Mason County News
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Healthcare Surprise
Letter to the Editor
Wednesday, July 25, 2012 • Posted July 25, 2012

Dear Gerry,

I received a shocking letter last week—along with a $400 check. From, of all places, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Texas. It said: “The Affordable Care Act requires the BCBSTX to issue a rebate to you if BCBSTX does not spend at least 80 percent of the premiums it receives on health care services such as doctors and hospital bills, and activities to improve health care quality…no more than 20 percent of premiums may be spent on administrative costs such as salaries, sales, and advertising.”

My husband and I are self-employed and pay for our own health care; some years we have insurance, some years not. In 2010, because I had promised my mom I would get a mammogram and colonoscopy when I turned 50, I signed us up for a Blue Cross Blue Shield high deductible plan, figuring that I would at least get the cheaper insurance-negotiated prices for those procedures (and if any problems were diagnosed, then future treatment would be covered). Turned out that BCBSTX was already implementing some of the requirements of the Affordable Care Act (known also as ObamaCare), including one that directed insurance companies to pay for certain preventative tests regardless of the deductible. That provision alone saved me several thousand dollars, which made it less painful to pay for the quarterly premiums. And now the rebate check.

Finally I feel like I am getting something for my money. This letter is to pass on word of my experience with President Obama’s health care overhaul. Basically, I approve.

Carey Burkett

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