You can debate what shape the Health Care reform bill should take until the polar ice cap completely melts, but there's not doubt the current system is a disaster and needs serious attention.
Convincing evidence for my friend Cliff Barney, who just turned 80, and his wife Carolyn McCall came recently in the form of two hefty packages mailed to them from HealthNet, the company that provides their supplemental Medicare insurance.
The packages measure 8.5" x 11" x 3"; that's 280.5 cubic inches--about a sixth of a cubic foot.
They each weigh 6 pounds, 1 ounce.
They each cost $11.00 to mail.
The contents are identical; HealthNet does not provide a family plan
and so both Cliff and Carolyn got the entire package. Naturally, they recycled one of
Here are the contents -- HealthNet's 2010 Annual "Notice of Change"--in no particular order:
- HealthNet Medicare Advantage HMO/PPO Mental Health and Substance Abuse Provider Directory (182 pages)
- HealthNet Dental DHMO Plan Provider Directory (512 pages, 1/2 inch thick).
- Document: Can HealthNet Help You make Confidential Health Care Decisions? (21 pages)
- HealthNet Medicare 2010 Part D Pharmacy Directory (269 pages)
- Evidence of Coverage/A Complete Explanation of Your Plan (Santa Clara County) (213 pages)
- HealthNet HMO/PPO Vision Plan Provider Directory (113 pages)
- HealthNet Medicare Part D 21010 Formulary (list of covered drugs) (113 pages)
- HealthNet Medicare Advantage Chiropractic and Acupuncture HMO and PPO Plan Provider Directory (182 pages)
- HealthNet Medicare Silver&Fit HMO Plan Directory (35 pages)
- HelathNet Medicare Advantage HMO Plan Provider Directory (267 pages)
- Cover letter (13 pages)
- HealthNet Seniority plus Green (HMO), Seniority plus Ruby (HMO), Seniority plus Ruby Plans 1, 2 and 3 (HMNO), Healthy Heart (HMO) and Healthy Heart Plans 1 and 2 (HMO) Vendor Benefits Rider (60 pages)
- Changes to Medicare Part D mail order prescription ordering limits (1 page)
- Change in cost for some brand name drugs (1 page).
Total pages: 2003 (plus a few blank pages at the ends of the various booklets)
He says, "One can see why. HealthNet has 3.6 million members; if they all got this package, that's almost $40 million for mailing this item alone!"
Cliff, Carolyn and I agree--Somethings gotta be done!
Single payer anyone?