Yet again, driving along, listening to public radio. They are in the middle of their spring fund drive so my mind was kind of in float mode. Not paying all that much attention. As they are saying their sponsorships for Morning Edition I hear “the Aetna Foundation, dedicated to health, well-being and accessible health care”. I almost choked. I have a job. Through that job I have health insurance. I have had Aetna, for better or for worse, for six years. Each year my benefits have gotten a little worse and a little more expensive. For example I have never had a real deductible since I was in an open access HMO. This past year they ditched that and added a three thousand dollar deductible but it was waived for preventive and emergency room. Ok, I can live with that. It was just announced at my company that they could no longer offer Aetna because the plan premiums had been increased by 44%! Accessible healthcare my ass. So I will have to switch everything to United Health Care, where my drugs will cost more and my deductible will be five thousand dollars. Although this is waived for preventive care, it is not waived for the emergency room so our first visit this year will cost up to five thousand dollars! And if I am admitted, there is a very special extra deductible of five hundred on top of that. And then twenty percent of the bill on top of that. Don’t worry, unless I am dying so my life insurance will pay the bill, I won’t be going to the hospital any time soon. But I am grateful to have the insurance at all. Sickening that Aetna has a foundation for tax exemptions that markets them as a caring company. Forty Four Percent! Unaffordable for any but the wealthiest of us.
So my dad feels strongly about keeping control of his money. I can understand that. I feel strongly about keeping control of my money too. Balancing his checkbook takes a really long time; I mean a really really long time. The last go round took him all day and he was lying in wait for me when I got home to try to find the several (very several) hundred dollar error. When I got it down to slightly less than two hundred, we just took the bank balance and called it a day. I couldn’t find the error. Even going through his fifteen year old pad on which he has written every check he ever wrote – except the ones he forgot to write down.