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How Your Insurer May Be Ripping You Off

July 16, 2009 | 38,389 views

insurance, health insurance, government, insurance policy, politics, obama, rip off, cheatAccording to a report released yesterday by the staff of the Senate Commerce Committee, health insurers have forced consumers to pay billions of dollars in medical bills that the insurers themselves should have paid.

The report comes at a time when many U.S. politicians are seeking to offer a public alternative to private health plans as part of broad health-care reform legislation. Health insurers are doing everything they can to block the public option.

At a committee hearing yesterday, three health-care specialists testified that insurers go to great lengths to avoid responsibility for sick people, use deliberately incomprehensible documents to mislead consumers about their benefits, and sell "junk" policies that do not cover needed care.

 

Dr. Mercola's Comments:

It seems there’s no end to the cheating shenanigans that are rampant within the health care system, both by health providers and insurance companies. Just last month the FBI busted two separate fraud schemes by medical clinics that had been billing Medicare to the tune of $150 million for services never rendered. And that was just two out of about 2,500 fraud cases being investigated.

Medicare fraud alone costs the U.S. tax payer BILLIONS of dollars each year!

And the fact that insurance companies are mistreating their customers is nothing new. This has been an ongoing problem. Michael Moore covered some of the heartbreaking runaround insurance holders received in his excellent film “SICKO.”

But shortchanging policy holders isn’t the only problem. Overcharging for drugs and medical services and performing unnecessary surgeries are also a major part of the problem.

Are We Debating the Right Issues?

The U.S. has the MOST expensive health care in the entire world. And yet all we hear is: “How can we make sure more people can afford medical care?”

A much better question would be: “How can we reduce health care costs and ensure better health for more people?”

A 2001 U.S. study showed that about half of all bankruptcies in that year were the result of medical expenses -- and yet 75 percent of all those who went bankrupt for this reason were covered by health insurance at the start of the illness!

More insurance to cover conventional treatment protocols is not the answer.

Lowering the cost of medical care would be a step in the right direction. And redirecting our focus toward preventive medicine would be another.

But no one wants to wrangle this bull to the ground. The pharmaceutical industry has a firm grip on both government and the field of medicine. Medical schools serve as thinly veiled PR platforms for drug companies; doctors have been reduced to little more than pill dispensers; and immensely well-funded industry lobbyists have corrupted enough politicians to ensure industry profits can’t be touched.

Getting rid of the habit of overprescribing unnecessary, overpriced drugs needs to be at the top of the list if we are ever going to turn this mess around.

It’s not just bankrupting individuals. The cost of health care and insurance is also taking a major toll on employers. U.S. firms spent twice as much on health care in 2005 as their foreign competitors, paying $2.38 per hour for every American worker making $18 an hour. In contrast, firms in Canada, Japan, Germany, the United Kingdom and France spent only 96 cents each hour for a worker making $20 per hour.

Health care costs were also a major reason why GM went bankrupt.

The average worker contribution for family health insurance has also increased by a staggering 102 percent since 2000.

Will government sponsored health insurance plans actually reduce health care costs?

How could they? Because they’re still not doing anything about actually improving health, reducing unnecessary prescriptions, or limiting costly conventional treatments that do nothing to cure the underlying cause of your disease.

We MUST Put an End to the Modern Drug Culture

Currently we have a system where doctors are defrauding insurance companies, insurance companies are defrauding patients, and Big Pharma brainwashes everyone to continue the madness.

The answer to this nonsense is not making the current prices manageable to more people while maintaining the status quo of poor health care. That’s insane!

According to the latest cost estimates, the health care legislation currently being debated in Congress would cost about $1.6 trillion over 10 years. But nowhere do we hear about the real issues: healthier and more inexpensive options, and the freedom to choose; to have alternatives to dangerous prescription drugs and unnecessary surgeries.

The current disease oriented system is collapsing and the fact that the current anemic economy is limiting more family's access to what they perceive to be "health" care is in desperate need of modification.

Even if all the uninsured received instant health care benefits, the problem would not be solved as the current paradigm needs to be transformed to one that focuses on health and not on disease; on rooting out the underlying problem and not merely masking symptoms.

Simply giving everyone access to overpriced drugs and corporate hospitals will result in little more than more rising health care costs and more people getting and staying sick, because that’s where the money’s at.

More government involvement will not loosen the grip of the Pharma Cartel’s greed, and is therefore not the answer to the health care crisis.

YOU are the Answer You’ve Been Looking For

What is needed is more personal involvement -- your personal involvement -- in the form of a commitment to your own health.

If you carefully follow some basic health principles -- simple things like exercising, eating whole foods, sleeping enough, getting sun exposure, and reducing stress in your life -- you will drastically reduce your need for conventional medical care.

Many of you know that my goal is to facilitate the transformation of the current system that is on the verge of collapse. The approaches I have described in the tens of thousands of pages on Mercola.com over the last twelve years offer solutions to this crisis.

I believe well over 90 percent of all chronic diseases can be avoided or treated with simple, inexpensive natural therapies.

For example, following a healthy eating plan that radically reduces grain and sugar intake, while optimizing omega 6:3 fat ratio, could likely reduce more than half of the health problems Americans currently experience. I know this is true because I have successfully treated many thousands of patients from all over the world with these techniques.

Alternatives to Conventional Health Insurance

You could also carefully analyze health insurance options such as HRAs and HSAs if you live in the United States. The basic concept here is to provide protection against medical catastrophes, but to have a high deductible to lower your costs. If you stay healthy, the premium savings would more than pay for the higher deductible -- IF you ever need it.

And that is really the bottom line.

The more you take responsibility for your own health -- in the form of nurturing your body to prevent disease -- the less you need to rely on the “disease care” that passes for health care in the United States in the first place.

Join a Network that Can Help You Empower Yourself

Mercola.com is already an outstanding health resource for you. But now you can take it even further by joining our free social networking community.

Consider it a one-stop shop for obtaining the knowledge and advice to safely solve nearly any health care problem, while at the same time being able to share your own experience of what works and what doesn’t, and connect with friends, family and other likeminded individuals along the way.


[+] Sources and References

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