Health Insurance


Wow! What a response to our Health Insurance Survey! I think this is our biggest response yet, this is obviously an area which many are interested in.

Let’s start the week by finding out how satisfied you are with your current health insurance. We asked: Do you have health insurance? If so, are you satisfied with your coverage? Why or why not?

And you said:

Yes. Yes. Even though I don’t like the idea of “starting over” each Jan. 1 with the deductible on our policy, the 80% the company pays after that on most things, and 100% of others enables me to receive the health care and medications I need. -Nanny

Medicare-disability just started 01/02. I can’t seem to find a supplemental insurance (GA) that will help cover what Medicare doesn’t pay and meds. -Daisy

Yes, I have health coverage. Yes, I am fairly satisfied with it. -Linda T

Yes, I have health insurance, that is one of the main reasons I continue to work is for Health Insurance. The company I work for just changed insurance, but I trust they have found one that will work for everyone. -Susan

I have health insurance through work. I’m very satisfied at the moment. We all know that if I don’t work, I will have to pay for COBRA which is very expensive and only for 18 months. -Bettty

Yes, I have health insurance and I’m very happy with it. I can see any doctor I choose and the coverage is wonderful, the only downside is prescriptions. The copay for prescriptions seems to increase too often. -Heather

Yes, I have it. I wish it wasn’t so expensive and wished that it covered more of my own preferred healing methods, such as massage, accupuncture, and naturopathy. -Stephanie

I have health coverage thru my husbands work as a primary and medicare is my secondary. We just changed at beginning of year so I haven’t had much experience with it yet. We had to switch from a PPO plan to coventry HMO. One good thing is that we now have a prescription plan with no monetary limit whereas the previous plan was limited to $3000 a year per person & I used mine up before june if I put everything on it so I usually paid for some & put others on the card so that if I had to purchase an unexpected expensive one I would be able to get it. Sometimes I would still have to put the inexpensive ones on the card because we just didn’t have any more than the $10 or $15 copay. I always ended up running out of it by October and then I had to start picking which pills I would take that day or week sometimes and do without the rest. Some of the pills I would do an every other day to stretch. I know it isn’t good to do that but my meds run over $1,000 a month which is more than the SS benefit I received. The HMO plan we have now is unlimited but the copay is higher for the dr which went from $10 to $25 (medicare picks that up after the deductible) and the copay for meds is anywhere from 20 to $50 and they don’t pay for the mtx injec since my husband gives it to me at home which is strange because they would pay for it if I went to the dr office every week to get it for which they would also have to pay for the nurse to give it to me minus copay of course. I just hope I don’t have to go from one place to see the dr another place for x-rays and another place for lab, etc. I had to do that on a plan we had a few years ago and it was ridiculous. I also had to get auth. from my family dr almost every time I saw the specialists but I don’t have to with this plan because they said its an open ended plan so I guess that part is good. I just don’t know why you can’t go to the drs office and get everything you need done there like x-rays and lab and stuff like you used to be able to do. My husband had to take off work so many times to take me to 3 different places where It could have been done at one. We spend almost $200 a month on insurance between his plan and my medicare on top of all the copays and things not covered. When I run across something that isn’t covered or I have to make all those stupid trips everywhere all over town I try to remember those who don’t have any insurance or help with their meds and be thankful I have what we have. I know there are people out there suffering horribly because they have no means to pay for the right treatment if any treatment at all much less any medications that cost so much that even a person earning a decent salary to live on can’t pay. We are middle income but with medical bills and everything else that goes with being disabled we are poor. Sometimes, I wonder if my husband ever regrets marrying me (I didn’t have this when we married) or if he ever thinks about just leaving so he doesn’t have to work so hard and have nothing to show for it except for medicine bottles and a lot of heat and serve dinners or peanut butter sandwiches. Guess I got off the subject for a minute but regardless of how I might end up disliking my insurance company I hope to remember those who would love to have my insurance company. -Marena

Currently yes, I am very lucky. As long as I work I have insurance, but if I don’t we have none! -Denise

Yes. Not satisfied because it doesn’t cover certian things needed with my condition (Reiter’s Syndrome) i.e. coxx-2 inhibitors, orthodics, etc. -Ryan

