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53 responses to “People In Hawaii Live Longer Than We Do”

  1. Trey Garrison says:

    The chart’s title and subhed seem to contradict one another. The title suggests this is a life expectancy chart based on where you’re born. The subhed suggests it shows lifespan based on where you live.

  2. amanda says:

    And, Hawaii has the higest per capita Spam consumption. Kinda makes you think.

  3. duh says:

    Probably not a coincidence that those cities/states have high fish consumption and Texas and other Southern states eat chicken fried fish.

  4. julie says:

    Texas ranks near or at the bottom for people with access to healthcare….

    “Nationally, more than 15% are uninsured. In Texas it’s nearly 24%, the Census Bureau says, the highest percentage among the states. Here in Harris County, it’s 30%, according to state figures, the highest rate among the nation’s top 10 metropolitan areas….”

    http://www.usatoday.com/news/nation/2007-06-18-texas-health-care_N.htm

    Amazing how cheap and effective a little preventative medicine can be.

    Quiz: Quick, which is cheaper…a generic diuretic prescription for 2000 people, or treatment in the hospital for one stroke patient?

    I’m sure we all know the answer.

  5. julie says:

    Also..regarding Hawaii: if you work in Hawaii, your employer MUST offer you healthcare insurance.

    Lucky Hawaiians.

  6. julie says:

    Notice that the reddest of the red states (GA/AL/MS/LA/TN/AR) have the lowest life expectancy. But hey, keep voting for the GOP–you’re voting against your own healthcare availability, but at least you won’t get them queers a’marryin’ !!

  7. Trey Garrison says:

    I wonder if that extra nine percent of uncovered Texas are illegal immigrants.

  8. Trey Garrison says:

    I also wonder why anyone would think government rationed and mandated health care would somehow be an improvement, given its dismal track record.

  9. julie says:

    Trey, I wonder why anyone would think that healthcare coverage only for those who can afford it would somehow be an improvement over what millions of people have, which is…NO healthcare coverage AT ALL.

    The only thing universal healthcare coverage does, is cuts out this guy:

    http://www.forbes.com/static/pvp2005/LIRRI3M.html

    Think how many TXans, residents or not, could be covered with all that moola.

  10. SB says:

    Because Trey, they have it in Europe and anything they do over there is automatically before than what we have.

    Sheesh….

  11. SB says:

    automatically “better”

  12. Trey Garrison says:

    Scratch a socialized medicine fan, find a thief.

  13. julie says:

    SB, if you are insinuating that I feel that “anything they have in Europe is better”, you’d be dead wrong.

    On the other hand….isn’t it time we admit that ideas that didn’t happen to originate in the US are not automatically wrong?

    Sheesh.

  14. julie says:

    Trey,

    That comment is just very, very sad. Try letting a little sunlight into the dark corners in your head.

  15. julie says:

    Just FYI, I’ve worked for pharmaceutical companies for 25 years. So I’ve seen this issue from various angles.

  16. SB says:

    The key to universal healthcare isn’t just blindly giving everyone a government-funded insurance policy. The problem with healthcare in America is that the prices have gotten out of control (due to malpractice lawsuits, insurance company b.s., etc.). We need to focus on fixing the system so that the services rendered reflect a true market price and that consumers are allowed to comparison shop for doctors just like they can for anything else. Until we get the costs under control, which I do think can be blamed on the insurance companies, we can’t just adopt a universal healthcare plan at the taxpayers expense. It would literally bankrupt the country in a very short time period.

  17. Ana Moure says:

    I plan to elaborate on it, but before I do, here is the best article on healthcare I’ve ever read: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1741315/posts
    Milton Friedman on why health insurance as we know it is plain stupid, and why Universal healthcare is a horrible answer to this problem.

    He even offers a good solution – I even saw how it works. It does!

    Proponents of Universal healthcare – do you really want to wait for your appointment with a good doctor for several years? That’s the way it works in Canada.

    See, when people aren’t in charge of their healthcare spending, and cannot pay for premium service with money (and are overtaxed) – the only way to pay for good healthcare is with your time, and, ironically, health.

  18. Trey Garrison says:

    [Standing, clapping @ Ana]

  19. julie says:

    That’s a really nice…..fantasy.

    Complete deregulation has sure worked great for electricity.

    do you really want to wait for your appointment with a good doctor for several years? That’s the way it works in Canada.

    Congratulations…you have let your brain be successfully manipulated with untruths by people who are working against your best interests.

