Nov 20 2007
I have to pay my quarterly Health Insurance premium this week. I keep picking up the envelope, looking at the bill, and each time all I can say is “Holy Crap”! This is the same policy which 5 years ago cost me $200.00 a quarter – It is now nearly $1,800.00 a quarter. I wish my Investment Portfolio was increasing like this. Of course, it probably could be, if I didn’t have to keep paying my health insurance premiums. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve toyed with the idea of dropping it… You know the dialogue, IF I’d just invested the premiums I’d have this much saved….
I was at a seminar last January and there happened to be a large group of Dentists, all in the Armed Services, who were attending a convention at the same hotel. During breaks throughout the week I had several conversations with these military dentists. The topic of Health Care costs came up and we were discussing the Pros and Cons of a universal, government, or socialized plan such as Medicare or the Canadian Health Care plan. In their daily practices these dentists see many patients, some of whom need tons of dental work. And guess what? They get it! It doesn’t matter whether they are a 1-striper or a 5-Star General. Cost is never a factor in their care. They need it, they get it. No pre-authorization, no claims to complete. They just do the work. Further, most of the Dentists I spoke with were of the opinion that a Universal Plan would be great for them, once they have completed their commitment with the service. As a Dentist in the military, their pay is based on their military rank. Most of them agreed that they would “LOVE to make ONLY $100,000.00 per year” in private practice.
I had a wonderful GYN for 25 years. In fact, I used him as my primary care physician. He loved practicing medicine and it showed. And then, it happened. HMO’s, PPO’s. Insurance companies dictating how he could, or could not, treat his patients. In private practice for so many years, he tried bringing in a partner to help with the rising costs until finally he could take no more. He retired. He was in his early 60’s. What a great loss to his patients. I still miss him. I have yet to find another doctor that comes close to him.
I have a customer who now owns a commercial print shop. He was a customer for several years before it came up in casual conversation that he once practiced Internal Medicine. He too got tired of insurance companies dictating how he could treat a patient. So now this doctor prints Newsletters, Letterhead, Business Cards and Envelopes. Years of studying medicine and he helps people decide between “flat or raised letter”.
I wasn’t always, but I am now Pro Universal Health Plan. Like many other Self-employed people, I find myself on the brink of being forced to drop my health insurance. I have 15 years before I can retire and apply for Social Security and Medicare, assuming they are solvent. I cannot imagine what the quarterly premiums will be on my policy over the next 15 years, but I do know that I probably will not be able to afford them by this time next year. It used to be that your Home was your single largest purchase. Not for me, not anymore. My single largest purchase is my Health Insurance. Holy Crap!
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