Sunday, July 7, 2024

Nationwide Insurance, Drops 100K Policies, Pulling Out of Pet Insurance

Speaking of the rising cost of healthcare (particularly pharmaceuticals) in America in my previous post today, veterinary costs have also skyrocketed, and I'm super sick of the "COVID" excuse for inflation.  

If you're a small business, I get it if you're still struggling, but corporations?

No - they got major subsidies for COVID and loans with a lower interest rate, plus continued tax shelters lingering under Trump, still in effect by March 2020 and continued throughout the pandemic.

When it comes to healthcare, that includes corporations that make pharmaceuticals, imaging equipment, lab tests and equipment, even medical office supplies - thousands to millions more than any of us got with our stimulus checks.  

Also, their labor has been back for years now - so that excuse needs to die, at this point - they're just being greedy.

Also, some corporations - particularly gas and car companies - do not like it when there's a Democrat elected, because they're afraid that will mean less tax shelters, more labor laws, and more consumer protection.

Even if these things won't happen or don't happen, they will raise and lower their prices at whim just after an election in anticipation, based on who is in office, which makes it appear to be some sort of "reward" or "punishment" of the voters for voting the way they like, rather than a true financial crisis yet  😂

Don't believe me? 

Watch how fast gas prices drop, usually within 2 days, after a Republican gets elected, particularly by state - but only for a month or so, then it creeps back up.

(For which, of course, they'll now blame something else, like storms in the Gulf, before they even hit, or conflict in the Middle East even though it's been quiet, or Democrat-sponsored labor or consumer protection laws on the table that haven't even passed yet and likely won't be, blocked by Republicans. ).

However, watch gas prices skyrocket within 2 days after a Democrat is elected and stay that way, going even higher.  😂

Now, you know dang well, nothing happened to their profit margin, their taxes, labor or consumer protection laws, nor even significant decreases to their stock margins, just 2 days after an election - so methinks it's less about financial anticipation and more about just being shitty over politics.

Because such an immediate price response to elections - which always goes back up, after a couple of months, even if a Republican - is proof that they can raise or lower their prices at whim without true justification.

Regardless, whoever was actually elected has zero control over that, other than the gas company's stamp of approval on them as a candidate or not.

Also, not only do presidents have nothing to do with prices themselves, but there's nothing they can do about them, either.

So if you're blaming or crediting Biden - or any president - for prices, you're an idiot - and you really need to reread the Constitution regarding the roles and rules of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial branches of government. 

Only Congress has the power to regulate prices, by passing laws - but they haven't and they won't regulate the price of annnnytttthinnng, even healthcare, due to irrational "Socialism" fears.

This is despite the fact that not regulating even just pharmaceutical costs alone is now bankrupting both public and private insurance companies, but boosting the profit margins of not just U.S. corporations with less taxes than we pay, but corporations in other countries that do have socialized healthcare, thereby boosting the  overall economy of entire countries in doing so (see below post regarding Ozempic and Denmark's GDP rise)!

Yes, the president can author a bill, but Congress still has to vote on approval.

Thus, the only string the government has to pull is the Federal Reserve to just keep raising interest rates, which does very little. In fact, companies just use the high interest rates they're paying for business loans as an excuse to charge you more!

But I digress, to my actual point 😂

So 6 years ago, Mark's employer began offering pet insurance, and we jumped on it.  The company was Nationwide, one of the first insurance companies providing pet insurance, and they paid for everything - exams, shots, wellness visits, even allergy testing.  In fact, they are still the only company out there that pays for as much as they do - until now?

We paid $15 out of every paycheck, his company matched it.  The deductible was $250, then Nationwide would reimburse you 80% of whatever costs were accrued over that.  It was GREAT!

Other companies have come along, but no one offered full coverage at a great price, so we stuck with it. 

Fast forward to this past year - suddenly, our premiums increased without warning to $60 a paycheck a month ago.  

Also, we had Ziggy neutered April 29th and they have yet to reimburse us for that, though we met our deductible earlier in the year. 

Then last weekend, when we took Ziggy to the urgent vet for an allergic reaction, the vet informed us of THIS - Nationwide is pulling out of pet insurance because they're bleeding money due to costs - and they just dropped 100,000 members without warning, spurring a class-action lawsuit.

Thus, I wonder if we ever will get reimbursed?

Last week, Mark contacted his work benefits and they're checking into it, to make sure we haven't been dropped, too, but with the July 4th holiday, we don't know.  

However, on calling another company for a quote - the name as yet TBA -  they told us that we are unlikely to be among the 100,000  dropped, because Kentucky makes it difficult for you to stop doing insurance business at whim; however, we WILL be dropped in the next couple of years because Nationwide is getting out of the pet insurance business.

(Wow, I finally found the one good thing about living in Kentucky 😂)

This person was very honest and advised us to stay with Nationwide for now, because if we switch now, we will never get reimbursed, and to call Nationwide every day and bug them to pay, especially since they raised our premiums without warning.

He also said although his company is great, Nationwide was previously the best, they covered more than any other company, including allergy testing, which is what Ziggy will need next.

I said, "Okay, but if we aren't getting reimbursed for things they said they would cover anyway, we have to pay out of pocket anyway, so what's the difference if we're never reimbursed?"

He said, "I get it, but if you switch now, you can be certain you'll never get paid for your open claims. Get those claims paid, then give me a call."

I was super grateful for his honesty and definitely will!

Now, my current vet is also awesome - in fact, he left his former practice and went into business himself, because he felt they were overcharging and he wants to keep prices reasonable - but there are certain things he still has to send out for or outsource for, like labs or testing or imaging, for which he has no control over the price. 

What kills me is all of the American people complaining about inflation, but still cutting their own throats financially by supporting politicians who have provided large corporations with the largest tax shelters in history and are anti-consumer protection laws, labor /pay laws, and healthcare/pharmaceutical-control laws - it defies logic, right?

(Mostly because these same Republican politicians also do so much fearmongering about immigrants, gender issues, race issues, and abortion issues, as distraction tactics, and they take the bait!)

Okay, I'm done for today, bitching about the cost of American healthcare without justification,  though we could fix this very easily, with consumer protection laws and pharmaceutical price regulation -  but noooo, Republicans would scream "socialism," instead of realizing that healthcare - especially for humans -  should NEVER be treated like a regular business, it should be about providing for the general welfare for our citizens. 

*Hop* off my soapbox now! 😂

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