  20. HCL says:

    To what do we attribute the long, healthy lives of Western Europeans – and even Canadians – then, if not their health care? (Honest question.)

  21. Bobby Ewing says:

    On to more serious issues: what’s the deal with the snaking section of Texas with such high life expectancy? Looks like it’s a narrow path of our state roughly Edinburgh to San Antonio to Austin. I posit that this is obviously a chile pepper zone where more consumption (from an early age) of the genus Capsicum has worked health wonders. Clearly we need more peppers in our bellies from the Texan Tree of Life: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jalapeno.

  22. HCL says:

    BTW, if health care in Canada were as bad as the Freepers want us to believe, then there’d be news reports every night of massive die offs up there and desperate Canadians flowing over the borders, beating down the doors of clinics all over the northern US. I have yet to see these reports.

    And the CIA Factbook still puts Canada (14) ahead of us (45) in life expectancy by a mile. So…?

  23. Trey Garrison says:

    HCL – genetics, diet, less sedentary lifestyle all affect lifespan. Socialized vs free market medicine – not so much.

  24. julie says:

    Just so everyone realizes….we don’t HAVE to exactly imitate the systems used in Europe or Canada. We have a lot of brain power here…we should be able to devise our own affordable system that covers everyone.

    Here’s a serious questions for the conservatives: I actually quit my job last November to start my own company that is related to healthcare staffing. I incorporated and everything. Planned on hiring 2 people in Jan 08 to help grow the company. Already had 2 customers lined up due to connections in the industry. But by November, I had already discovered one insurmountable obstacle: I was unable to obtain healthcare insurance, due to mild hypertension and a mildly bulging disc in my back (I’m 47 yo). Both have been successfully treated for years.

    I tried every single insurance company, including websites that help you search for health insurance. The letters I would get rejecting me were almost comical:

    “…Exclusions include your back, anything connected to your back, anything connected to something that is connected to your back, your entire circulatory system (heart, brain, veins, kidneys, etc), etc etc)…”

    With my experience in healthcare, I can tell you that without insurance, the price to put me back on my feet after spinal surgery (after a car hits me on LBJ, for example) starts at $200,000.

    So lest you think I’m just some bleeding heart lib who is wanting to live off the dole, think again. The one thing that stopped me from being a poster child for conservatives and starting my own business/hiring employees, was lack of available healthcare coverage.

    I sadly put my fledgling company on ice and joined another pharma company in April.

    I’m assuming Trey is youngish (under 35) and naive, because his statements match those that come from people who have not experienced all the twists and turns that life can offer.

  25. Trey Garrison says:

    As with so much else, you assume incorrectly.

  26. amandacobra says:

    Hey, I’m lucky enough to have insurance after ten years of working at jobs that didn’t have to provide it to me. I have a prescription that costs (with insurance) $60 a month. In Canada, there is a generic version of said medicine that costs a fourth of that. And that’s if I just walked across the border with my prescription in hand and said “Fill this please” and they verified it was legit.

    But the name brand makers of my prescription don’t want to let me have that extra $45 each month. So please tell me more about how awful the Canadian health care system is. I’ve got all the time in the world as it’s the end of the month and I’m broke until I get paid again on the first.

  27. julie says:

    Forgot to add…it’s not like I was looking for CHEAP coverage. I was willing to pay any price (I’ve had a great career; I could afford it) for health coverage so that I could start my company.

    I could not buy coverage for my back and for my hypertension AT ANY PRICE.

    The only answer was go without coverage..and risk bankruptcy. Or go back to work for a company offering automatic coverage.

  28. julie says:

    Trey, that’s a shame. I can easily forgive youthful naivite.

    Hhhmmm…no pat answer to my the little conumdrum I presented?

    I thought not.

  29. Tim says:

    Doctors are human beings. They make mistakes, and unfortunately their mistakes effect the well-being of their patients. The fact that our legal system allows every unhappy person to sue a doctor when something goes wrong is a huge part of the problem. It’s amazing how the doctor will tell you “something can go wrong, and in a small number of cases it will,” and yet they can be sued if they are even better than those averages.

    THEN, they charge fair market value for the procedure done, and OUR insurance companies won’t pay that rate because they feel it is too much.

    Could we do that to the energy providers in the summer and get away with it? Could we do that at the gas station?

    The legal system and insurance companies in this country have caused our healthcare to skyrocket. Until those things are fixed, there is nothing that can be done to give every person in America free health insurance.

