Got some interesting emails in response to my allergies pot, one of which was a link to this story on The Consumerist about good ol' United Health Care and their aversion to paying for needed prescriptions. In this story there were no OTC or generic equivalents available, so they just refused to pay for the prescription in full.
If you read the many comments on the post you'll find that UHC isn't the only one, and that this is happening with essential prescriptions of all kinds.
Would seem to me that the potential costs from a medical emergency caused by a patient not taking their full prescription would far outstrip the costs of the prescription, but hey, what do I know?
What I do know is that insurance has always been based on the idea that we all pay, but that we don't all cost a lot, so the insurance companies make out OK.
Just take a look at UHC's 3rd quarter results [PDF]:
UNITEDHEALTH GROUP REPORTS RECORD THIRD QUARTER NET EARNINGS OF $0.79 PER SHARE • Third Quarter Revenues Rose 55% to $18 Billion • Operating Margin Reached 10.3% • Reported Operating Cash Flows were $315 Million; Adjusted Operating Cash Flows of $1.83 Billion Increased 121% (1) • Earnings Per Share Increased 30% MINNEAPOLIS (October 19, 2006) – UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH) achieved record results in the third quarter of 2006. Diversified business growth was well-matched with effective cost management, advances in the integration of acquisitions and accelerating gains in profitability from seasonally strong product offerings in the third quarter, leading to a further advance in the Company’s full-year earnings outlook. UnitedHealth Group now expects full-year earnings per share growth of at least 25 percent in 2006.
Like I've said before: when are the congressional hearings?