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Insurance: Help or horrorPosted Monday, December 17, 2007, at 7:11 AM
As a sinkhole continued to threaten the Blue Ribbon Parkway home of Margaret Little last week, one of her main concerns was what she described as her insurance company's insistence that the danger could be eliminated.
I'm no expert on sinkholes, but Little's concern is understandable. Seems like that sinkhole would, if filled in like she says the insurance company wants, just re-form.
But, in too many cases, what the insurance company wants, the insurance company gets. I realize some people try to cheat those companies, but too many honest people are being hurt and/or shortchanged.
I'm sure many of you have horror stories of insurance companies refusing to pay, or paying less than they should have, on claims involving long-time customers.
And we've heard too many stories over the past few years of long-term customers being cancelled after a single claim.
I'm normally not in favor of heavy government intervention, but maybe Congress needs to take a long look at the practices of some insurance companies.
On a related note:
The Tennessean's editorial page this morning concerns the continually-rising cost of health insurance and how employers, unions (when applicable) and individuals are shouldering more and more of the cost. And they say, without specifically saying how, that health care costs in general need to stabilize.
One guest columnist says individuals, expecially the two-thirds of Americans who are overweight, are partially to blame for rising insurance costs. I thought that was sort of a cheap shot at individuals.
Actually, sharing the blame are profit-hungry insurance companies themselves; drug firms; hospitals, which face rising costs while investors expect ever-larger dividends; and lawyers and individuals ready to sue at the drop of a pin. Add to the mix executives for whom dollars are the only thing that matters.
Some may say physicians themselves charge too much. But it seems to me that they're forced into situations where they have to raise treatment prices because of ever-rising costs due largely to the other reasons mentioned above, especially the legal aspect.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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