    By the way, aren’t there community hospitals in most metro areas where people cannot be turned away for healthcare?

  30. Trey Garrison says:

    Julie – why am I expected to solve your problem? Oh right, nevermind.

  31. ll says:

    http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/mythbusting-canadian-healthcare-part-ii-debunking-free-marketeers

    http://www.ourfuture.org/blog-entry/mythbusting-canadian-health-care-part-i

    Just in case Trey would like to actually learn something — here are 2 links to articles comparing Canada and US from someone who has lived under both.

    He has apparently bought in hook line and sinker to the malpractice myth and the government can’t do it.

    Just a little number to ponder — the administrative cots for private health insurance to figure out how not to cover you — about 20%. Medicare (the government program) about 3% Who says government can’t do it.

    And as to rationed care — well, ask those 48 million people who don’t have insurance if their care is rationed and they have highter death rates.

    Get your head out of the sand!

  32. SB says:

    Once again, shouldn’t be figuring out why a surgery costs $200,000 instead of guaranteeing that the government has to pay for said surgery everytime it’s required?

  33. julie says:

    Of course, if I was well-connected politically, I’d have no trouble obtaining health insurance. Too bad that Tom Craddick is not my dad…

    http://www.lonestarproject.net/archive/Craddick%20Supports%20State%20Health%20Care%20Plan%20-%20For%20Daughter.pdf

    Hey Trey—

    WHO’S THE THIEF NOW????

  34. DKC says:

    It was his daughter, barely making $100K. She needs insurance, so what?? Doesn’t make him a theif…just a responsible dad.

  35. julie says:

    Tim,

    Yes–I can go to Parkland (a superior hospital in many specialties, seriously) and not be turned away. The problem is, I’d still be charged full price unless I can prove that I’m indigent. After they looked up my SS# on the Big Bro computer, they’d find out I’m Prez of my own firm, and be hit with the full bill. End result: still bankrupt.

  36. Daniel says:

    ha ha ha ha ha …

    DKC gets “post of the day.” Razor-sharp satire, my friend! I can just picture the idiot you’re lampooning. Someone get this kid an agent!

  37. julie says:

    Trey,

    Julie – why am I expected to solve your problem?

    Oh, I’m sorry. I was thinking that a D Mag journalist might have well-thought-out positions on his views, and be able to offer solutions in the face of real-life issues. Offering solutions may mean that more readers /observers might be convinced to join “his side” in the debate.

    My mistake; silly me.

  38. SB says:

    I think his comment was speaking to the fact that it’s not his (or anybody else’s) responsibly to figure out your problems, whether they be medical or conversational.

  39. julie says:

    Well, thankfully I have figured out the only solution to my problem…go back to corporate life. IJS, it’s a shame since conservatives constantly preach the virtues of “start your own company! provide jobs to lowly workers! hoist yourself on your own petard!” but then follow it up with “can’t get health insurance? tough sh*t!”

    Fortunately, US citizens have begun to see through this freeper bull**it, and that’s just one reason why the GOP is dying a slow, painful death.

    Another reason is because when one asks a conservative an honest question..”how would I solve this situation under your belief system’s policies?” one gets:

    why am I expected to solve your problem? Oh right, nevermind.

    Let me translate that answer: “F**k off.”

    The Democratic Party thanks you for that typically unhelpful response.

  40. SB says:

    Why don’t you direct your anger at the people who are denying you coverage (insurance companies), instead of the people who don’t owe you a godd*mned thing?

    The taxpayers’ aren’t denying you coverage. Address the problem at the source.

    I’m so sick of this mentality that as soon as the insurance companies don’t come through for someone, then it’s the public’s responsibility to pick up their slack.

  41. Mike says:

    Ah, vague anecdotes from Canada. Denunciations of malpractice, which makes up half a percent of total health care spending and is usually not frivolous. We pay a lot more for other countries for worse outcomes. I’m open to nuanced arguments about our geography being unique or our pharmaceutical industry driving innovation for the rest of the world. However, Trey’s arguments are the same tired points that have been swatted down many times in the past few years. He may not have the financial interests that the insurance industry has in propagating these talking points, but he has ideological ones. Markets are great for most things. But not every facet of health care.

  42. julie says:

    I’m so sick of this mentality that as soon as the insurance companies don’t come through for someone, then it’s the public’s responsibility to pick up their slack.

