Health Insurance Companies Hate Sick People And Liechtensteinians

healthcarewithliechtensteiner

In fall, a young agent’s fancy lightly turns to thoughts of health insurance.

                                                                         Alfred, Lord Tennyson. Sort of.

The guvment, in its infinite wisdom, decided that it would be a good idea to require *90% of Americans to enroll in or make changes to their health insurance plans at the same time. That time is now.

In real life (a place many of us have to visit periodically to earn money to pay for interwebz access,) I am an insurance agent.   My desk is currently awash in brochures from insurance companies who are trying to convince me, and my clients, to pick them for their Medicare Part D drug plans and Obamacare. I’m spending oodles of time online, checking out company websites.

Each company’s plan designs are different (as far as the law allows) and the pricing varies widely. I’m sure that each ad campaign is the result of painstaking research by college-educated marketing and design professionals, working long hours, intent on crafting the perfect message to set their company apart from the competition.

Yet they all look the same.

Apparently only one firm supplies pictures for the entire industry: Stock Health Insurance Brochure & Website Photos R Us. These pictures must conform to a strict list of criteria:

  • No sick people. We can’t have potential clients associating this purchase with any thing bad happening, like the possibility that they might someday need the product.
  • No old people. Really old people are depressing because they don’t look young. All pictures are of 30-year-old catalog models. If the company is selling senior products, the models’ hair is air-brushed gray.
  • Everyone must be attractive. And thin. And have lots of thick, glossy hair. That way potential clients will subconsciously figure that THEY will magically become attractive, thin and have have lots of thick, glossy hair if they buy this insurance policy. Like beer commercials.
  • All have perfect teeth. Models must have mouths full of gleaming, straight, white Chiclets. All have had extensive, cosmetic dental work which, by the way, is not covered by the dental insurance you are trying to sell them.
  • Everybody is happy. They’re smiling so broadly you can see every one of their dazzling teeth. Their plan has 100% coverage for colonoscopies and a mere $5 copay for Prozac, and they’re so thrilled that if these were moving pictures they’d be jumping up and down with insurance glee.
  • Everybody who’s anybody is in the picture. Photos must show a degree of diversity unmatched anywhere outside the United Nations. This is especially true for group health insurance products.   Like a White House advance man lining up the human backdrop for a presidential speech, ad designers Photo-shop ethnicities into the picture until it resembles a 1970s Coca Cola commercial.   Possibly the only group not represented in these photos are Liechtensteinian-Americans, and that’s only because the designer couldn’t squeeze any more bodies in the frame.

Time for me to get back to work. Although I am really swamped right now, I’m never too busy for you, dear readers. If you’re looking for insurance and you’ve got 1.2 employees from each, major ethnic group (all athletic, young, shining-haired and white-toothed), give me a call. I’ve got the perfect insurance policy for you.

*I made up that statistic, but that doesn’t mean it’s not true.

Advertisements

About pegoleg

R-A-M-B-L-I-N-G-S, Ram...Blin!
This entry was posted in General Ramblings and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

56 Responses to Health Insurance Companies Hate Sick People And Liechtensteinians

  1. While I haven’t seen those brochures, I suspect that in any photos showing a married couple, the wife will be at least 20 years younger than the man. At least this is true of all those Viagra commercials (as my husband has pointed out on numerous occasions). Since he’s actually 2 years younger than I am, I guess we wouldn’t qualify for the insurance, and the Viagra wouldn’t do any good.

    Like

  2. Also in these brochures, the people pictured love nothing more than having to undergo any kind of medical procedure, whether they are being wheeled off for surgery, getting their blood pressure taken, or being strapped into the stirrups, they are all smiles!

    Like

  3. Elyse says:

    I’ve just had to go through re-enrollment to change healthcare plans. Please somebody shoot me before I ever have to do this again. I don’t care that gunshot wounds are probably not covered under my new program.

    You’re an unsung hero, Peg!

    Like

  4. I’d give you a call, but I need a plan for ugly people.

    Like

  5. Carrie Rubin says:

    I bet this time is crazy for you. Perhaps they should use insurance agents in the pictures. Capture them at the end of the day, after dealing with all the headaches these changes must bring. Crazed eyes, tousled hair. Now THAT would reflect reality much better. 🙂

    Like

  6. I’m currently going through re-enrollment for Medicare for the first time. Luckily, I chose wisely when I signed up so will be staying with what I originally got. Yes, there’s an increase in premiums (isn’t there always?), but none of the other plans are what I want. The brochures for Medicare are even worse than what you describe. 😀

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      I had a guy walk in today who wanted info on Medicare Advantage plans. I said I couldn’t talk to him until he signed a form giving me PERMISSION to talk to him. He said, “what permission? I’m asking!”
      He wouldn’t sign anything he didn’t understand, and all he wanted to know was did the plan cover hearing aids. I said that I couldn’t answer that part, because the plan DID cover drugs, which was why he had to sign the form before we went any further, or I could lose my license.
      It was like a bad Abbott & Costello routine where we went back and forth until he left in a huff. Welcome to the wacky world of government-run health insurance.

      Like

  7. mistyslaws says:

    Wait a minute! I don’t see any extremely huge pregnant people up there. I do not feel represented by those demographics!!! Who do I sue?

