Is Healthcare Delayed, Healthcare Denied?

A large healthcare insurer in Kansas started taking payments for healthcare January 1st.  The only problem is that healthcare benefit cards won’t be available until late January.  The insurer is asking that one talk with one’s doctor about not filing any claims until the insured has a card.  It is possible that one will be charged for the services and later reimbursed.  I think the company has taken a page out of the old segregationist plan that was summarized with the old saying “Justice delayed, is justice denied”.  I think most people like me will put off care until after the card is received – and I think that was the intentioned plan by the company.

Are healthcare recipients becoming the chattel of the 21st century?

18 Comments

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18 responses to “Is Healthcare Delayed, Healthcare Denied?

  1. Chattel is the term used when one person directly owns another – as in a slave.

    • To pick a nit; the legal term “chattel” refers to tangible personal property, as opposed to intangible personal property (stocks and bonds, e.g.) or real property (land, residence, as examples). While a slave was indeed chattel, this is because of the legal status of the individual, i.e., the property of the owner. The term also applied to the farm animals, etc., of the owner of the slave, illustrative of the low regard that was held of slaves.

      I’d think that you are in a situation analogous to the indentured servants of the Colonial period, with the insurance company being the other contracting party; but that’s just me. 🙂

      • Then we are all going to be indentured servants when the mandate is passed.

        Yes, I know, it ensures that all are covered by insurance, but I am with the cons on this one; I think it is unconstitutional.

        AND I don’t think it is going to end up working the way they say it will. I don’t know why, but I just can’t seem to trust the politicians on this one…

  2. lillacluvr

    Our employer’s health insurance company changed as of January 1st and we still do not have the new cards. We have all been assured that if we need to see the doctor or go to the hospital that all claims will be paid.

    That is all well and good but will the doctor see us without proof of insurance? I know alot of doctors that will not see patients until their office verifies insurance .

    The hospital has to give stablizing care but once you’re stable, I think they have the right to send you somewhere else or home – don’t they?

    Besides – our employer knew we were changing insurance companies for the past 3 months – why weren’t new cards already printed and sent to everyone?

    It could be that insurance companies are trying this latest little trick – much like those new credit card fees that are popping up everywhere to go into effect before the new law clamps down on those credit card banks.

    What do you think?

    • Ah, one of the great mysteries of life as we have it. Simply stated, the insurance company was waiting to issue the new cards until it knew who the members of the group were. Folks could retire, terminate (voluntarily or otherwise), die or otherwise not be eligible for coverage as of 1 January 2010, and it’s easier to wait then to invalidate previously issued cards; there’s a facile explanation available if one only looks for it. /sarcasm

    • I can’t help but think the intended purpose was to screw people by taking their money for nothing. It should be illegal. If we had an insurance commissioner worth a crap in this state, it would be illegal.

      • If you think it’s bad in Kansas (insurance commissioner), you should take a look at some other states. There might just as well not be a regulator (Indiana comes to mind).

    • We switched insurance companies last year at my firm and there was no lapse in cards. We actually received the new cards in the mail about a month before they were to go into effect.

  3. I wish it made me feel better that it is worse in other states. The situation here is just flat wrong. I don’t think we should have to take it.

  4. I can’t think of any situation where if one pays the money and the goods or services might be available, or might not, would ever be acceptable.

    It should be illegal. Period. I hope this gets challenged by law suit.

    • Were it not for a wrongly-decided (imho) case by the Kansas Supreme Court some 25 or so years ago, the actions being described would be the subject of litigation under the Kansas Consumer Protection Act (as close to a ‘slam dunk’ for the Plaintiff as one can get) as a ‘deceptive act or practice’. But, given the decision, it cannot be brought in such a case, and would likely result in a defense verdict.

  5. 6176746f6c6c65

    ,

  6. 6176746f6c6c65

    I don’t know what just happened. I’ll try to get you a cite tomorrow, as I need to leave.

  7. tosmarttobegop

    My wife came home yesterday and said the insurance was going up a hundred dollars a paycheck.

    • I wish I could say that’s a surprise, tstbg, but it isn’t. I’ve a feeling that the merger between PHS and whoever it is will give many illustrations just like this over the coming years.

  8. The case I had in mind was Chelsea Plaza Homes, Inc. v. Moore, 226 Kan. 430, 601 P.2d 1100, which essentially held in a Landlord-Tenant dispute that the KCPA was a general remedy, and did not apply where there exists specific legislation (Kansas Residential Landlord Tenant Act) on the subject matter of the legislation and takes precedence. In arriving at the decision, the Court looked at the provisions of K.S.A. 50-624(c), which exempts insurance contracts from the definition of a consumer transaction. The problem with the decision insofar as the insurance question is concerned is that the existence of state law regulating an area has been held to eliminate a cause of action under the KCPA, even where, as in the instances discussed, there is no direct contact between the consumer (you) and the insurer. There is, as I have suddenly recognized, another problem with the application of the KCPA in a group insurance setting; the contract is between the employer and the insurer, with the employee at best a third party beneficiary of the contract. This also takes the transaction without the KCPA, IMHO.