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Wednesday, 1 February 2017

BC medical coverage enigma

Parent(s), Grand-Parent(s), or friend on Meds in BC?

I have MSP/BC Med coverage and Blue Cross extended medical and dental coverage.
Blue Cross for subscribers: 1 977 722 2583
Health Insurance BC and Fair Pharma: 1 800 663 7100

I worked the phones through 3 gov agencies twice to get the following numbers and facts, through Blue Cross for another 30 minutes, and my service provider fro another 15 minutes because she thought I might be double-dipping coverage ( wasn’t; I was using my insurance)  … outrageous.

How many don’t spend the time or look into this or can still fathom this enigma of cross-coverages and multi-pots-of-gold? One provider said, “You’re different. Most people don’t ask.”

I have been paying $114 per month for health care coverage, up to 70% unless I spend more that $880 in a year, after that my meds are free.  With generics in place, I never spend the max, so I always pay at the pharmacy.

Of that $114, $23.00 goes to BC under my Fare Pharmacare allowances. The rest is a Blue Cross grab.

JQ Citizen in my position pays a total of $0 all year. So, I wanted to know ... why is that? People with low incomes can have Health Insurance BC reduce their medical premiums to $0 by writing a letter stating income, projected income, hardship issues, and health number to:
Health Insurance BC
PO Box 9035 Stn Prov Govt
Victoria, B.C. V8W 9E3

In addition to my monthly medical payments, I have $300 deductable for meds, $100 for physiotherapy, or $100 for chiropractial, or $100 for massage, (the satisfaction of the deductible is accumulative, and so is a ceiling of $100 in any one year for all 3). After 10 total visits to all 3 per year, and the patient will have to pay the full rate for any further visits. People with limited incomes can have the deductible waived filling in and submitting the 5355 form found at this link:

JQ Citizen in my position pays a total deductible of $0 all year. So, I wanted to know ... why is that?

Here are my 2016 numbers – I paid MSP/BC Med ($48x12) $576 PLUS Blue Cross $1,128 for med coverage last year, FOR A TOTAL  in premium payments of $1,704. But my total meds cost covered by insurance was $250 (paid out by Blue Cross and MSP/BC Med). Blue cross netted $500+ off that portion of my insurance premiums alone.  

Those numbers don’t add up, you say, and you are correct. My Blue Cross dental plan also figured into Blue Cross. I had a crown put in last year and an extraction, and a cavity fixed. I also had ½ of my teeth cleaned.

My total dental outlay, on top of my premiums, was over $780 for extra billing and deductibles.
Last year my dentist suggested I could use a bridge. It was more elective than necessary. That may change, but these numbers won’t ...

Blue Cross Extended Dental only covers $2000 for any bridge work done over a 60-month period. MSP/BC Med covers nothing at all – ever. So, a single tooth bridge costs $3,500 or so (minimum) less $2,000 which Blue Cross pays,  if it’s covered at all by Blue Cross (20 procedures are but many more are not covered). Buyer beware! With coverage, if I elected to have the bridge, I would have faced and additional $1,500 extra billing fee. That’s about one year’s payments into a plan, isn’t it? 

And if you say the real total outlay for a single tooth bridge is $3,500, well, I say that’s about 2-3 years of premiums.