The best healthcare system in the world

Starla D. Darling, 27, was pregnant when she learned that her insurance coverage was about to end. She rushed to the hospital, took a medication to induce labor and then had an emergency Caesarean section, in the hope that her Blue Cross and Blue Shield plan would pay for the delivery.NYTimes

Maybe it’s not so smart to have our healthcare tied to our employers, especially during a time when unemployment is skyrocketing.

7 Comments

  1. Ian

    http://www.dol.gov/dol/topic/health-plans/cobra.htm

    I’d like to hear why her insurance was going to end. That part is left off (I’m not logging into NYT).

  2. Andrea

    Ian-
    From NYT:
    Nearly 4.4 million people are receiving unemployment insurance benefits, an increase of 60 percent in the past year. But more than half of unemployed workers are not receiving help because they do not qualify or have exhausted their benefits.

    From your link:
    Qualified individuals may be required to pay the entire premium for coverage up to 102 percent of the cost to the plan.

    COBRA does not resolve this issue.

  3. Ian

    That doesn’t really specify this woman’s reason directly. I feel like this woman’s case was used as a case meant to shock you into feeling like something needs to be done. I already agree something needs to be done. To me this woman’s case sounds like she was irresponsible or didn’t know what her options were.

    Cobra does resolve the issue to some extent. Health care isn’t usually free. Even if your employer “gives” you health care, all they are really doing is taking it out of your paycheck. Cobra allows you to continue purchasing the health care you were already receiving at the same price you were already paying so that you aren’t just left without coverage. A nationalized health care system isn’t free either. It would just be the government taking it out of your pay instead of your employer. In any case, pregnant women are covered by Medicaid, if were assuming she wasn’t making any money. If she was making money, she should’ve done Cobra. Its pretty irresponsible to possibly jeopardize the health of the unborn child so that you can save some cash.

    What Cobra does do, which is important, is it keeps you from dropping coverage. If you drop coverage and then try to sign up with another insurance agency later on with a pre-existing condition, you could run into some trouble. Obviously the system needs fixing. I just don’t feel too much sympathy in this case based on what I know about it.

    Also, this is just as much a problem of the bad economy as it is of the health care system. If people aren’t making money, they aren’t paying taxes. That reduction in cash flow would screw up a Federal system too.

  4. Chris

    Are you saying I’m manipulating your emotions? 🙂

  5. Andrea

    Ian, did you read the article? Because your skeptisim is insensitive and your facts are incomplete:

    In some cases, people who are laid off can maintain their group health benefits under a federal law, the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1986, known as Cobra. But that is not an option for former Archway employees because their group health plan no longer exists. And they generally cannot afford to buy insurance on their own.

    This is an example of how the economy is snow balling into a depression. Yes, her case is extreme but the situation is typical of many Americans. My parents were on COBRA for three years when my mom went off her meds for a month (b/c they couldn’t afford it anymore) and was a week away from having a heart attack. That was in May. I found this article moving and meaningful; thx for posting Chris.

  6. Ian

    I admit I wasn’t informed on the article. I said I wasn’t logging into NYT. I don’t have a log in and I’m not making one. I know its possible to get links up on NYT without requiring the log in.

    I don’t think my skepticism is insensitive. I just don’t want to hear blame and excuses when the life of a child is potentially at risk. I don’t know how early she had the kid, but my younger sister was born premature. I’m aware of the risks and complications that come from that. Like I pointed out, pregnant women are covered by Medicaid, i.e. she could have received government assistance. If she and her husband were making the money to exclude them from Medicaid, well they probably could have afforded the hospital bills or the insurance payments. Granted, it probably would have put a strain on their finances, but well, that’s life. I also speak from experience here. I had 3 emergency room trips in a short period of time and spent 4 days in the hospital, all while on COBRA insurance. The bills were pretty high, but we managed. As I said, I agree that something needs to be done about our national health care system, but that’s not an excuse for potentially irresponsible behavior.

  7. Chris

    Sorry, about the registration stuff. I’m not sure how to link to NYT stories and avoid that.