Snake Bit – It’s health insurance renewal time

Don't get Snake Bit by the health insurance industryEven more than the demographics of aging, the perverse incentives of insurance companies and the Fee-for-Service business model are driving healthcare costs higher and higher. Take control now or get snake bit later.

The United States ranks 47th in life expectancy at birth, behind Bosnia, and 54th, behind Bangladesh, in “fairness,” a measure of the extent to which the best care is available equally throughout a country.  — Wendell Potter

Halloween’s passing means it’s time to renew your health insurance

Insurers make it nearly impossible for consumers to find out in advance what is actually covered by their policy and you’ll pay if you get injured or sick. That’s why the Affordable Care Act that Obama signed last year requires full disclosure in plain and simple terms. But it’s not that simple.

According to this article by Wendell Potter, industry lobbyists are working furiously to gut the provision by exempting policies sold where people work. Potter is a former insurance company PR executive and now an analyst for the Center for Public Integrity. His new book, Deadly Spin: An Insurance Company Insider Speaks Out on How Corporate PR Is Killing Health Care and Deceiving Americans, is available on and provides valuable insights.

Fortunately, several consumer groups are on your side, including Consumers Union. They’re calling for uniform, simplified and understandable health plans, regardless of whether they’re sold through employers, unions, or other groups, so you know what you’re buying and can do “apples-to-apples” comparisons.

Compare Plans Thoroughly

Yvonne and I were on the same IBM retiree health plan for several years, so we just renewed again without reading the details and comparing plans and matching them with our actual and expected expenses. That’s when we got bit. The plan had major changes that made it much less affordable, and premiums consumed nearly half of my IBM pension, but we couldn’t change until next October during the annual signup period.

Don’t let that happen to you or you could end up like this guy. (Scroll down for image since it’s too scary to show here.)




















snake bit


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