People should be grateful for insurance

October 11, 2004

Dear Editor:

In this country, there are many who have no health insurance because the cost is so high. I know I work for a health insurance company.

Many of the teachers are complaining about the cost of their insurance, but what they don't know is that many of the health insurance companies in the past several years have taken a loss on the state employees covered by their insurance. Thus to cover the loss, most of the insurance companies changed the plans they were offering.

This is not Gov. Ernie Fletcher's fault, nor is it the insurance companies'. If the insurance company does not try to prevent the same loss from such groups, eventually it will go out of business.


The system has been abused by patients, doctors, and insurance companies. Here are a few examples:

Patients that go to the emergency room for a cold when their physician's office is open. The cost of the ER is three to four times as much as the office visit.

Most physicians charge more than what insurance companies agree to pay. When they accept that type of insurance, they agree to take what the insurance will pay, so why are they charging more?

Insurance companies underwrite policies for people who do not report medical conditions as they should. That is fraud and the insurance companies end up eating that cost if the person is requiring treatment for a condition that they neglected to report. To prevent future losses, insurance companies increase premiums at renewal time.

In the meantime, there are millions of people who make a lot less than $28,000 who can't afford insurance either. I pay almost $300 a month and I work for a health insurance company.

So be thankful you had it as good as you did as long as you did. Because not so long ago, I was one of those unfortunate people who didn't have insurance and got real sick. My hospital bill alone was more than $40,000. Now I don't complain about the cost because it was a lot cheaper to pay $300 plus what the insurance didn't cover than to pay $40,000 for one hospital stay.

Dana Johnson

Junction City

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