Shredder Class

hn0043 artworkWe’re back! And our sound quality might be a little off because one of our microphone mounts broke. But we’re makin’ pods, anyway! During the show, we talked about Independence Day vs. Canadia Day. We talked about the different paper shredder classifications (Hello Kitty, wombat class, scimitar class) and why our home looked like it was being inhabited by paper hoarders. We also covered the recent Supreme Court cases that made historic decisions about health care and marriage equality.

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5 thoughts on “Shredder Class

  1. Jen, If you felt better and had more energy you should definitely have run for political office or at least have become a lobbyist or advocate for the people. Impressed with your knowledge in recapping the ACA ruling. I know you’ve been writing about it for a long time.

  2. The ACA is great for people with the lowest incomes. Unfortunately, in Monterey County, it is not so good for people that make enough to not qualify for Medi-Cal. A lot of the insurance pulled out of the area. That pretty much left Anthem Blue Cross and it’s harder to find one of their doctors near us than it is to find one for Medi-Cal. Plus the deductibles and copays are significantly worse than before. Plus the premiums went up. How does that work exactly?

    So, in other words, the medical/insurance system still needs some work. My best guess is that the problem is that the pharmaceutical companies are allowed to gouge everyone so badly that it drives up the insurance rates. Maybe getting drug prices to where they are in Canada would help a bit.

    Now speaking as a medical provider, our physical therapy clinic treats Medi-Cal patients (Alliance ones that is), so I can say that Medi-Cal patients get great physical therapy care in our neighborhood. 🙂 The ACA definitely expanded the number of people that we can help as well, which is great. Some of the people we’ve treated recently have had issues for years that they are finally getting taken care of now that they have coverage. So, hooray for healthcare for all people.

    • When we were still making enough money to qualify for subsidies but not too poor for Medi-Cal, we had only two options for health insurance coverage thru Covered California: Anthem Blue Cross and also Blue Shield of California.

      I guess that the insurance that’s available to you is based in part on where you live and which companies are willing to provide policies there? Before the ACA, Jen had a private policy thru Anthem and it was the only thing that was remotely affordable for a self-employed person in our area.

      And what was this situation like for you before the ACA? Did you have more options available for yourself and your family? Or was Anthem the only choice then, too?

      • Before the whole ACA thing started, we used to have BlueShield of California, which for us was a lot better. When the ACA went into effect, BlueShield pulled out of the area completely. Technically, we have two options on the market place, which is where we got our coverage, but HealthNet is so bad down here that they only have about 10% of the market.

        The price isn’t the worst part up here. It’s the MD selection. A lot of the MDs refused to take AnthemBC for Covered California because they were getting paid rates that were lower than Medi-Cal. That comes down to how Medicare treats this area, I think. We were rated as a rural area, so the payments were somewhere around 75% of the more urban parts of California. Medicare is correcting that slowly over the next few years I believe, so that might get better, but we’ll see. Anthem, I believe uses Medicare as a baseline and sets a percentage of that as their rates. Medi-Cal on the other hand has Central Coast Alliance here, which pays 140% of Medi-Cal’s base rate. Those crossed due to the maths and so therefore lower rates for MDs on Anthem than on Medi-Cal. At least that’s the understanding I’ve been able to glean without seeing all the raw payment rates they get.

        I went to a meeting with Anthem when the MDs had a cutoff date on opting out of Covered California and there was a lot of hostility in that room. Long story short, most MD’s pulled out. Stanford is among of them. They bought out a pediatric clinic down here and refused Anthem. So, we have to drive 45 minutes now to get a MD for our kids. If we had Medi-Cal, we could still go to the same clinic. The lack of MDs that are offered is so bad it is currently part of a lawsuit in this area against Anthem. We’ll see how that all plays out as well.

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