Friday, September 11, 2009

Intermountain Healthcare

My brother-in-law IM'd me yesterday. He recently quit his job to start his own business and is in the process of looking for health insurance. I told him Child and I used Intermountain Healthcare and that it was pretty decent for health insurance.

Apparently Obama thinks so too. In his speech to the nation about healthcare, he singled out IHC. "We have long known that some places, like the Intermountain Healthcare in Utah...offer high-quality care at cost below average," Obama said.

When questioned about it, one of the VPs from IHC said, "I think that in Utah, that the providers here often do the right thing in spite of the fact that it's not what is financially rewarded. And around the country, that's less true than it is here."

Interesting. It's kinda nice to know we have a good health insurance company. Even if they have a crazy-high deductible for maternity: $6,500, which doesn't cover the cost of a hospital birth unless something goes wrong. As a matter-of-fact, that was partly what convinced Child and me to do a home birth.


K La said...

You can think what you want, but I think our insurance is a scam. They raised our deductable from $5,000 to $6,500 without telling us. WITHOUT TELLING US!! Remember how we go pregnant because we "knew" we were covered, and then I got pregnant and we found out that unless I had the baby before July (um, hello, gestation of human = 9 months) our policy was changed. They raised our monthly fee with no other option but to get a new insurance company, AND BTW, they don't cover maturnity. It only costs $6,300 to have a baby in a hospital here so a deductable of $6,500 is a joke. Also, they fight everything. We have had to make 3-5 calls for them to pay EVERY SINGLE TIME.
I was hoping Obama's health plan would improve our insurance, but if he is using ours as a model...we are so screwed.

The Writer said...

I think you're being a little harsh on IHC.

They DID tell us they were raising our maternity deductible before it happened. Yes, it would have been nice to find out nine months in advance of the increase considering the gestational period of a baby, and maybe it should even be a law for something like that.

As far as the amount of the deductible, that's just their way of saying they don't pay for people to have babies. And that's fine--they can pay or not pay for whatever they want as long as they're up-front about it, and it's up to the customer to decide if they want the insurance or not.

It's like saying car insurance is a joke because it doesn't pay for house fires. It's not; they're just very clear on what they do and don't pay for and it's up to the customer to decide if it's worth the money.

As far as phone calls, I'm not sure where you're getting that from. As far as I can remember, I've never had to make a single phone call to motivate them to action.

I think the problem here is expectations. You're expecting health insurance, and IHC in particular, to be and do things they aren't and don't. You can't be angry at IHC for not covering (e.g.) chiropractic and maternity and home births, because they never said they did and you're not paying for it.

As far as health insurance companies go, I think I'd have to agree with Obama that IHC really is a model.