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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr. 23, 1999
    Location
    Rosehill, TX
    Posts
    6,922

    Default Health insurance companies -- is yours good/bad/mediocre?

    Have you had good service from your health insurance provider?

    Or awful service?

    Would love to know what companies have provided either (not that I can influence what my company chooses for us - but one day I may retire before medicare age and would have to make that choice for myself)
    Nothing says "I love you" like a tractor. (Clydejumper)

    The reports states, “Elizabeth reported that she accidently put down this pony, ........, at the show.”



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 1, 2004
    Location
    Magnolia, TX
    Posts
    5,236

    Default

    It really depends on the policy. There's a whole menu of options you can choose from for coverage, and that's really what dictates the relationship you'll have with the insurer.

    My DH and I both work for companies that use UHC. Initially, my company offered your standard co-pay type insurance. Never had a problem. Then they decided to switch to a high-deductible policy in order to save costs. Well, it was more expensive, and while there was the potential to make money with it by staying out of the doctor's office, the minute you had something more than a sniffle you were screwed. DH has RA, so we may as well have had no insurance. Freakin' expensive. When he started working where he's at now, it was the old co-pay system, and it's great. No more calls to UHC, no more bickering over bills trying to get a discount here or there... No problems. Same insurer the whole time, but what our employers chose to do with regard to coverage made a world of difference in the experience.

    I've had Aetna in the past with no issues. DH is switching employers next week, so we'll have BCBS for the first time ever. I'm hoping they'll be as good for us as his current UHC policy is, but I haven't seen the coverage details yet.
    "A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it." - Agent K, MIB



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 20, 2003
    Location
    N. Augusta, SC (but forever a BUCKEYE!)
    Posts
    1,677

    Default

    I have had United Healthcare for over 15 years. I used to have the HMO option, but I chose the Health Reimbursement Account option for the past 3 years mainly because my husband and I are pretty healthy people. For the past year, we chose the 'wellness' option because it was cheaper. All we had to do was have a physical, have bloodwork and vitals done, and complete a survey. Preventative visits (annual physicals and my annual trip to the gyno for pap's and mammogram) are at no cost to either of us, nor is our Health Reimbursement Account charged.

    We start with $1000 in our HRA account. Our deductible is $1600. The first $1000 in medical fees comes straight out of the HRA, the next $600 out of our pocket, and after that, we're on an 85/15 plan, where we pay 15% out of pocket up to, I think, around $6000. That's our out of pocket maximum.

    If we don't use the full $1000 in a calendar year, it rolls over to the next year. Right now, we're sitting on $1600 for this year because we had very few visits to the doctor for the year. So, if something happens, we'll be able to meet our deductible with no money out of our pocket for this year.
    Random horse pics http://www.flickr.com/photos/glfprncs/
    Talk to me about fitness or nutrition (I'm an A.C.E. Certified Personal Trainer)!
    My blog! http://personalsweatequity.blogspot.com/



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 22, 2009
    Location
    Wisconsin
    Posts
    2,554

    Default

    Are evil. That about sums it up. But it could be since we pay an arm and leg for UHC and they try to get out of covering so many things that it irritates us.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,669

    Default

    I have Aetna and the plan is called a POS - which I like to joke about. I have no complaints at all. I have run up hundreds of thousands of dollars in the past 2 1/2 years and they have never denied me anything. They even approved a 3 hour long MRN at Johns Hopkins.
    My company dropped Aetna from next years benefit plans, and now I am very worried about what to do. My husband has the same Aetna plan so I hope I can switch to his if I can't get the same benefits.
    You are what you dare.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Aug. 12, 2010
    Location
    Westford, Massachusetts
    Posts
    3,181

    Default

    I've only ever had Mass based, non-profit, insurers. I currently have BCBS of MA, they are OK. Worst I've had was Harvard Community Health Plan. Best was actually Harvard University's self-insured plan, called "HUGHP". Only available to Harvard faculty and staff...we got our primary care at the infirmary and were referred out the the Harvard teaching hospitals for hard stuff...at the time I had it, affordable, quality, care, good communication, etc...Second best was Tufts Health Plan.



