Saturday, August 9, 2008

Surprise, Surprise--Anthem's Been Crying Wolf

Anthem Blue Cross and Blue Shield has balked at every step of Maine's attempt to provide health care for those who fall between the cracks of MaineCare and the purchase of some of the most expensive health insurance in America. Turns out Anthem executives have not wanted to jeopardize their 89 percent increase in profits since 2004.

The insurance company and the Chamber of Commerce have been able to convince Republicans and many Democrats that it's not possible to provide health care to the whole state. The legislature has cooperated by designating the chief fox as hen house watcher. They appointed Anthem--who would much rather sell its own policies--to market Dirigo. I don't know five people who could tell you anything about Dirigo except that it is a failure. Pretty poor marketing, in my book.

Anecdotally, I tried to get Dirigo in 2006. I'm pretty savvy online and arguably even better on the phone, yet I couldn't even get them to send me a packet in less than seven weeks. By the time I got the packet, I'd gotten a promotion at work and didn't need it. Every other time I've ever purchased insurance it's been practically an instantaneous deal. Thing is, in these other instances the insurers seemed to want my money.

Now I see there is a discount calculator to help figure what premium discount Dirigo can provide. Now that I'm currently self-employed, I pay in the neighborhood of $2400 per annum for the world's crappiest coverage--i.e. none, until I reach a $5,000 deductible. According to the calculator I'd get a nearly $2000 discount.

Think I'll apply and see what happens.

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