Sunday, October 7, 2007

Medicare Drug Plan - Profitable to Insurers

The New York Times has an article that is no surprise to physicians and pharmacists who care for patients. Guess what? The wonderful Medicare Drug Plan for seniors has turned into a cash cow for insurance companies that administer it. Duh! Since when do Insurers ever do anything with the government that doesn't fatten their pockets?

Audits, conducted by the Department of Health and Human Services found serious compliance problems in deceptive marketing practices, denial of claims and handling of appeals. Sales agents sold products that were not really available, formularies did not cover needed drugs and there was no way for a patient or doctor to appeal or even get someone to answer the phone. Claims were denied and people were told they were not enrolled even though they produced cancelled checks. Wellpoint, one of the nations largest insurers, has a backlog of 354,000 claims. Gee, they are in the insurance business and can't handle claims? Isn't that their only reason for existing?

These same insurance conglomerates, Wellpoint, United Healthcare, and Humana to name a few, also sell Medicare Advantage plans which offer a full range of coverage including hospital and doctor care. The investigators found the same abuses in these plans as well as the drug plans.

As long as we allow large corporations to make obscene profits on our Medicare tax dollars, we will have a health care system that fails in the United States. I have said it before...I want my tax dollar to be used for improving and sustaining health of people...all people. Stop this corporate privatization of Medicare. Stop allowing big Pharma and big Insurers to rape the coffers. We deserve better.


JD said...

When will people wake up and realize that we must stop thinking for-profit capitalism is the way to manage a Nation's health care? The Medicare drug program was a gift to the pharmaceutical industry. Price caps were deemed illegal. Think about that. The U.S. government will pay 10x what the UK or Canada pays for the same drug. The insurance companies receive inflated payments for Medicare health plan payments and they can deny claims and reap the profits. It is sinful what our government allows in the name of "free enterprise". It is only free for corporations and everyone else pays the bill. Thanks for the blog

K said...

The day people start to wake up and realize they've been lied to for a long time is the day the upswell for change will truly begin. I hate to say it, though - people don't like thinking for themselves or facing hard truths.

Isn't it awesome to be a downer? :p

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