marytng: (lana teeth)
[personal profile] marytng
On the way home from my swim I was listening to CNN and a woman was talking to a group about the most current health insurance reform bill. Now first off I have to say I have not read the bill yet and I have heard very little about it, so I don't have an opinion one way or the other and I'm not meaning to start a political discussion. The woman (now that I'm home I realize it's First Lady Michelle Obama) was talking about women's medical issues and said that some insurance policies do not cover pap smears or mammograms. While I don't doubt that there are some really, really bare bones plans out there, I was wondering how many of the women on my flist who *do* have insurance, but it doesn't cover these tests. This is the first time in my life I have *not* had insurance and every plan I've ever had covered these tests. Pap smears yearly and mammograms after a certain age (and I was able to get my baseline at 30 because of family history). Thanks in advance for taking the time to answer.

Date: 2009-09-18 04:32 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
While at my first job (the US Army, LOL) I had wonderful coverage, ability to see a Dr any time, day or night, and could get a pap or mammogram daily if I wanted to.

My next job, working for DynCorp (a military contractor) I got one pap a year (more if there were issues) and one mammogram a year (also based on family history).

I was without coverage for a while, lucky for me I was young and in shape and I had no issues.

My coverage at the SDSU Research Foundation was not *fantastic* but not bad coverage. I was back to once a year paps and once a year mammograms.

Right now (for the last 10 years) my coverage at San Diego State University is awesome. Paps and Mammograms yearly again.

So, in a nut shell, every time I've ever had coverage it has included a pap and mammogram.

Date: 2009-09-18 04:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Question: When you say "cover," do you mean 100% coverage at no cost to the patient or that a percentage of the procedures are covered and the patient pays the rest?

I have only had decent health insurance since I married Chon in '94. Before that, we went without except for a brief stretch of time from '81 to '84 when Bob had employer-subsidized insurance. But we never used it because it didn't cover doctor's visits or pregnancy/labor/delivery, and those were the only times we used a doctor. From '84 to '94, neither me nor my children had insurance of any form, medical or dental. We were incredibly lucky that nothing catastrophic happened.

Sassy had insurance for a few months at the car dealership but had to drop it because she couldn't afford the premiums. Ninety dollars out of every check is a lot when you're barely getting by already. And while she was still insured and had to go in for a pap smear and follow-up biopsy, she had to shell out $220 for the $300 procedure up front. That's because "most insurance companies don't pay the $110 lab fee," she was told. Needless to say, she dropped the insurance coverage.

I'm so hoping that she has better benefits at her new state job.

Your post has reminded that I've been intending to do something similar in my own LJ. I had a question regarding health insurance coverage I wanted to pose to my flist, too!

Date: 2009-09-18 04:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Well, my experience with insurance is you (or your employer) pay the monthly premiums and you pay a deductible for office visits and a deductible for lab tests (like when I need blood drawn to test for cholesterol or diabetes). So, in my head I consider covered to mean you pay your deductible for the pap smear exam (I've never then paid a deductible for that subsequent lab test because it's always been part of the exam). And then pay a deductible for the mammogram appointment. Not covered would then mean that you have to pay above and beyond what you *normally* pay for an office visit or normal x-ray like if you broke your foot. Does that makes sense?

Date: 2009-09-19 01:35 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Yeah, that makes sense :) We pay a co-pay of $20 for doctor's visits now and co-payments of varying amounts for all other services (lab, radiology, prescriptions, etc.) I've never been able to figure out the deductible on our BC/BS policy, though -- at first we didn't have one at all, then they said we did. But co-pay amounts didn't change [shrug]

I'm finally used to the idea of having insurance after going for all of my adult life without any. It's great to not have to pay so much out of pocket when at the doctor BUT I've never been brave enough to look at Chon's checkstub and see how high his premiums are. I do know that he only brings hom3 two-thirds to one-half of his paycheck after everything's been deducted.

I remember when it was only $20 for a doctor's visit, withOUT insurance. And when Aimee was born, I paid $500 for the doctor's fees and $800 for the hospital in December 1981. We were able to pay it out, and it wasn't even a county hospital. Less than thirty years later, costs are through the roof, and if it's not a county facility, you pay it all up front if you have no insurance. The system is broken :(

I'm so glad that Aimee has insurance now, and I'm hoping that Sassy's new job will provide her with decent coverage, especially with her gynecological issues. Poor Alex doesn't have any, though, but he's been coming over to Andrews and seeing my doctor for his bipolar condition, and Dr. Olive is a SAINT and hasn't been charging him full price, AND he's been providing him with much lower cost medication.

Date: 2009-09-18 08:08 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Every company sponsored plan I ever had covered the annual well woman exam and lab fees. The times I was paying my own thru Cobra or even once I got a private, temporary policy while a contractor and paid like $300/month for it, it still had annual coverage for those items.

The other thing is that, at least around here, there are ads in the paper all the time offering free annual exams for those without insurance through the local teaching hospital. I called on those one time and were only for 'low income' meaning you basically already had to be on guvmint assistance to qualify for more free guvmint stuff.

Date: 2009-09-19 02:56 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've always had insurance which covered both a mammogram and pap smear.

Date: 2009-09-19 04:38 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I also want to say that I LOVE LOVE LOVE the Allison Janey commercials for Kaiser. Mostly because she's as awesome as they come but also because they're all about preventative measures. Such as, getting your pap and mam done, getting out and walking, washing the car, eating well, etc... to live a better life.

To not just live, but to thrive (this, or something close to it, is their tag line).

Date: 2009-09-19 05:17 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I've just read all the repies to your question Mary. I can only say I am so glad I have the NHS. There may be some waiting time but at least I know I can see my doctor on the day I am ill without worrying what it will cost.

Date: 2009-09-19 07:33 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
Has NHS always existed in your lifetime? I have no idea when different countries implemented socialized medicine. I wonder though, and I'm totally trying to not sound snippy because the written word can be read totally differently than it's typed, but do you know what your actual cost is to have NHS? I guess I could look it up online, but like what is sales tax where you live and federal/state income tax (again my ignorance, I know Scottland is it's own country, but do you pay any income or sales taxes to Great Britain?). Whether it's a monthly premium to an insurance company or taxes medical care does cost us. Since we don't have socialized medicine here each side of the arguement can only imagine what it might be like and I can see how it could be a relief to *not* have to think about or fear high medical costs for an individual, but at what cost overall. That's the stuff I'm thinking about.

Date: 2009-09-21 05:51 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
::kisses your icon::
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