    So, then you don’t agree with the taxpayer bailout of Bear Stearns either?

    yeah, right

  43. amanda says:

    Julie, sorry I am calling BS to your tale of woe…

    I have owned my own business since 1995, I even incorporated and everything(sorry,that just cracked me up).

    I purchase insurance for our company. Originally, we had “group” coverage with my husband being the only participant, and me as a dependent. 1995-1998, $800/month. As we grew, both he and I moved to a “small group” policy, which requires at least 2 covered lives. That plan started at $700/month for both of us with our daughter as the dependent. 1998-2003, when the premiums raised to $1900/month. I then moved my daughter, who has no previous health issues to an individual BCBS plan at $160 a month, and my husband and I switched to another carrier. Our total expense for premiums is currently $2400, and includes one additional employee with significant previous health issues.

    Because my background was in healthcare administration (I was the mean office manager blocking and body checking drug reps), I can tell you this, if you have had NO lapses in coverage, you cannot be denied GROUP coverage. As I demonstrated above, the very definition of “group” varies from carrier to carrier. True, you can be limited or excluded for specific conditions on individual policies, but not GROUP.

    Here’s a tip…look for a carve out group, it doesn’t even have to be anything related to your industry. For example the TSCRA is the cattle lobby in Texas. (The people who sued the messiah of the Democratic party, and person who personifies that yes, we are a country of whiners…Oprah.) You can join TSCRA for about $100 bucks a year. As a member, you can obtain health insurance both group and individual. In fact, the TSCRA has and entire office devoted to HELPING YOU get insurance. They will rate you, meaning with your specific issues of hypertension and back problems, you can expect your premium to be 35% higher than the published ranges in the sales brochures.

    Or, you said you were willing to pay ANYTHING for coverage…. How about this? You buy major medical and catastropic health coverage with a high deductible. You deposit $5000 in a separate savings account to cover your deducible. Beef up your auto and home coverage just in case you need to cover medical in the event of an accident. You then take an average of the last 5 years medical expenses. Set up an HSA (healthcare savings account) You’re 47? Increase the HSA by 10% each year until age 63, and re-evaluate your position.

    I could go on and on, but that is the difference between someone wanting to be a business owner and the spirit of entrepreneurship.

    See how easy that was, and I didn’t need to drag the government into it. My premiums are deductible from taxes (depending on your structure either on a 1040 or 1120). My family is covered, and I didn’t need any help. I am woman hear me roar.

    I find it ironic that the media and democrats have demonized big pharma, yet you choose to cast your lot with the dark side.

    Direct your frustrations whoever gave you bad advice, and let me keep running my business.

  44. SB says:

    I didn’t agree with the bailout of Bear Stearns in the least little bit.

  45. julie says:

    Amanda,

    Good try, but you have failed to understand my situation. I can get coverage….for the parts of my body that are perfectly healthy. Let me repeat: I cannot, at any cost, obtain coverage for what I really need it for: my hypertension and my back (both being treated with cheap generic meds). It’s called PRE-EXISTING conditions, and they are not covered by any insurance company unless you are joining a corporate or group plan.

    I’ve had a healthcare attorney friend try to help me find a way to get any kind of coverage for my hypertension and my back; it doesn’t exist. Maybe it has something to do with being a TX resident. I don’t know.

    It’s because I work inside pharma (still do) and I see what goes on. It’s 80% great (new therapies, great research) and 20% sticking it to the US citizens over prices. The Medicare drug plan? A gift to the drug companies, because a tiny little clause in it PREVENTS the government from getting to negotiate drug prices with drug companies, like the military does. A previous firm I was with sold our product to the VA’s for $28/vial; everyone else (incl Medicare) had to pay $70.

    It’s useless to write long theses on subjects you know very little/nothing about. And I’m not stopping you from running your business…why would you say that?

  46. DKC says:

    Smoke a joint..Hypertension relieved…problem solved…evrybody happy.

  47. amanda says:

    Oh, I’m sorry Julie for commenting on something I know so little about…being an actual consultant in the industry, previously licensed in the industry…

    I still say BS. I know for a fact that you could get coverage. Even if you didn’t want to try either of the two suggestions I made (be expecting my bill later), then there is always the risk pool managed by BCBS, which is a high deducitble plan but specifically designed for people with chronic health issues. The problem is you let your coverage lapse? Or you got bad advice? It’s one or the other.

    I don’t want the government, it’s regulations, or restrictions to limit my ablity to do my business. Period. Here’s and idea: avail yourself of the free market.

