It appears that the California Association of Realtors may have solved the health insurance issue for the 8000 Realtors and families who are about to have coverage terminated by Blue Shield. They reported to us this week that Blue Cross will issue guaranteed coverage.
We are profoundly relieved and grateful, and have our fingers crossed that the transition goes smoothly.
This issue, while our immediate problem appears to be solved, is a most critical one for us as well as thousands and thousands of people whose policies are either being terminated or who don't have insurance because of the terrible expense. When it becomes a matter of paying rent and eating over paying your health insurance premium, what are you going to do? Duh...
In discussions about health insurance in the last month or so, I've learned that EVERYONE has a story. One medical practitioner with whom I talked at some length is very concerned. Her spouse had a (curable) disease some years ago that makes him ineligible for coverage, other than guaranteed issue, and their premiums are still very expensive and not all that good. A retired couple on Medicare and an extended coverage policy has premiums that are nearly as much as our regular coverage -- which ain't cheap either. A couple in their 30s, both with good jobs, don't have insurance at all: too expensive for that and for routine expenses.
If you have any assets at all, you stand to lose everything if you don't have health insurance, at least for catastrophic incidents. One ER trip for an asthma attack or a painful kidney stone can set you back thousands of dollars; more if you're admitted.
It is time to demand that our lawmakers pay attention and find solutions to this crisis. This is one we can put squarely at the feet of the insurance companies rather than physicians and hospitals (oh, there are exceptions, I know, but most doctors I know have routine battles with the insurers too.) To have such outstanding medical advances and techniques in this country, and to have them available only to those who can pay privately or -- perhaps -- partially with insurance is criminal.