Home
 »  Community
 »  Blogs
Doris' Blog

Young Adults and Health Insurance


Doris' Blog
By: dorisjdickson


<< February 2009 >>
SunMonTueWedThuFriSat
1 2 3 4 5 6 7
8 9 10 11 12 13 14
15 16 17 18 19 20 21
22 23 24 25 26 27 28

 Blog Entries
Islet Cells Generation - Cure? I Think Not! - Oct 01
This article in Diabetes Health discusses yet another new potential "cure."  However, yet again, it requires immunosuppressants which are not an option to me.  ...
more
Cholesterol Conundrum - Sep 21
I recently wrote about Red Yeast Rice as an alternative to statins and the fact that it actually IS a statin since they contain the same active ingredients.  You just ...
more
Red Yeast Rice - It is a Statin - Do I Take It? - Sep 10
I receive Dr. Mercola's newsletter regularly.  I don't, however, regularly read it.  My concern is the amount of "stuff" sold on the website.  However, this ...
more
Diabetic ketoacidosis at onset of type 1 diabetes remains frequent in children - Sep 08
This article in yesterday's edition of Endocrine Today makes me scratch my head.  First and foremost, had this study been conducted in 1976 in the US and not in Germany, ...
more
Inaccurate Monitors and Strips - Sep 02
Some of you may have read about the FDA's recent warning about the inaccuracy of certain test strips while taking certain medications.  Honestly, I didn't pay much attention ...
more
Posted: Feb 19, 2009 12:25
  • 0 Comments.
  • Young Adults and Health Insurance

    Following is my response to a recent reprint of a 2006 article in Diabetes Health on the subject of diabetic students entering the world of finding good quality, affordable, medical insurance.  What I found since leaving college many years ago is that as a diabetic it is a life long project to find, obtain, and pay for good quality medical insurance.  Unfortunately, medical insurance uncertainty, expenses and uncertainty are not limited to "young adults."

     

    “As a former employee benefits specialist and type 1 diabetic of more than 32 years, this is the most comprehensive and accurate article on the subject I have ever read.  Thank you for reposting it.

     

    I currently pay $445 for a BC/BS Mass PPO with very good coverage and “reasonable” copays.  However, COBRA ends shortly and I will, again, be faced with the same challenges and choices I have made since I left college in 1984 – Russian roulette or debt and going without to pay medical insurance and supplies. 

     

    I have previously exercised the HIPAA continuation option under United HealthCare (UHC).  The benefits did not change dramatically.  However, after starting with a similar premium structure to the original group plan, UHC raised the premium every 6 months by about 20%.  It became entirely unaffordable very quickly.

     

    This time, I am required by the State of Massachusetts to buy health insurance whether I can afford it or not.  I am currently unemployed but my previous income is too high to qualify for any assistance under the Commonwealth Care standards which require my income be less than $31,212 per year. 

     

    That may be not be a bad thing.  A woman who lives with me has Commonwealth Care; no local doctors are participating.  She has to travel 20-30 minutes, several towns away, to a physician who does participate.  However, she does not drive.  Imagine that – low income with no car.

     

    BC/BS, Tufts, Harvard Pilgrim, Neighborhood Health, Fallon, and Health New England sponsor the plans available for purchase through Commonwealth Choice.  The premiums are hardly “affordable” as marketed by the Romney Administration enacted into law a few years ago.

     

    Prescription coverage is one of the most vital portions of a diabetic’s health care plan, since insulin and frequent glucose monitoring help keep diabetics from using the hospital admissions and emergency room coverage.  Yet, most of the “good quality” plans have prescription deductibles and 50/50 coinsurance, thereafter.  Who can afford a huge premium, deductible and 50/50 coinsurance on diabetes supplies?

     

    The only BS/BS plan that covers prescriptions without a deductible (and 50/50 coinsurance) is their HMO Blue Premium plan at $597 per month (rated by age and zip code)!  Even at that level, prescription copays are $10, $25 and $45.  Several insulin and test strips products are in the third-tier ($45).  The lower BC/BS priced plan ($467 per month) only uses the “basic” formulary.  I do not have access to the formulary to determine which medications are included in this plan.  The Tufts plans even limit choices of doctors and hospitals at the $484 per month premium level (their “best” plan) – equally as scary as limiting my prescription access.

     

    I am seriously contemplating choosing the conversion policy when offered to me.  Since continuation policies are normally offered month-by-month (so they can easily raise premiums), that also means I will not be committed for a long period. 

     

    Whichever choice I make it is going to be expensive.  The premiums alone are an entire unemployment check!  Add in three or four types of insulin, syringes, 15 test strips per day, thyroid, blood pressure, allergy medication, office visits, and lab tests.  I am fortunate.  I have never been treated to a trip to the emergency room or admitted to the hospital for any diabetes related complications.  Hmm … guess that means I have kept costs down for the insurers too.  How ‘bout they return the favor?”

     

    Doris J. Dickson

    Comments (0):
  • Add Comment


  • Tags:

    Related posts:

  • Previous Blog Post
  • Next Blog Post
  • Vlog: An Introduction to Gene Kelly
    Vlog: An Introduction to Gene Kelly
    Gene introduces himself and talks about his experience over the past 33 ...
    more more Featured Videos
    Cost Savings Tool
    Do you know the annual cost of managing your diabetes? Would you like to find ways to reduce your costs? Calculate your total budget and identify ways to save money. You can do this in just a few minutes by entering facts about the products you use. This quick analysis will provide you with a comprehensive overview of both spending and potential savings.

    Cost Savings Tool
    Monitor Comparison Tools
    Blood glucose monitors offer an easy way to test your blood sugar at home or on the go. Use this comparison tool as a guide to learn more about the features and benefits of your current monitor or to find a new one.
    Handheld Monitor Comparison
    Continuous Glucose Monitor Comparison
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    Ever wonder if you are at a healthy weight? Then enter your height and weight in our advanced Body Mass Index (BMI) calculator. This tool provides you with two important numbers reflecting the estimated impact of your present body weight and shape upon your overall health.
    Advanced BMI Calculator
    more Care Tools
    Home | About Us | Press | Make a Suggestion | Content Syndication | Terms of Service | Editorial Policy | Privacy Policy
    Last updated: Dec 5, 2019  © 2019 Body1 All rights reserved.