I want to underscore and applaud Emily Dalton's column on the insurance mess in which we are now involved ("The Insurance Leech," June 19). I am also a provider for Anthem Blue Cross. It has been five months since I have been paid for some of my clients. When I call them I am "robotted" through a morass of messages and choices. I am instructed to go to a website on which I must "click" in responses.
However, since I use Google Chrome I cannot access this site. It's only accessible through Explorer. My bad. I spend hours of time (my time) hassling with mistakes made by people who have no idea of diagnostics nor the pain some of my clients are suffering. I cannot, in good faith, deny people who have paid for their policies but it is fast becoming clear that it takes more of my time to collect on what is owed to me than the time I am spending with the clients I serve. This is abhorrent. If you are insured by Anthem let them know your concerns. And be aware, it will all change in three years and your premiums most likely will increase.
Ginni Hassrick, Eureka
Thank you for bringing attention to some of the dishonest practices of Anthem Blue cross and Blue Shield. Some of these practices were in place before Obamacare. A couple of years ago I was applying for a Blue Shield plan and I was directed to a list of providers in this area. I knew many of them had not been practicing at the location given for over 10 years and some were not even seeing their existing patients for years. Some have not practiced anywhere. I had pointed that out to them previously that these people were not available. They promise what they cannot deliver to get people to sign up to their plans. It would be fair if they were forced to pay the bills of the practitioners they list in their directory.
I never needed them to cover anything but they are charging me much more than I was told I was going to pay. They took the money right out of my credit card. I tried to resolve this several times over the phone. After entering a lot of information they always disconnected me the first time. The second time I was able to get through. I would have to have at least 45 minutes available to try to get through to them. I wanted to have what we agreed upon verified by an email. They said that they were not capable of sending emails. Then it was like I never made the call as things would go on as if I never called. Any other business is capable of sending emails and confirming things. Finally I closed that credit card and enrolled in Medicare. It is a shame that the government encourages people to use a company that treated people so badly. The more stress people are in the higher their health care costs usually are.
John Yamas, Arcata
As a nurse who has lived in this community for over 30 years I can tell you I am truly discouraged as I have watched Medicare and private insurance companies every year cut reimbursement rates not just to our doctors but to every medical provider we have, including physical therapists and hospitals.
The only way we can fix this is to have our Congress on Medicare. Why do they get a handsome health insurance that allows them to use Bethesda Naval Hospital and other medical agencies at the drop of a hat while our troops get TriCare and struggle to get medical approved?
It is a national disgrace.
If Congress was on Medicare, reimbursement rates would climb, doctors would be able to make a decent living. I know personally that most primary care doctors in private practice are teetering on leaving. They have so much overhead that they no longer make any profit at all.
We as Americans need to demand that Congress stop acting like special kings and have the same health insurance we have.
It would be a start on the right track. So email your congressman now!
Roseann Potter, Fortuna