Thank God I’ll never be a movie star

Against my better judgement, I’m RELUCTANTLY directing you all to Blue Shield’s website where the company’s “chatbox” toured the state and collected people insurance horror stories. I wrote about the chatbox in this post. I do so reluctantly, because, my story is embarassingly on there for all to see. My boss, Anthony, never told me that public humiliation was a hazard of this job.

But there are LOTS of other far more interesting stories on the site.

  • One man’s insurance company refused to pay for surgery to fix the pain he felt when he walked. “Because I could walk, even though I was in great pain, they said it wasn’t necessary.”
  • Another man’s insurance refused to pay for his hernia operation because he didn’t have prior authorization. “Why in the hell would anyone have a hernia operation for fun.”
  • One woman’s insurance refused to pay for necessary prescription drugs prescribed by a doctor. They still have the insurance, but pay for the drugs out of pocket. “We pay more in health care costs, for our insurance and our co-pays than we do for our mortgage.”
Ironically, Blue Shield’s story collection efforts all come together as good evidence for health advocates as we fight for:
  • Employer mandate or mandatory employer contribution
  • Improved standards and rules on insurers
  • Streamlined administration
  • Limited out-of-pocket costs
The comments really do a good job at illustrating what a huge hassle it is to deal with insurance companies, how much time and life they suck out of you, and and even question whether insurance is really worth it.
Who knows, maybe Blue Shield will help convince everyone that we SHOULD have a single-payer system and be rid of insurance companies altogether!

In the meantime, we certainly hope Blue Shield earnestly wants to hear from “real people” because they really want to fix things, not just attract more traffic to their website.
Health Access California promotes quality, affordable health care for all Californians.
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