Editor:

As one among those who are looking for health insurance for a younger family member, I have some interest in what's on the line with Obamacare. Years ago I had some experience obtaining group coverage for employees of a non-profit corporation which was limited in the percent of personnel costs that could go toward fringe benefits which included health insurance. The rates were consistently going up (nothing like during recent years) and we would have to change insurance companies. With each change of

companies, there would be cost savings for about two years then the rates would enter into a catch up. Personally I (we) have paid into group coverage for over thirty years during which I saw a doctor but once.

That changed during recent years when others have had to make up for my high health care expenses. This has always been part of the unwritten deal by which we pay in while healthy and indirectly collect later.

The November "Consumer Reports" issue rated nine of the top health care expenses for "best values." Of the top six which are known in New Mexico: 36 of 588 plans or 6 percent met this standard. (Blue Cross and Blue Shield, Humana, United Health Care CIGNA Health Care, Aetna) There isn't many, if any, local insurance agents to answer questions regarding health plans in part because there are always large numbers of complicating factors. ("Get back to you.")

Previously when partial coverage of medicines was added to Medicare, there were a lot of difficulties as to which plans best covered the medicines used by a particular person. Pharmacists stepped forward and offered invaluable assistance in the coverage selection process. (Different plan companies had different coverage contracts with different pharmaceutical companies.)

Obamacare is being implemented via a computer based system, in part to save money notably on personnel costs for jobs for which experienced people are few and far between. The state of Washington has one of the better sites for individuals to browse the innumerable plans in that state BEFORE registering with personal data. That option is not available to individuals in New Mexico.

Grin and bear it?

 

KEN RUSTAD

Farmington