Monday, May 17, 2010

New Health Care Bill and Health Insurance

In The State Journal Register, Springfield, IL, there was an article on Wellpoint Insurance rates and how they were expecting a 39 percent rate increase for some customers. Wellpoint is the largest publicly traded health insurer based on membership, and it runs Blue Cross Shield plans and Unicare plans. This insurance company is well known in many states. The article was printed before the health care bill passed, and many thought this was a good example of how universal health care was a necessity for America.

As mentioned before, there was an expected 39 percent increase; however, the company had a 2.7 billion dollar profit in the fourth quarter of 2009. If the insurance company had such a large profit why would there be a need for 39 percent increase for those covered? Personally, I find it very disturbing that companies make profit off of health insurance. While people are struggling to pay medical bills, finding coverage, or going uninsured, companies are making billions of dollars. I find it immoral for businesses making a profit from people being sick, injured, or dying.

This semester I have been very ill and was taken to the hospital. I had a hard time finding hospitals or medical facilities I could go to that my insurance covered. I later discovered I needed surgery; however, my insurance company did not cover doctors in Springfield. They gave me a three month emergency period to get the surgery, and luckily there happened to be an opening within the time limit. Instead of waiting until I was on summer or spring break from school, I had to go by what the insurance companies would allow, which created stress and anxiety. My parents spent hours on the phone with the insurance company just to allow this, and it was a nightmare. I feel like although my experience was an unpleasant one, I was very lucky because I was able to get the procedure done. Many people cannot afford health care payments and have problems finding doctors that will accept Medicaid.

In one of the most significant policies to pass, the new health care bill will hopefully eliminate the stress and demands the insurance companies have, or at least allow for an alternative for people without insurance. The new health care bill allows coverage for children with pre-existing conditions, free preventative care under Medicare, banning of lifetime limits on coverage, prohibiting discrimination based on salary, and a number of other services (

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