I keep hearing disparaging things about what lousy consumers patients are – unable to understand how things work, unable to understand the options. Well, as I often say in my speeches, in any other industry you go out of business if consumers don’t understand you – because customers ditch you. But in medicine we consumers can’t easily do that. Heck, we can hardly get our hands on information in the first place.
Case in point: when I shopped for health insurance in 2011, I found out just how slanted the table is when companies offer insurance and consumers buy it. Here’s the true story of the information I was given.
1. Cancer? You can’t play in our market – go away.
First, Blue Cross of New Hampshire asked if I’d ever had various things. When I said cancer, they went from cordial & friendly to cold and “go away.” It was rude, frankly.
But at least I could get at the high risk pool. Some states won’t let people like me get ANY insurance without a six month waiting period. (Up yours, states. And up yours, regulators in those states.)