Sunday, September 4, 2011

Health Care Update IV

The true test of any American health insurance program is not whether or not it accepts you as a customer and takes your premium, but whether it actually does what it's supposed to. After our first doctor's visit and first bill from Regence BlueShield of Idaho, it seems we've found a provider that does what it says it will.

It's a curious thing, having a health insurance plan we actually dare use because it does provide some benefits. With our former insurer (Assurant Health) we got basically nothing and paid for the privilege. Going with the not-for-profit Blue Shield actually gets us some benefits at about the same price.

And the bills are certainly easier to read. Whether or not this comes from Obamacare doesn't matter to me. What matters is that BlueSheild tells us what coverage we've still got left on the wellness program as we use it, and how much of the family deductible we've met. Importantly, out of a bill of roughly $400 for some checkups for Michelle, they're paying all but $65. Yes, at this point, we've paid more in premiums than we would have if we'd paid the bills out of pocket, but I like the idea that we could have to go to the doctor again later this month and have some coverage again for the same premium price.

It's not that we're looking to hit the lottery here -- break an arm and win a prize. But it's just nice to know that if someone does get hurt or needs some medical attention, we don't have to plunge instantly into savings to pay the bills. So take me off the "moderately pissed-off" list and put me on the "cautiously optimistic" list for now. That's an improvement in my book.

And if these advantages are coming from Obamacare, kudos to Obamacare. I'd rather have Obamacare than what we had before, if this is indeed helping.

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