When I found out I had RA, my husband rushed out to get coverage for me. (He is worker’s comp, and you have a choice of paying 432.00 per month to keep it going or get in the red) Most of the insurance companies would not touch me or be on the policy for a year before you could use it. Things got so bad, I was in bed, my husband got on the phone and caled everywhere for help. They sent me to a clinic, a first year looked at me and yelled tests, but cash first. One blood test cost 150.00. And gave me nothing to boot. The next time I went in, a temp. Doctor didn’t need no fancy test, he saw, and told us what was going on. He contacted the A.F., from there, it took off. There was a 3month waiting list, but Lori for A.F. cut threw the red tape and I was in the next day. Because of a lot of prayer partners, Now I have a super Doctor, who takes care of me. The county has taken us under thier wing, and with payment arrangements, I can have a life again. But it is sad that other doctors would like 200.00 to 300.00 upfront first before they see you. We will find a cure! -Margaret

No, I have no coverage at all..Just Medicare which really doesn’t cover any Meds!! -Nancy

I am losing it. The coverage I had was a BlueCross “product”. I could afford it, just barely but nevertheless I could afford it. BlueCross decided they didn’t need that product anymore and discontinued it. The new product they are offering in its place gives about 1/2 the coverage and costs almost twice as much. Not only that but they are demanding the payments be made 3 months in advance in full or I will have to allow them access to my bank account so they can take the money out themselves. -Margot

Yes, my husband had very good coverage through his employer. We pay lots more every year for our portion of the coverage, but the co pay is still only $15 per visit, and it covers everything! So, I have no complaints. His company self insures, but it is handled thru Aetna US Healthcare. They cause us some problems, but nothing we cant handle. -Elaine

Yes I have coverage but it only has $1800 for post surgery pt & $1000 for non-surgery pt. It does not pay for massage no matter what. -Belinda

Yes, I am satisfied with coverage but too much time and money is spent by Ins. co. on paperwork. This increases the cost of Ins. too much. -Linda B

I do have health insurance. However, I am not certain for how much longer since I have been home on disability since May 2001 and do not see myself returning to work any time soon. -Kristine

I am fortunate to have excellent health insurance through my employer. However, I also feel somewhat trapped to stay working full time there in order to keep the coverage -Beth

very satisfied. -Carla

I have health coverage through my employer. I have not been covered under my health plan long enough to evaluate it. -Jennifer

I have Blue Cross Blue Shield MedPoint, provided through my former employer. I retired on disability with the State Retirement System (NC) and my coverage was to be provided free of charge until I am Medicare age. However, the County Commissioners lowered the basic coverage of all employees from Plan B to Plan C. I could not afford the extra deductible, and higher co-pays. So, I opted to pay extra to keep my Plan B coverage. We did have Plan A, then Plan B, then Plan C…I am wondering if they will eventually provide no insurance at all!
I am satisfied only because any insurance is better than none! -Anita

yes I have State Medical. -Kay

just got new card yesterday from the ex, totally unexpected… is CIGNA…higher co’s and scrips-prim.dr. and rheum dr. on plan, but had to cancel dr. appt yesterday for hand specialist not on plan!
(2 out of 3 isn’t bad)….with new dx. of RSD, i am a little scared of increases on my limited budget!! -Maggie

Yes, Medicare (primary,due to the fact that I’m on Social Security Disability) United Health Care,which allows me to be on Enbrel and Arava. -Peggy

Yes I have health insurance.
No, I am not satisfied with it. First, you must choose in network MD’s in order to avoid sending in forms all the time and to get the least expensive cost. Many of the in network specialists are overbooked with patients and they do not want to spend the necessary time with patients. My employer did not allow us to get the best service possible with our plan as compared to some other large
companies. I am glad however, that I do have some health plan as opposed to those who do not or must pay for it out of their pockets. The worst thing
about the plan is that it can be confusing and time consuming to understand all the rules especially about hospital stays, surgeries, lab work, and keeping track of out of network expenses and reimbursements. The healthy really don’t know how lucky they are! -Maureen

Yes. Not satisfied. Blue Cross of California always gives me alot of trouble with my prescription for Relafin. And every year the costs go up, our co-pay goes up. -Carol

Yes, it’s a HMO. Decent coverage. -Mary

Yes I have health insurance.
I’m not completely satisfied with it. It covers acupuncture for only those people with drug addictions but not for chronic pain. It doesn’t cover treatments that I have found to be helpful like Reiki (it’s too far out there for them…there’s no significant studies that have proven that this will help with chronic pain). -Jen

