You Said It: Today's Health Insurance
'Horrendous' … And Other Comments
By John Florian
©2008 VoiceOverXtra LLC
Financial pain and worry is evident in comments from voice actors about their health insurance situations, received as part of an April 2008 industry survey by VoiceOverXtra.
“I would welcome any information that would sort out the mess that is the health insurance conundrum,” says a voice actor.
Indeed, for some, the need is critical. Slightly more than 18% of the survey respondents do not have any form of health insurance. And even among those currently covered, there is worry.
These comments from voice actors tell some of the stories behind the numbers. (Also see the full survey report.)
CASE #1. ‘GETTING WORSE’
“Health insurance is just ridiculous these days and is only getting worse.
“My husband's company has now put them on the HSA (health savings account) program. Sure, you have insurance. But we pay out huge every month and then they only cover well checks!
“So far, not a single prescription has been covered, and it all goes towards the deductible.
“We are a hard-working family paying heavily for an insurance policy that is basically for something major. It hurts! We are not the only ones in this situation, either, as most can't even afford what we have!
“I wouldn't want standardized health care, but surely there must be a company out there that can provide better and more affordable coverage!”
CASE #2. WHERE MONEY GOES
“I have a pre-existing condition, so have a $5,000 per year deductable, and I pay $400 a month premium. Yet we only have major medical on my son and husband, for which we pay $300 a month premiums. But this does not include dental.
”All of our money goes to mortgage and insurance.”
CASE #3. HARD TO COMPARE PLANS
“Due to the limited union contracts, I have not qualified for AFTRA health insurance for many years now, and have switched several times - always trying to find the balance of cost for services provided.
“It is NOT easy. There is nothing similar about plans. It takes days and days to gather information. Weeks to figure out what the differences are. Weeks to fill out the damn paperwork to apply. Weeks to wait for them to get back to you about stupid things that are not relevant anymore.
“It is really a horrendous system.”
CASE #4. PRE-EXISTING CONDITION
"When my union insurance ran out, I got coverage under the umbrella group Media Alliance, in San Francisco. But then the insurance company decided that Media Alliance no longer qualified as a 'group.'
“I had to go to private Kaiser for insurance. I have pre-existing conditions - high cholesterol and minor allergies - and they will take me as member, but will not cover medications. You don't get to be 60 without some kind of medical history.
“My monthly premium will go to $500 on my birthday this month and my meds cost about $350 a month. I am living to pay my health insurance!
"Another birthday and the cost of my health insurance will match my mortgage payment. I have no answers except try to survive to 65 and pray Medicare will still be in place. What a way to live!*$#?”
CASE #5. ‘DOESN’T MAKE SENSE’
“Aside from an extreme health emergency, the cost of monthly health insurance premiums far exceeds the benefit of having the 'privilege' to pay 20% of the medical bills.
“From personal experience, I know that by NOT having health insurance I am in a position where I can negotiate a reasonable fee with my doctors for health care, outside of regular office visits.
“For example, several years ago I had major surgery, which WITH insurance would have cost me at least 20% of a $24,000 bill ON TOP of all the monthly premiums I would have paid - probably for several years up to that date and beyond.
“The total cost WITHOUT insurance came in at considerably less than the cost of accrued premiums and the 20% of the bill.
“For me, having health insurance simply doesn't make sense."
MORE COMMENTS …
I’M COVERED, BUT …
FUTURE REPORTS ...
In future reports, VoiceOverXtra will share suggestions of survey respondents for easing the worry and financial burden of health insurance in the U.S. The reports will also point out additional health insurance options.
Subscribe to free VoiceOverXtra newsletters to ensure receiving these reports.
And for questions about this survey, or to offer additional comments and suggestions, please contact info@VoiceOverXtra.com; 203-459-8834.