In November my wife and I received a very surprising and disturbing letter. Our health insurance provider Blue Cross Blue Shield told us that since we are eligible for health insurance through my work we were no longer eligible to purchase insurance through Blue Cross Blue Shield. Not only that, but our current policy would be canceled at some point in the future. I must have read the letter ten times. Think about this. Massachusetts may have ruled that you cannot choose your health insurance provider, but the real calamity is that Massachusetts is effectively determining who your health care providers are too. We use BCBS for a reason and it is because our doctors are covered by BCBS and not my work’s insurance. By forcing me into a plan I don’t want the state is determining who can provide my care. What if my work has the worst rated insurer in the state? What if I work out of state and my health insurer doesn’t have good coverage in Massachusetts?
I am pro-health care reforms because I believe that everyone in our great country has a right to be treated for illness, but this law takes away your choice of health care provider. And that my friends, is unamerican. Every single one of us should have a choice of who our health insurance provider (and thus health care professionals) are. Forcing an individual to work with a specific company through virtue of their employer is bad for the american people.
BCBS immediately received a call from me in which my suspicions were confirmed by the operator. I was so stunned I actually called back the next day and asked another representative. She said that the reason this was mandated was because of people buying individual coverage, getting an operation, and then immediately dropping coverage. But isn’t this the entire purpose of open enrollment periods? In fact Massachusetts has instituted open enrollment period for 2011 individual plans. Six weeks at the beginning of 2011 and from then on July 1 to July 15 once per year.
Google searches for the text of this law were fruitless and finding any information resulted in nothing. Rarely have I felt the need to blog about something political, but this really struck a nerve because it affects my family immensely. It did not help that just days before receiving this letter I found out that my son will need open heart surgery in January or February. BCBS could give me no specific date when our coverage would be revoked. Just what you want to hear when you have required surgery coming up and can’t afford not to be insured.
So my mind started to chew through different scenarios where someone would actually think this is a good idea. I couldn’t find anything online about the law. In fact I am still not sure if it is a state law or a national law. I believe that we may be the victim of a bone thrown to insurance companies. You see my family certainly isn’t profitable to BCBS. Previously we were, but with the birth of a baby that needs lots of medical attention we are an enormous liability. What if the state made a deal with insurance companies? Essentially the insurance companies can keep profitable customers and bump nonprofitable customers off on someone else.
If anyone knows more about this law then please post in the comments!