Las Vegas Sun

January 29, 2015

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Letter to the editor:

Put Congress on our health plan

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Many of my elderly senior citizen friends were informed that their insurance company went bankrupt.

They were told they would have to find new insurance, and the only option given was that they could attend meetings where an insurance broker would give them alternatives. Of course, these options were more expensive and not as good as their previous plans.

One lady was hospitalized and scheduled for an MRI, which she couldn’t have because she no longer had insurance. Her poor husband had to scramble to quickly find coverage.

My solution is to have Congress get on our health care plan and experience what all the taxpayers have to face.

After all, why should Congress decide what is best for us when they are not affected by their decisions?

We as taxpayers should get together and voice our opinions about things that affect our health care and our pocketbooks.

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  1. Per, MRI's are covered under Part B. Whether Medicare would cover the entire cost of the MRI is the question, but the procedure should have been performed, regardless. If they had no supplemental coverage to cover the rest of the cost, I feel for them, but in any case the costs of procedures are generally inflated and neither Medicare Part B or supplemental coverage pay what the provider charges in full. It's all negotiable.

  2. For those new to Medicare, particularly Part B, I highly recommend using to familiarize yourself with what is and is not covered.

    I find myself in a battle with Medicare over lab tests, in this case blood work requested by my wife's doctor. It involved 9 separate tests which were performed. Months later I received a bill for over $700 dollars from the lab. After correcting an insurance coverage problem, the lab resubmitted the bill to Medicare. The results? Part B covered none of the lab work done, not even the insertion of the needle to begin drawing blood!

    I spoke with a Medicare representative on the phone, and was told the doctor didn't give sufficient reason for the tests requested! Really? The tests included checking cholesteral, triglycerides and other procedures that my previous insurance and hers had been paying for in full for over 30 years! The only bright side was the "crossover" coverage my wife has (Tricare for Life), which picked up half the cost. I will continue to try correcting the issue this morning with my wife's provider. To be continued...

  3. An interviewer [Mr. Sovik] recently asked President Obama if he planned to drop his health care plan for himself and family and accept Obama care. The President paused, seemed rather confused, and then did not answer the question.

    Carmine D

  4. Gary et al:

    Confidence in Obama care is eroding every day. As it does, the President's approval rating is going down and his disapproval rating is going up. Speaker Pelosi's words about Obama care will reverberate in the 2014 and 2016 elections. Obama care will kill Democrats in the upcoming elections. It is the President and Democrats' legislative legacy. The Republicans are so brain dumb they can't and won't start a national campaign to reveal Obama care's flaws. Starting with: The "President promised you won't have to change doctors and health care plans" "the President promised Obama care would not cost you one additional dime." Yeah, right.

    Carmine D

  5. PS: Not only will the GOP keep the House in 2014, I think it can win the majority in the Senate too. You heard it here from me first.

    Carmine D

  6. Although the reality is, that career politicians are a part of the well-monied, elite sector of our population, and can well afford the very very best of anything, including healthcare, it would serve all parties well to ask them to partake in the SAME healthcare plans that they have legislated for the People, their constituents, for the term(s) while they are in elected office.

    That just might provide a "reality check" as to whether or not they are making the correct choices for all Americans. Confidentiality in all health related issues is protected under the law, and that might be the reason why the President paused and did not answer the question regarding personal healthcare. He is allowed that as a Citizen.

    Like with so many things involving the Federal Government, they are constantly moving the goal posts, so you never really know if you are doing the right thing when dealing with them, so I understand the confusion some seniors feel.

    Blessings and Peace,

  7. The letter is a bunch of hogwash. Everyone over the age of 65 is covered by Medicare or Medicare supplement. A private primary insurance plan hasn't been written in this country since the 1960s.

    Federal employees including Congress have the same insurance options. The federal government insurance plans are lousy. When Congressman hit 65 they are walking around with a Medicare card just like the rest of us.

    There is very little difference between the health benefits that Congress has and the rest of us. I was a government worker for decades. Had I wanted to continue with the insurance plan I had while I was working it would cost me $2200 a month which I would be paying out of my own pocket. Fantastic!

    The above represents health plans available to federal workers. Open the plans and read them! There is very little difference between the crap that they are offered and the crap that we are offered outside of federal employment.

    The entire health-insurance industry is nothing more than a racket. Harvard did the most extensive study ever done on how catastrophic health issues affect Americans. Their conclusion was that if you get seriously ill you're going broke regardless of insurance. 78% of the millions of people that declare medical related bankruptcies have insurance.
    Who you work for matters very little.

  9. El Lobo (specifically, but et al.): Quite regularly I disagree with CarmineD - on specific points of his comments. I often provide chapter and verse in the process, using the data available to all of us. Ad hominem attacks simply demonstrate that some individuals are unwilling/unable to become sufficiently familiar with current issues and data to have reasoned opinions. It is usually possible to disagree without being disagreeable.

  10. Future and the letter writer are aware of many seniors that have lost their medical coverage. Really! Everyone in this country is eligible for Medicare at age 65. It's guaranteed coverage! In terms of the private insurance companies that provide the Medigaps I'm not aware of a single one that has gone bankrupt. Maybe someone can provide me with a list. Periodically the providers change. My wife had one provider in California and she has Humana here. The elderly do not lose their insurance coverage.

  11. Re Future (1255): Tricare for Life is not a private supplement to Medicare Part B, rather it is a government program open to Military retirees. It is not, and won't be in danger of bankruptcy.

    As a near-future Medicare recipient, I have been bombarded by supplemental insurance inquiries from numerous private insurers. A phone call today said it all: "You have Tricare for Life? That's the best there is, thanks for your time". This from a telemarketer trying to sell me some other supplemental insurance to Medicare Part B. 'nough said.

  12. Re Carmine 0558 AM: Obamacare has nothing to do with Medicare.

  13. Gary:

    I disagree. Medicare is a health entitlement program that has bankrupt the Federal government in the last 10 years with its costs and payments. Obama care will too.

    Carmine D

  14. Robert: You're wasting your time with your logic and reason on Lobo. He's oblivious and obtuse.

    Carmine D

  15. Victor:

    The President can sign himself and his family onto one of the State run health exchanges mandated by Obama care starting on October 1, 2013. Pay the fee and get the coverage. That is if the exchanges are up and running as predicted they will be.

    Carmine D

  16. "Is there anyone on this board more oblivious & obtuse than the little transplant from New Jersey????"

    Yes, you. And the next is a very distant second. Not to worry. You're too far out in front to lose.

    Carmine D