    Like

  8. Blogdramedy says:

    It’s obvious you need to start your own brokerage firm that offers insurance for sick old people who are overweight with crooked teeth, have frown lines, and are hermits by choice. You’ll hit your revenue targets and make a lot of cranky people without insurance happy.

    Like

  9. Al says:

    Hi. My name is Al. I need insurance. Here’s my background….I’m part German, part English and part Dutch. As far as I know, I have no Liechtensteinian blood coursing through my veins so that shouldn’t be a problem. There are, however, a few caveats before you issue any policy. 1. I’m old. How old you ask? I personally knew the inventor of dirt. 2. I’m unattractive. How unattractive you ask? When I was born, the doctor slapped himself. 3. My teeth are not that perfect. How imperfect you ask? Why don’t I send them to you for you to check out? 4. I’m overweight. How overweight you ask? My BMI reading is on the second page of the chart. 5. I’m feeling under the weather. How much under the weather you ask? Not bad, just a little tickle in my throat since I got back from my condo in Sierra Leone.

    Do you have a discount for bloggers?

    Liked by 1 person

  10. Good thing I broke my ankle before the insurance companies realized that I don’t fit into their idealized client image.

    Like

  11. And some ridiculed Stepford Wives!..Yet fiction now reality……spooky…but no insurance for you ugly, you ghouls, you ancient ones who just refuse to zombie out

    Liked by 1 person

    • pegoleg says:

      It’s kind of funny that so many people find the money to have plastic surgery to Stepford-ify, yet if they don’t have 100% coverage for a $20 flu shot there’s something wrong with the system.

      Liked by 2 people

  12. I’m looking at my health insurance brochure and, yep, they’re all shiny happy people. And they’re all outside walking along a nature trail with a perfectly blue sky and leafy green trees. Well, I’m glad someone is living the dream…

    Like

  13. The Waiting says:

    A doff my cap to you, Peg, for having to wade through all that paperwork and tedium. Meanwhile at my job, I am having to write and edit personnel handbooks for HR. Let’s get together for a drink or nine.

    Like

  14. momshieb says:

    As a Liechtensteinian-American, I object. Can I sue?

    Liked by 2 people

  15. Ah the joys of insurance. A necessary evil. Have a great Friday, Peg and Happy Halloween!

    Like

  16. amelie88 says:

    Ugh health insurance! You reminded me I need to go back to CVS this weekend. When my company got acquired by another, we got better health insurance plans (yay!). This means though that my health insurance plan switched again (I feel like it changes every year). When I picked up my birth control at CVS last week, the pharmacist looked at me kind of funny and asked, “Do you have health insurance?” When I looked at the cash register, it was marked as $100 and usually my insurance covers it and it is free. Obviously the health insurance switch messed things up since the info they have on record is no longer correct. I didn’t have time to stand around and figure it out since my family had plans to go away for the weekend. But I’m going to have to go back most likely and ask for the pharmacy to reimburse me. Oh the joys of American health insurance.

    Like

  17. I have pretty good teeth. Are they looking for new models? 🙂

    Like

  18. I just received my health insurance packet for my new job and I could barely lift it. I might have to take a day off from work just to wade through it. I might just close my eyes and blindly pick a plan, that will work, right?

    Like

  19. Poor Peg. That seems like a thankless job. It certainly makes me feel better about our Canadian health care system.

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      Do you like it? You hear mixed reactions to national health care.

      Like

      • It’s all I’ve ever known. So in all fairness I don’t have anything to compare it to. However, I am a cancer survivor (surgery, radiation, chemo) and have had three major back surgeries (unrelated to cancer) as well as the normal stuff like appendicitis, broken bones, etc. The system definitely worked for me. If I lived in the US I would be dead because I wouldn’t have been able to afford my treatments.

        Like

        • pegoleg says:

          The vast majority of us have health insurance, so all that stuff would be covered for us, too, but you have to pay for part of it out of your pocket. For example, my plan has a $1250 deductible per year. Poor people get Medicaid, and that covers the same stuff, but you’re limited to certain doctors.

          The problem area is people who make too much for Medicaid, and who can’t afford/won’t buy insurance. Or they buy insurance but can’t afford/don’t want to spend their money on the deductibles and out-of-pocket costs that go with the plan.

          Like

  20. Jae says:

    The Stock Health Insurance Brochure & Website Photos R Us must have a TV advertising branch for all of the drug commercials I see on TV. No sick people here, either. Great post!

    Like

  21. TamrahJo says:

    So glad you and folks like you exist! Not enough fortune, fame, power or alcohol in the world that could bribe me to do the job you do! 🙂

    Like

    • pegoleg says:

      They don’t give you fortune, fame or power for this job, but I make sure I get plenty of alcohol.

      Liked by 1 person

      • TamrahJo says:

        Which brings up the chicken/egg conundrum I’ve always wanted to ask someone –
        Are medical costs high becuz they have to fix the damage done by self-medicating options
        OR
        Are medical costs high becuz they have to make a ton of money of the procedures they sell, because most get along okay with their chosen self-meds? LOL

        Like

  22. Dana says:

    This post is essentially my very definition of a nightmare. Thanks for being on the front lines, Peg! (And thank goodness I live in Canada…)

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s