Tuesday, July 7, 2009

WSJ: NC Mental Health Parity to be 'enacted' 7.1.2009: no commemoration but rather weeping would be in order

Dear Mr. Rosomer, reporter for the Winston Salem Journal:

My BCBSNC policy that my healthy 3 member family has for which we pay $750/ month w/ large deductibles and minimal preventive care (no available screening colonoscopies for those over 50---yes, Medicare does this; no mammograms---yes, Medicare does this) pays only 50% for any mental health care.

The administrative costs for BCBSNC are over 15%. The administrative costs for Medicare are about 2-3%.

I therefore believe that your information is erroneous and would be grateful if you would investigate this matter.

Much information on BCBSNC can be found at my blog which I have steadily maintained for the past couple of years (http://madame-defarge.blogspot.com/); there are two blogs: one associated w/ NC Mental Health Reform and the other as associated w/ scrutinizing BCBSNC.

You stated, Mr. Rosomer:

"Published: July 1, 2008

July 7, 2009RE: Commeration of a Bittersweet Victory in NC: http://oneinfour.wordpress.com/2009/07/06/bittersweet-victory-in-nc/


"Starting today, insurance companies in North Carolina must provide the same level of coverage for some mental illnesses that they do for physical ailments.....

“There are costs, obviously, associated with this mandate, but we’re anticipating it to be less than half of 1 percent,” said Lew Borman, a spokesman for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of North Carolina."
I do not understand why you are using BCBSNC to indicate cost matters for they are not required to pay attention to mental health parity. In order (I am told) for NC State Representative Martha Alexander and those assisting her, to drive through mental health parity, a 'deal' was struck w/ BCBSNC.

You can look at these Madame Defarge II posts re: that matter:

Item 1:

Wednesday, April 08, 2009


NO Mental Health Parity in NC : BCBSNC makes their own rules (and you'll like it or just shut up, Rep Martha Alexander)

Fitzsimon FileThe special interest health planhttp://www.ncpolicywatch.com/cms/2009/04/08/the-special-interest-health-plan/Wednesday, April 8th, 2009

Item 2:

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

WaPo: NOW we know why BCBSNC was stockpiling all that money: THEY'RE TRYING TO KILL ACCESS TO PUBLIC HEALTH INSURANCE

I would also like to bring your attention to this recent NYT article indicating that the 'fine print' in the private insurance policies continues to drive people into health-related bankruptcy.

BCBSNC was allowed by the NC State Legislature to opt out of mental health parity. Over 75% of people who are insured in NC (not including Medicare/ Medicaid) are insured by BCBSNC.

Therefore, there is no bittersweet commemoration but simply failure. We will not get anywhere until there is a public option re: health insurance. THAT and that alone will put the private health insurance companies on notice.

REMEMBER: when one is utilizing a capitalist model, COMPETITION is HEALTHY! (Or did the politicians, Dem and Republican alike, forget that tenet, as they looked simply at the bottom line and watched out for their own profits, much as Senator Kay Hagan is doing in her key position on the HELP Senate Committee which allows the public option matter to go forward---or not?)

Marsha V. Hammond, PhD

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