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Losing It

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John Reynolds | CNBNews.net

I've been reading about the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare™. It's supposed to overhaul our current healthcare system, which is going bankrupt. There are a number of problems with the way we have been paying for healthcare in this country over the last 49 years since Lyndon Johnson enacted Medicare: medical tests and procedures are expensive; doctors are expensive and they get paid for the services and tests they provide, whether they're needed or not; people over 65 consume more services than they paid into; young people and those that don't work are not paying into the system; and anyone who walks into an emergency room must get treated, regardless of whether they have insurance, money, or  "documentation." Private insurance has been subsidizing all of this for years.


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The new system kicked in January 1 of this year. I remember the President lecturing us "if you like your current healthcare plan, you can keep it" – there was nothing to worry about. What he didn't tell us was that it would cost us more money to keep it.

I work for a small company that had a good health insurance plan for years. We had to switch to a more affordable plan this year to keep costs down. Comparing the costs and benefits of the two plans, the new plan looked similar to our old one. But after one week, I realized that I wouldn't be getting the $150 dollar a year “Healthy Lifestyle” reimbursement for going to a gym and sitting around watching TV. My new plan only covers a limited number of gyms in my area that I never heard of. And after going to my doctor, I also learned that the Kennedy Health System that covers most of the hospitals around here is having a problem with my new insurance company over the amount of reimbursements. My doctor told me that Kennedy is trying to pressure the doctors that are affiliated with Kennedy to not accept my new insurance. As far as I know, my insurance was accepted. I'm no expert on this, but I can't see how a hospital can lock out an insurance company from operating in an area.

I mentioned this to our Human Resource Manager, but she didn't seem too concerned, “just a couple of snags, things will work more smoothly once the Obamacare™ website bugs get worked out.”

Last week I got a call at 5PM as I was leaving work, ready to go to my Dentist for some drilling and filling. I was looking forward to this, but the dental office told me they had a problem with the predetermination status with my insurance company. I've had the same insurance and Dentist for over 10 years and never had a problem. "Did my company pull a fast one and switch us to Obamatooth?", I wondered. No, we had the same insurance company. I talked to our Human Resource Manager, and she told me to talk to our insurance broker. I called them and they assured me that everything was taken care of. I called the insurance company and they didn't know what the broker was talking about. I called the broker back and she said she would talk to the insurance company and get back to me.

Meanwhile, our Human Resource Manager scheduled a life insurance broker to talk to us about insurance options. The broker explained the various choices, and recommended the best ones. I don't care that much about accidental and life insurance, and wasn't paying close attention, so I followed her advice and signed the papers, figuring when I get the paperwork in the mail I'll see what I'm paying for. At the end of the meeting, she handed out cards with phone numbers for various services that come with the plan. One of the numbers was for mental health counseling in case we get stressed and feel we might lose it.

 As I'm looking at the card, our Human Resource Manager walked by. I told her I was still having problems with our dental insurance. She told me to talk to the broker. I told her about our new mental health consultation service and inquired if we also had a legal service I could call in case the mental health advice didn't work out and I needed a lawyer and a bail bondsman. I also told her that I would hold her personally responsible if my dental insurance problems weren't worked out.

The next day, my Project Manager called me into his office and notified me that Human Resources was concerned about a potential problem with the Labor Department, and possibly the Justice Department, if I continued to threaten people at work. I told him I wasn't up on the latest Human Resource rules, and wasn't aware there was a zero-tolerance policy in the workplace for harassing or threatening people based on their race, creed, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, or because you feel like killing them.

I went to Gloucester Catholic in '72 and currently live in Gloucester Township. If I offended anyone, fell free to unload on me at my blog

 

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