Raising Women’s Voices

Putting a cap on health care

Posted in Uncategorized by raisingwomensvoices on December 16, 2008

The Philadelphia Inquirer continues its series, “Falling Through: Casualties of the Health Insurance Crisis,” with its newest installment focusing on the prevalence and consequences of lifetime benefits caps, which are included in more than half of all employer-sponsored coverage plans.  While such a policy claims to be in the interest of responsible allocation of resources such that an employer can cover a greater number of workers, it also means that people with serious illnesses are more likely to max out their lifetime benfits allowance.  The Kaiser Daily Health Policy Report summarizes:

The Inquirer profiled a 44-year-old woman who lost her job after she was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia. After 16 months of paying for COBRA insurance, she was informed that she no longer would receive coverage because she had reached her lifetime maximum coverage of $2 million, according to the Inquirer. The woman has more than $16,000 in medical debt and cannot afford private insurance. In addition, she does not qualify for Medicaid and will not be eligible for Medicare until November 2009 because of a two-year waiting period imposed for disabled disability benefits

Stories like this one really serve to remind us that we’re dealing with people, here, not just products or numbers on a computer screen.  As trite as that sounds, it is something that our policymakers need to hear.  The current system in which insurance companies operating with a bottom line mentality have free range is not something we can stand by and allow our elected officials to condone.  This is why now is a crucial moment and I urge you to take action and make your vision for health care reform part of the Obama team’s plan.

Please see RWV’s Urgent Action Alert: Put Women’s Health on Obama’s Agenda.

And go to http://change.gov/page/content/discusshealthcare and scroll down to add your comments to the discussion.

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