Tuesday, March 10, 2009

VA wants to make it harder for me to get private insurance

The VA announced today that it is looking at billing private insurance companies for servicemembers service connected health problems.

I have a 30% VA service connected disability, which in civilian language means I have medical issues that were caused by my time in combat. Nothing real serious in my case. I say nothing serious because as long as my medical problems (hearing loss and headaches) were caused by combat, the VA gives me free medical care on those issues. Seems fair, right?

But this new VA proposal (from the same guy that put black berets on the Army, which is by far the biggest morale killer in the last decade) would mandate that the VA send a bill to my private health insurance whenever it treats me for combat related issues.

Aside from the knee jerk reaction of 'how stupid is that', there comes a very serious consequence. If I have to switch health insurers (pretty common these days) and the new insurer finds out that I have a service connected disability, will they turn me down because I am too expensive?

The VA only covers me on those issues that are service related. So if I break my leg, I still need private health insurance. But who will want to insure a combat vet with serious health issues? Insurers would be taking on an individual with a known health condition, yet they would have no say in how or even how often I am treated. They will just get bills in the mail that they will be expected to pay.

Of course, since President Obama and Speaker Pelosi would like nothing more than to move to universal healthcare, the point will probably be moot down the road.

H/T to John at This Ain't Hell

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