemental/long term care/life insurance) for the benefits... Which I have been proven to be right- as the continuing companies wiggled out....

But back during much of that time- folks trusted insurance companies...
 

hypocritexposer

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Oldtimer said:
hypocritexposer said:
Oldtimer said:
I would never double charge an insurance compay for something I didn't receive...But for years I- and many others expected (and were told would happen) that our policy would cover what the other policies our spouses had- and were paying for family plans on would not cover....But as the years went by- that apparently went down the tubes....

But then the programs offered by the employers (who paid all/part of a single coverage) and would not allow you to put it into a "supplemental" coverage program- or a long term care program- or even take it in a life insurance policy....That is the reason this country needs major insurance reform.....

You pay for years- but when they are asked to come forward and pick up the overrides- they leave you setting... Things they never told you for years- until you needed it...

We definitely need major health care insurance reform... Why have insurance- that is worthless too you- as a job/salary benefit--- if the only one profitting from it is the insurance companies ?????


buyer beware, I guess.

why would anybody pay for 2 employer plans?

Usually you choose between which spousal plan you are going to purchase as coverage.

You don't purchase both, expecting your employer to pick up part of the cost and then try to double claim.

sounds like you were trying to scam the insurance companies and got caught.

Many are paid for you totally/partially paid as an employment benefit..... My argument back then- even when they were falsely telling us they would pick up additional costs-- were to give folks alternatives (straight supplemental/long term care/life insurance) for the benefits... Which I have been proven to be right- as the continuing companies wiggled out....

But back during much of that time- folks trusted insurance companies...


we have partially paid for employer/employee plans in Canada too. We are aware of them OT. :lol:

For some reason you think the government covers everything up here. It doesn't and when we purchase additional insurance, whether through Blue Cross or employer, we check the contract/small print.

Is that what you forgot to do?
 

hopalong

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i see where oldtimer and joe biden are buddies, RAPE and PILLAGE :wink: :wink: oldtimers favorite sport, aside from watching KOP shows on tv to learn how to be a KOP[/b]
 

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