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2002
    Location
    between the barn and the pond
    Posts
    13,661

    Default

    BCBS of AL, excellent coverage, excellent plan. I've had several BCBS plans w/o complaint.
    A conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking. (Steven Wright)



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2012
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    1,954

    Default

    Federal BCBS and love them (thank you honey!)
    From a professional standpoint, they rock as well(they actually pay, without a fight, on time, the amount they say they will!)
    United Health Care absolute worst, particularly if you actually need them or hope to be paid.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec. 15, 2005
    Posts
    3,148

    Default

    I am happy with Kaiser permanente. I work for a division of Kaiser and almost all of us who work for Kaiser also use Kaiser for care. When I needed rabies vaccine, it cost me $10 per dose. My last tetanus vaccine and checkup, including routine lab work, was free. It is easy to schedule appointments on line.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct. 2, 1999
    Location
    Mendocino County, CA: Turkey Vulture HQ
    Posts
    14,088

    Default

    UHC got the big black circle of doom from Consumer Reports a while back.

    It's more than just the company, though. You'll see dramatic changes in service if you move from an individual, to a small employer group, to a large employer group. It's kind of eerie.
    If you are allergic to a thing, it is best not to put that thing in your mouth, particularly if the thing is cats. - Lemony Snicket



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 9, 2006
    Location
    Raleigh, NC
    Posts
    1,685

    Default

    I hate my insurance. Hate. The vendor does not matter--they're great, probably because they never have to pay anything. It's one of those high deductible plans, and I have no choice in the matter. It costs me just under $3K per year in premiums and then it's all out of pocket for the first $3K of claims, including prescriptions. My one trip to my thyroid doc-with labs was almost $1K, then the eye doc (another $250), then the orthopedist with rads ($500). So I'm only half way through my deductible. It basically will only help me if I have some catastrophic illness or accident. Otherwise I'm out $6K total per year before I see any benefit. Yippee, so happy healthcare is so reasonably priced :-p
    From now on, ponyfixer, i'll include foot note references.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Feb. 23, 2005
    Location
    Spotsylvania, VA
    Posts
    12,231

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by poltroon View Post
    UHC got the big black circle of doom from Consumer Reports a while back.

    It's more than just the company, though. You'll see dramatic changes in service if you move from an individual, to a small employer group, to a large employer group. It's kind of eerie.
    We've had a UHC plan for about 15 years and they've been great. We do however know the details of our plan and follow them to the letter. They have covered:
    18 YO daughter suddenly going blind...scared the CRAP out of us
    Mr P's kidney stone, elbow surgery, hip replacement, neuro problems that also scared the CRAP out of me but turned out to be nothing
    My 2 D&C's, hysterectomy, broken ankle(ORIF) broken finger surgery and breast reduction
    I'm probably forgetting something
    not to mention routine stuff
    Any year they make a profit on us I cheer
    Smurf
    Penmerryl's Sophie RIDSH
    "I ain't as good as I once was but I'm as good once as I ever was"
    The ignore list is my friend. It takes 2 to argue.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 15, 2001
    Location
    Gilbert, AZ
    Posts
    2,225

    Default

    We have BCBS of CA through Mr Akro's job. They are okay for most things, but we have had several major battles in the past two years that have required the intervention of his company's HR department before BCBS would pay up. The most recent one was their refusal to pay for my PET scan. We finally got that one resolved yesterday.



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 27, 2008
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    1,669

    Default

    I just discovered that my husband's company also dropped Aetna so I can't move over to his plan. Now I am super worried. My company has switched exclusively to those health saving account plans and I don't know anything about them.
    If anyone hasn't read my thread in the Disabilities forum, I have chronic nerve damage and have been out on long term disability for over a year. I'm almost positive I am going to need more surgery at this point.
    I am still employed and collecting disability through Aetna. But, my company is dropping Aetna, so what happens to me? Does Aetna continue to pay, or does Cigna take over. I am worried sick (sicker) over this so if anyone knows the answer, I would love to know what to expect. I'm going to call my benefits person tomorrow, but I'm totally stressed out tonight over this.
    You are what you dare.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2005
    Location
    Washington State
    Posts
    1,458

    Default

    Some Premara (affiliated with Blue Cross I think) plan that I get through work. They want to discourage going to the emergency room for minor things so they won't cover emergency room visits. Instead, we are supposed to go to one of the local medi-centers. Those are open from 8am to 8pm. Apparently if I break my arm falling off my horse I'm just supposed to suck it up until one of those places are open. The deductible is equivalent to four months salary so I'll have to be bleeding to death or in extreme pain before I go near a doctor anyway.
    Crayola Posse - Pine Green
    RIP Whinnie Pine (June 4, 1977 - April 29, 2008)