  48. Daniel says:

    Amanda,

    It’s clear that you very much know of what you speak, but I’m not getting how universal coverage — be it manna from heaven or spawn from hell, whatever your perspective — would infringe on your rights as a business owner. As a medical consumer, maybe, probably even, depending how it’s structured. But as a business owner — how exactly?

    Government bureaucracy? Insurance companies have a bureaucracy so labyrinthine that you’ve apparently made a career, at least in part, advising the hapless how to navigate it. (Oh! Anwered my own question. Never mind.)

  49. amanda says:

    Daniel, from what I’ve been told, it (universal) is trending toward just that, universal. But, it’s not “free,” the funds needed to fuel it have to come from somewhere. As explained to me, there are numerous ideas kicked around that “close corporate loopholes.” Sounds good, right?

    “Loopholes” are the minimal tax advantages companies (and s-filers)have. (And, they are minimal, believe me.) For someone who has been on the inside of healthcare, it scares me where this is headed. We can’t do what the politicians are promising.

    People banter around a lot of talk about this or that will collapse our economy…that we will never recover. This will collapse our economy. Truly, we will never recover. And, for the unfortunate ones forced to wait, or denied treatment for chronic yet manageable illness…they will die.

    That’s the dirty little secret of pre-authorization of government plans now. And its subjective (the approvals/denials).

    Universal coverage will basically be crappy Medicare/Medicaid. No thanks. If you think access is bad now, just wait. I’m not dramatic enough when I say that people will be dying in the streets.

  50. julie says:

    Oh my, Amanda, you truly cracked ME up with that last post. “This will collapse our economy?” Uh, not if a $260m per DAY war hasn’t. “We can’t do what the politicians are promising?” Too bad you think so little of our country, since just about every other westernized country has done it. They can, but we can’t? Sorry, I have a LOT more faith in the US than that. “Forced to wait, or denied treatment?” Oh, you mean like the MILLIONS of people currently with absolutely NO health insurance at all? And finally…
    “people dying in the streets?” Wait, wait–let me wipe the tears of mirth from my eyes. Don’t worry, Amanda–you’re plenty dramatic enough.

  51. amanda says:

    Julie, I stand by my assessment. We can’t provide universal coverage and address our aging infrastructure and the myriad other issues we face in today’s world.

    The problem with universal coverage is that we will apply it to non-residents. American citizens will die while we obligate ourselves to new anchor babies in droves.

    I’m not joking or being melodramatic about people dying. My firm did an in-depth analysis of how universal healthcare “worked” in several countries: Canada, the UK, Netherlands, Denmark, Germany, and others. Of those, Germany is the best both from and adminstration and access per view. The system has built in cost control mechanisms on insurance carriers for malpractice limitations on both premiums and awards (judgements).

    Let me give you a personal example. My mother has a severe chronic medical condition. When my father was laid off at age 63, she was 61, and they lost medical coverage (policy lapse). With no other options available, she entered the risk pool. The premiums were $2500 a month. However, since she relies on gama-globulin infusions every 3 weeks to stay alive (at 5-8K per treatment), they had to do it for 18 months. She went on Medicare at the first possible opportunity.

    The procedure had to be pre-certified by Medicare which took FOUR MONTHS. Meanwhile, my mother waited. By law, the current system wouldn’t let her pay for it out of pocket, and no one could treat her without the pre-cert…except the emergecy room. Twice, desperate, she went to the ER, which by law HAD to provide care while her pre-cert was pending.

    The current protections in place worked, although she suffered as a result. Multiply that times millions of people, and that is exactly what we are facing if universal coverage happens. It is not uncommon for people to die in the Canadian and UK systems waiting for approval on ordinary treatments such as abcessed teeth and dialysis. Given my knowledge of and dealings with Medicare and Medicaid, your right, I have no faith that it can be done.

    As to the original map? The defficencies of some states? There’s an easy solution. There are THOUSANDS of healthcare providers in countries like India, Pakistan, China, Korea, etc., who would love to become American citizens. One idea we kicked around was to allow visas for those providers, grandfather in both their training and education, and set up rural health clinics with primary care and visiting satellite specialties in cardiology, surgery, and endocrinology in the poorest communities. They work for 7 years, and are granted permenant residency toward citizenship after that time.

    Problem with that? We can’t compel immigration, various state level departments of health, and the big medical schools to work together. Everyone is too busy protecting their own cheese (the trickle of current funding). Meanwhile, those too poor to travel into metropolitan areas in MS, AR, AL, TN, WV, etc. suffer and die.

