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Debates Forum

Debates Forum

  1. Subscriber WoodPush
    Pusher of wood
    24 Oct '11 22:31 / 2 edits
    Health care coverage is getting more expensive. Everyone knows that. When I first joined my company (a large corporation with 300k+ employees), 15 years ago, I paid nothing for health insurance. Now I pay around $1000 a year for it, and I consider myself lucky.

    Of course, those rates are going up. And I would be paying more around $1500 except for company-paid $500 incentive to offset the cost if I sign away my rights.

    For around the last 3 years, my company has been offering cash incentives to participate in online health interviews and health screenings. As part of those interviews/screenings, they have started requiring that we sign a waiver that allows them to disclose my health information to other entities. This is all in a guise of blood level screenings -- but frankly, I do that with my doctor anyway, why do I have to do it with my company?

    The waiver is so long and filled with legalese, I don't even know what I'm waiving. I just know it feels dirty and shameful, but I'd rather get my $500 of coverage.

    Is this part of the new health care reform? Encourage companies to have their employees sign away their rights so they can full coverage?

    Perhaps debates isn't the right form, but can someone in the know give me a little background on what exactly this crud is, and if I'm insane to sign it?
  2. Subscriber invigorate
    Only 1 F in Uckfield
    24 Oct '11 22:39
    I heart the NHS
  3. 25 Oct '11 02:39
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    Health care coverage is getting more expensive. Everyone knows that. When I first joined my company (a large corporation with 300k+ employees), 15 years ago, I paid nothing for health insurance. Now I pay around $1000 a year for it, and I consider myself lucky.

    Of course, those rates are going up. And I would be paying more around $1500 except for co ...[text shortened]... now give me a little background on what exactly this crud is, and if I'm insane to sign it?
    So long as third parties pay for most health care prices will continue to rise. When I was growing up, born 1943, our family doctor visited the house, and serious illness was covered by "hospitalizaiton insurance". There were no piles of paperwork, or endless waivers of lawyer speak.

    Besides the third party payer issue, the popularity of malpractice law suits probably drives health care costs most. For people actually hurt by doctors, it is important that they have the tort system, however many people are wealthy on the basis of poor science, or misguided notions of indemnification.
  4. 25 Oct '11 12:15
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    Health care coverage is getting more expensive. Everyone knows that. When I first joined my company (a large corporation with 300k+ employees), 15 years ago, I paid nothing for health insurance. Now I pay around $1000 a year for it, and I consider myself lucky.

    Of course, those rates are going up. And I would be paying more around $1500 except for co ...[text shortened]... now give me a little background on what exactly this crud is, and if I'm insane to sign it?
    Your company is offering a cash option. It is basically free money if you can get coverage somewhere else (say through a spouse). It is ridiculous to complain about an option. As for it once was free and now it isn't -- the reality is that health insurance is insanely expensive and if you want it, someone (you perhaps) has to pay for it.
  5. Subscriber WoodPush
    Pusher of wood
    25 Oct '11 13:30 / 1 edit
    Well, no. This is not an incentive to get insurance through someone else. This is an option to allow my employer to sell my medical records. There is no change in the insurance options they offer.

    What confuses me about it is how it's profitable for my employer to do this. And why my employer has my medical records at all. Yes, my employer is paying for my health insurance, but is the insurance company providing my employer with my health records? I would have thought no, but it seems like that's not correct.

    Frankly, this isn't an option. My employer is "offering" to withhold full coverage of health insurance unless I sign away might rights. Yes, it's an option, but it's a very forceful option.
  6. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    25 Oct '11 13:37 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    Well, no. This is not an incentive to get insurance through someone else. This is an option to allow my employer to sell my medical records. There is no change in the insurance options they offer.

    What confuses me about it is how it's profitable for my employer to do this. And why my employer has my medical records at all. Yes, my employer is paying e unless I sign away might rights. Yes, it's an option, but it's a very forceful option.
    So if you pay the $500 extra, you get to protect your privacy?
  7. Subscriber WoodPush
    Pusher of wood
    25 Oct '11 14:28
    Originally posted by kmax87
    So if you pay the $500 extra, you get to protect your privacy?
    Yes.
  8. Subscriber kmax87
    You've got Kevin
    25 Oct '11 14:34
    Originally posted by WoodPush
    Yes.
    So is it in the company's interest to have your records, to be able to assess your health risk, because by knowing they can better price your health liability risk into the future?

    Them knowing would only makes it cheaper for them to insure you, or are you suggesting another more sinister motive?
  9. 25 Oct '11 14:44
    This does seem odd. What country are you in?
  10. Subscriber WoodPush
    Pusher of wood
    25 Oct '11 15:22 / 1 edit
    Originally posted by kmax87
    So is it in the company's interest to have your records, to be able to assess your health risk, because by knowing they can better price your health liability risk into the future?

    Them knowing would only makes it cheaper for them to insure you, or are you suggesting another more sinister motive?
    That would make a little more sense, but as I read it, it seemed more to be the case that I was releasing the right for them to sell my records, not for them to obtain them.

    Which sort of implies they already have my health records.

    The country is the U.S.

    I'm not sure I'm suggesting a more sinister motive, I just know it feels a little odd that my employer should ever be giving me cash incentives with the requirement that I sign away any rights. It just doesn't seem I should be required to sign away my rights in order to get my full health benefits. That just seems like an injustice. So, was just trying to throw out a probe to see if this is a common thing that people are familiar with.