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 3, 2004
    Location
    San Francisco
    Posts
    3,823

    Default

    Love Kaiser. I think it should be the national health care plan. I can email my doctor when ever I want and avoid a visit. I can set up a phone consultation with him. They will mail my prescriptions. the list goes on and on......
    A man must love a thing very much if he not only practices it without any hope of fame or money, but even practices it without any hope of doing it well.--G. K. Chesterton



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Sep. 14, 2005
    Posts
    590

    Default

    Completely agree. I have been with Kaiser for 10 years now and have loved them the whole time. I tend to be accident prone so for me it has been a money saving proposition. I love all of my docs there, including the surgeons. My DH was so impressed with them when I had a bad accident several years ago he decided to go with them as well and he has been very happy.

    I can always get a doc appointment when I need to, but I love being able to email with minor issues or questions. They also were super responsive and sent a prescription down to me when I developed a raging sinus infection while on vacation in the Caribbean.

    Love them.

    Quote Originally Posted by lizathenag View Post
    Love Kaiser. I think it should be the national health care plan. I can email my doctor when ever I want and avoid a visit. I can set up a phone consultation with him. They will mail my prescriptions. the list goes on and on......



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Dec. 9, 2005
    Location
    MA
    Posts
    158

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by GotGait View Post
    I just discovered that my husband's company also dropped Aetna so I can't move over to his plan. Now I am super worried. My company has switched exclusively to those health saving account plans and I don't know anything about them.
    If anyone hasn't read my thread in the Disabilities forum, I have chronic nerve damage and have been out on long term disability for over a year. I'm almost positive I am going to need more surgery at this point.
    I am still employed and collecting disability through Aetna. But, my company is dropping Aetna, so what happens to me? Does Aetna continue to pay, or does Cigna take over. I am worried sick (sicker) over this so if anyone knows the answer, I would love to know what to expect. I'm going to call my benefits person tomorrow, but I'm totally stressed out tonight over this.
    Interesting, my company is also dropping Aetna at the new year and moving to Cigna. I was on the EPO plan with Aetna which seems very similar to Cigna's new plan.

    I'm going to miss Aetna a lot. I had some issues a few years ago and they have paid every Dx testing, MRI, PT, or other test that was billed to them. I also love that no referrals are needed, which is the same with the new Cigna plan.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Nov. 13, 2002
    Location
    Maryland
    Posts
    3,555

    Default

    I have Empire BCBS and they are fine unless you have an actual serious medical problem.
    I have lost more hours of my life fighting with BCBS over the phone (and in writing) than I can count.
    In fact, I spent at least an hour on the phone with them today because they rejected a claim for an MRI that my doctor ordered.
    I hate them and curse them at least once a week as I am still dealing with bills from surgery done more than a year ago.
    They are evil IMO, but so are all health insurance companies.
    There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.(Churchill)



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Feb. 4, 2002
    Posts
    2,898

    Default

    I would say ours falls on the side of mediocre to bad.
    Our company is wonderful if you live and work in or around the headquarters. They have an on-site health clinic that you can use at a greatly reduced rate. You also have oodles of in-network providers to choose from.

    If you do not work at or near the mother ship, it quickly goes to the side of bad. That would be my situation. I've rarely used our insurance (for which I'm extremely grateful!), just getting well type exams each year. This year, I was having a few 'things' and thought I ought to find a true primary care doc and had a sprained ankle that hasn't healed quite right, so it's been an eye-opening experience.

    We have an HRA, which puts x number of dollars in your account each year and whatever is left at the end of the year rolls over to the next one, so I've been accumulating $$ in there for quite a few years. I always put a few hundred in our FSA each year as well, in case I need new glasses or prescription or whatever.

    What I learned this year, since I've actually been to a provider 2x more than I have any other year, is that they won't touch your HRA until your FSA has been drained dry. Which is great but for stuff that isn't covered, I rely on that FSA. It's gone already. Trying to find providers that take our insurance is a real pain as well. There aren't a lot that are within a reasonable drive to where I live so, for example, I did find a primary care but I'm not crazy about the provider. Maybe all doctor offices feel sort of yucky? It's not in a bad part of town but I sort of felt like it should have been. I dunno. The quality of care should matter more but still.

    I don't know that I totally understand our insurance but as I get ready to enroll for next year, I'm going to put a lot more thought and research into it.
    ~* Life is the dance you choose *~



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