Yes, I have Medicare and Medicaid at this time and so far I have excellent medical care and wonderful doctors!! -Lori


Yes,I have health insurance. I am pretty happy with it. The only thing I am unhappy about is not having dental or vision insurance. My medical insurance so far I am happy with. -Jill

We are very satisfied with the coverage and quality of our coverage by Optimim Choice in Maryland. My husband is 62 years old, in good health & self employed. I am 59 years old but would have died from RA complications 2 years ago if it were not for the world class staff at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore. I am considered a medical miracle in Hopkins because my weakened immune system allowed me to develop a fungal infection called Disseminated Histoplasmosis. My kidneys, lungs, pancreas, liver, spleen and bone marrow all essentially failed at the same time. This cost our insurance company almost $500,000 for my 81 day hospital stay. But the insurance compmnay never quibbled and has renewed us twice since then – but for 25% more money each year. No other insurance company will now touch us. We currently pay $950 per month plus $10, $20 or $30 per drug perscription and $10 or $20 per doc visit. -Judy


I have health insurance through my company. It does a good job for the most part, but the co-pays are kinda high. Scripts are $30 each, as are Dr. visits. -Michael

Yes, I do have health coverage through my employer. It is not as good as it was a few years back but I am pretty much satisfied with it. -Toni

Yes. I am currently satisfied with my health ins. It covers all of my arthritis meds as well as tests and Dr. visits.
The downside is that I am recently divorced, and while eligible for COBRA which I have obviously elected, I an unable to access healthcare which is closer that a 3 hour drive from home. I am sticking with it though, because the care for RA which I receive now at UCLA is exemplary. -Janice

Yes. I have medical through work and seems to pay off well. -Bob

Yes. I am very satisfied with my coverage. I am fortunate in that I work for a large school district and have 80% coverage on most things and 100% on well checkups. I also have prescription insurance with a $2 pay for generic and $5 pay for name brand prescriptions. I never appreciated the coverage I have until getting RA last year. Now I know the importance of it all and it has helped me to be an advocate for families with no or poor health coverage. Americans need better health care coverage. -Cynthia

I have medicare and medigap. The coverage is adequate. -Barbara

Im on cobra coverage for another year -June

Yes, I am very satisfied with my coverage. After I meet my $200 deductable (one trip to pharmacy), they pay 90% of all medical bills. -Leftie

Yes I have insurance….just had to change though because my Medicare HMO changed so drastically in things covered ….went to Cigna, another Hmo which seems to have same coverage as before. -Judy H

Yes! I have health insurance, and I thank God for it everyday! I am very satisfied-I pay $6.00 for Enbrel! It is coverage that can’t be beat, I pay nothing for it, just a co-pay for Dr’s visits. It covers my entire family as well. I just hope I can keep working long term to keep it that way! -KP

yes I do. I have Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Alabama through the hospital that I work as an RN. I am on a plan that calls for one PCP (Plan of Care Physician) He or she completley directs the care given in the form of referrals. Being a nurse already gives me an edge on knowing what or whom I may need to see and a good commaraderie with my physician is a must. SO, in essense this plan is basicaly dependant on how good is your General Practitioner that you choose to be your PCP. -Lynn

I’m an Australian and our system is really different to that in the US – but I still have health insurance. Public waiting lists are too long for me to take the risk.
We get subsidised doctors treatment but you have to pay for private hospitalisation (and elective matters in the public system). -Amanda

Yes, I have health insurance and am very satisfied with my current coverage. I have had no trouble getting meds such as Enbrel covered and have my choice of surgeons and doctors. -Sue K

Yes, through my husband’s job. Reasonably satisfied with it because they immediately started covering my dr visits even though until they got a HIPPA form from me they were not supposed to. -Waynette

Yes, I do have medical insurance. The coverage is great, but the cost is so high. As I get older, I am 58 now, the cost is increased every year for one reason or another and I resent that. With the high cost of medications I am glad I chose a plan with perscription coverage. I don’t know what I will do about the meds. when I retire. -Royale

Yes, I have insurance..does not cover perscrptions…cost of drugs is mind boggling. -Anne

Join us everyday this week as we look into Health Insurance.