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The 2005 Insurance Advice & Warnings Thread


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The 2005 Insurance Advice & Warnings Thread
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-01-24, 20:21

All right, so we all know the man - a.k.a insurance companies - like to bend us over the proverbial barrel and flog us on a regular basis. Here's our chance to help each other out. I have had the damnest time finding reliable, detailed data on insurance company / policy rankings, that I though it might be better getting reports first hand from other users.

My reason for looking into all this is that I am sick of Blue Cross Blue Shield sticking it to me every fucking year, even though I have never been a smoker, have never had a major illness or surgery, and rarely make claims of any kind. Every year my premium jumps like $60 for the same services and it's BS. The fuckers don't cover dental, don't cover wellness exams / physicals, or other routine stuff.

I have a pretty low deductible but even if I doubled it my rates would still suck. For a comprehensive individual PPO plan I pay about $225 a month. It's fucking ridiculous. I looked into Humana today and they're a good bit cheaper (about $135 a month), but of course their quote system is not real clear on what is and isn't included. I have a suspicion it will be closer to $150 or $160 a month to get the same kind of coverage.

The kicker is, the only report I can find (Consumer Reports 2003), lists BCBS of IL as 8th among all national providers, and Humana was like 45th. Billing problems was the worst concern. However they have apparently become very intent on making a full service web site where you can handle all kinds of common tasks and such without talking to a rep. So who knows what their 2005 ranking is.

Anyone here have Humana / feel good about their service / choices?

Feel free to jump into Auto, Home, etc. This is a full-service insurance thread.

I will say for the most part I have been very happy over the years with my State Farm Auto, even though it's a bit more expensive than some of the cheaper carriers. The one accident I was in as an adult was one where the trucker that caused it never stopped, but I had a witness on the report. Was a $4500 bill and they covered everything no questions asked, and didn't raise my premium after.

Their personal articles (covers stuff like computers and photography equipment when on the road / in the field (breakage, theft, etc)) is pretty cheap for a good amount of coverage too. Haven't had to use it but my lenses and stuff are so expensive I'd be stupid not to have it.

...into the light of a dark black night.

Last edited by Moogs : 2005-01-24 at 20:28.
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Chinney
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Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2005-01-24, 20:30

One more reason Moogs should be Canadian. Public health insurance.

As for other forms of insurance, the companies stick it to us in Canada as badly or worse than they stick it to Americans. Especially car insurance.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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ast3r3x
25 chars of wasted space.
 
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2005-01-24, 21:10

I've heard healthcare while cheaper (free?) in Canada isn't as good as here in the US. Is that true or just bs?
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-01-24, 22:01

@ Chinney's comment. It's so true....

Ast3r3x: You mean the actual medical care, or the coverage provided by the government? I imagine the former is comparable in most categories, no idea about the latter but one of my would-be fellow Canuckleheads might be able to provide some info on that.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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Chinney
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Join Date: May 2004
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2005-01-24, 23:01

It's a long, long story that Canadians debate endlessly. I am too tired to fill in the details. I may have to lift some bits from the long political debates back in my AI days, where we discussed the merits of public health insurance. Oh the memories. Trumptman, where are you when I need a good political argument?

My basic assessment is that the Canadian system is fairly good, but is straining under the stress of the rising costs of medical services. That's true in the U.S. too, but the strains are showing in different spots and affecting different people.

If you need cutting edge treatment and are rich enough to afford it (or have a generous HMO), then you are better off in the U.S. For everything and everyone else, it is better in Canada. Overall, Canada spends far less of a percentage of its GDP on health care costs, has better public health key indicators, and a higher level of public satisfaction with its system than in the U.S. Actually, you can say that about pretty much every western country. The U.S. leads the world in medical advancement and treatment, but it does it at great cost and still fails to provide adequate and affordable health care for a significant proportion of its population.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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InactionMan
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
 
2005-01-24, 23:35

Quote:
Originally Posted by ast3r3x
I've heard healthcare while cheaper (free?) in Canada isn't as good as here in the US. Is that true or just bs?
On the other hand, I heard that in the U.S. someone declares bankruptcy every 15 seconds because of health care bills.