    You want to banter back another personal attack? Or you want to talk about FACTS?

  52. Daniel says:

    Amanda, you make good points, but the way the status quo is “trending” is catastrophic, as well. Disgracefully so. I don’t trust the government any more than you do, but unfortunately, the implacable imperative of Stayin’ Alive seems to exist outside the purview of conventional market dynamics. It’s not as if once the price hits a certain point, people will cut back on living, thus bringing the price back down.

    Something has to be done.

  53. amanda says:

    Daniel, the first thing I think we must do is limit services to existing legal residents. And, no more anchor babies. Yes, it’s painful and hard, but necessary.

    You said that you think illegal immigrants are a “net positive”…I would have agreed with you 10 years ago. Now, though, looking at my previous work in healthcare, adding to that the resources expended in education, consumer impact (of no vehicle insurance), I’m not so sure. But, let’s be honest with each other, they didn’t cause this situation. I’ll tell you at the end who I do think is responsible…

    I believe that faith based organizations will step in to provide clinical care for those here in other circumstances that require care. I’m also not opposed to providing temporary visas on the basis of compassion.

    Doing that alone will free up billions of dollars…maybe even trillions. Yes, with a “t.”

    You’re so right, the current system is broken. Consider this. In the early days of Medicare and Medicaid, it was a state’s responsiblity on the local level to provide indigent care. On a county level, funds were set aside to pay (at a reduced fee schedule) something toward medical care. As need grew, those funds grew, until the 1990’s. Demand has exceeded supply in every county (in Texas) for more than a decade. You know how Parkland is called Dallas’ “county hospital”?

    So, tell me, where is Collin County’s hospital? Right, ther is none. No one wants the job. When the old medical center on 380 closed (the defacto county facility), a new one was built on 121 at hwy 5, there is the hospital on 15th…Presby built in Plano (late 80’s), Allen (late 90’s), the Centenial and Baylor got in on the action in Frisco. Collin County has a pitiable fund, but as it stands no central way to direct care for the county’s indigents. I always found this to be tragic, all the while hyped up statistical designations like “BEST place to raise a family,” “FASTEST growing city,” blah, blah, blah. If the cities and counties had received grants for healthcare, combined with state and federal funding INSTEAD of dumping millions into, oh, let’s see the boondoggle of the McKinney airport…

    Well, it didn’t happen.

    You know I am Mrs. Freemarket, right? Well, I think the real problem is the insurance industry. When someone like Julie who has a vision and a passion can’t easily obtain a policy in a free market…there’s a problem. I get calls all the time from freelancers about their insurance. I tell everyone: 1) safety in numbers, look for a group like TSCRA, and 2) look for the words guaranteed issue on the brochures/websites.

    On the flip side, insurance carries charge ridiculous premiums TO doctors while their subsidary health carries SLASH compensation to the same physicians. It’s the most powerful lobby in DC, and some scary people. We’ve ceased to be Daniel, Julie, and Amanda…instead we are lumped into actuarial tables, that like the statistics I slammed early can mean very differnt things.

    The insurance industry funded and started the MIB (medical insurance board) in Boston, MA I think 20 or 25 years ago. It’s illegal to violate priveledge in medical records, right? The MIB skirts this by tracking UNDERWRITING decisions. Underwriting decisions are made by ICD-9 codes on previous claims. Those little numbers with a dot, and another 2 digit modifer mean big things.

    Julie can’t get coverage because her hypertension was reported on a claim. This is why I encouraged my clients to take it easy on the ICD-9’s, going back to the early 90’s. Less is more. The insurance companies integrated prescriptions into the system just as recently as 10 years ago. Meaning Julie has intermittant HBP, and her doctor is treating her conservatively with diuretics, but not coding her with HBP. She goes to the pharmacy, and they can’t fill her script under her plan. The ICD-9 doesn’t match the script. Julie calls her doctor, doctor changes the DX, Julie gets her pills. But, the next time she needs new insurance, the MIB is there to tell all her dirty little secrets.

    I see a little ray of light in this new $4 generic plan thing. Patients will say fill it anyway and just pay. Going back to the original map, by congressional district…I so wish there could be an outcry against the MIB, a constitutional ammendment banning it. That levels the playing field. Policies are written in a free market with the assumption of risk by both the carrier and the covered life.

    As it’s set up now, it’s stacked against the patients. On all sides.