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Article
1/5/2012
By Mark Reback
Our Blue Shield policy covers three people: me, my husband and our four-year-old son. When we bought our high-deductible policy in 2008 it was $242 per month. With our latest rate increase it is $625 a month, up about 15% from last year and double what it was even three years ago. The policy has a $10,000 yearly family deductible and a $20,000...
Article
10/5/2011
By Mark Reback
Seven years ago, at age 54, I was self-employed and of modest means, but completely debt-free. I had health insurance, but rarely made a claim. Today I am a 62-year old uninsured cancer survivor on the verge of bankruptcy from medical debt. I am too young for Medicare, too early for the Affordable Care Act and I have a pre-existing condition...
Article
10/5/2011
By Mark Reback
I have a Blue Cross PPO Share 2500 individual plan and just got my premium invoice for May 1st. My premium increases by 17.3%, on top of a 19% increase last fall. That means my premium, which was $526 per month last October (prior to the fall increase), will now be $736.  In October of 2008, my premium was only $441. In addition, only four...
Article
10/5/2011
By Mark Reback
Blue Cross Rate Hikes I’m a freelance entertainment writer and my husband is an international urban development consultant. So, we don’t have employer health insurance. We’ve have had an individual Blue Cross family policy since 1992.  When we first signed on, the cost was $203 a month for our family of three.  In...
Archived Article
1/17/2008
Consumer Watchdog
Mandatory Private Insurance Is Unaffordable Read what happened when Ron flew 3,000 miles from Massachusetts to California to explain to lawmakers why mandatory private insurance is unaffordable for his family. I'm Ron Norton, an adjunct professor of radiology and an administrator at a Massachusetts community college. But like 66% of our community...
Archived Article
12/17/2007
Consumer Watchdog
Mandatory Private Insurance Is Unaffordable I think most people don't realize the consequences of this insurance mandate in Massachusetts because they have insurance at work or they're getting some other subsidy. They don't realize the full cost. But they could be in our situation someday. Until this year we had health coverage through my husband'...
Archived Article
4/18/2006
Consumer Watchdog
Junk Insurance, $18.5K in Medical Bills, Forces Them to Leave State In Search of Affordable Insurance Endicott, New York As told by Sherry Orestuk: Three years ago, my husband and I fell for a great sales pitch and bought health insurance that is legalized junk. It left us with nearly $20,000 in debt after a life-threatening illness. In order to...
Archived Article
1/26/2006
Consumer Watchdog
Fake Health Insurance Left Dana Widowed With $450K In Unpaid Bills Playa del Rey, California Get more information about junk insurance and S. 1955. Dana Christensen is a victim of the type of junk health insurance policy President Bush is recommending for the nation. Although she and her husband Doug were insured, Dana was left with $450,000 in...
Archived Article
1/25/2006
Consumer Watchdog
Couple Struggles Through Multiple Surgeries, Only To Find Insurer Won't Pay Penn Valley, California In April 2000, Darlene and Dave Henderson met with a salesman for the National Association for the Self-Employed. He sold them an association health plan with Mega Life, which they thought was like a group PPO similar to others they had seen. Soon...
Archived Article
7/8/2005
Consumer Watchdog
Sheila Franklin survived the barrage of hurricanes that battered Ft. Lauderdale this fall. Her house is standing, and she is all right. Now she is going back to face a different, yet equally treacherous foe: the health care industry and its callous disregard for American citizens, especially older citizens. Sheila, 62, is in that no-man's land for...