Yeah, move to Canada Moogs.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2005-01-27, 11:35

Apparently this country is a healthcare wasteland, as no one seems to have a single piece of advice or commentary on how good or lousy their particular plan is. I'm afeared of switching carriers without getting at least a few testimonials. I suppose I could always raise my deductible, though within a year I'm sure the premium would end up being the same as it is now. Ugh...

I saw the Rainmaker again last night; reminds me of just how much I distrust insurance companies of all stripes.

...into the light of a dark black night.
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LoCash
Rest In Peace
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Atlanta
 
2005-01-27, 11:50

I used to have BCBS, but I switched about two years ago because their coverage sucked and they weren't paying for all the meds I was on. I switched to PHCS and have been completely happy ever since. My old man actually helped set me up with it, so I don't know all of the specifics, but it pays for all my scripts, and when I had to have an MRI done last October it cost me about $35.

The name on the top of the insurance card is "North American Administrators" and apparently they're part of the PHCS (Private Healthcare Systems) group or network or whatever. Like, check them out or something

I do pay $335 a month, but I have lots of coverage.

It is with great regret that we say our farewells to Jack, who passed away on May 28th, 2005. Jack, you will be missed by all

Superior thinking has always overwhelmed superior force. - Marine Corps Officers

"You don't lead by hitting people over the head-that's assault, not leadership." - General Eisenhower
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murbot
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2005-01-27, 13:01

I pay about $90 a month for Alberta Health, family of 4. When my first daughter was born the hospital bill was $10. $5 a day for cable TV in the room.

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alcimedes
I shot the sherrif.
 
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2005-01-27, 13:58

I have a good story about one of our insurance providers. Our auto insurance company is a group that only insures educators or those who work in education. They were about half as much as the next lowest bid, so I went with them. I've always been a little bit nervous about how their coverage will be since they were so cheap, and finally had a chance to find out the other night.

My wife was driving home, hit a patch of ice and hit the back end of the car in the lane next to her. (she's fine, as is our car)

Cops came out, cited bad road conditions as the cause of the accident, so my wife got a claim number and the police work etc. to fill out, and called up our insurance company.

They said that because she has a clean record (even with two speeding tickets in the last two years) and so they're not going to raise our rates at all, and that they'd cover the cost of the car she hit with no deductable coming out of our pockets.

First time in ages that I've heard of a car accident where it's our fault and it's not going to cost us a dime.

Good people. I'm very pleased.

Google is your frenemy.
Caveat Emptor - Latin for tough titty
I tend to interpret things in the way that's most hilarious to me
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kretara
Cynical Old Bastard
 
Join Date: May 2004
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2005-01-27, 14:52

I have the State of Arkansas negotiated health insurance called QualChoice. I pay $200/mo for family. QualChoice basically sucks. It coverage is rather limited and copays are high.
One of the few good things that I can say about Massachusetts is that during my many years there I had outstanding health insurance. Health insurance in Arkansas sucks badly.


I have Liberty Mutual for auto insurance only because I get a big discount through my employer. Liberty Mutual really SUCKS!! They do not have an office in Arkansas, so if you have a question you can't call your neighborhood rep., no you have to call an 800 number and wait on hold for 5-20 minutes. I have had sooooo many problems with these jerks. They have "misplaced" paperwork and PAYMENTS which caused my homeowners insurance to prematurely expire for non-payment even though they had been paid in full and had cashed my checks. BASTARDS.
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Moogs
Hates the Infotainment
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: NSA Archives
 
2005-01-27, 16:19

Ouch. That does blow....
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Chinney
Veteran Member
 
Join Date: May 2004
Location: Ottawa, ON
 
2005-01-27, 22:10

One thing that I've noticed over the past few years is advisories on our home insurance stipulating things that the insurance no longer covers. I guess it has been a bad few years for insurers. 9/11 cost insurers plenty - as have a series of hurricanes and the like. Events such as these affect the general insurance pool. In general, this makes insurance more expensive and inspires insurers to exclude more types of loss. I understand the reasons for it, but it still makes me angry: it gives me the impression that for certain types of catastrophic loss - if, God-forbid, it should ever happen to us - we'd just be on our own.

When there's an eel in the lake that's as long as a snake that's a moray.
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