Letters to the editor Featured

9:51am EDT July 22, 2002

Kudos to all!

As a small business owner, I can’t compliment you enough for the insightful and right-on-the-money articles printed in SBN. Your editorial comments and Fred Koury’s integrity and ethical business fundamentals have given rise to thought for my own newsletters and my coaching practice. Not only do I incorporate the principals into my business, I also pass them on to clients as a means in which to accelerate their own personal and career development. My hats off to all of you for your progressive approach to journalism!

Nancy S. Duffee

personal & business coach and consultant

Integrated Solutions

Sunbury

Patients have a responsibility, too

I had a chance to read your editorial about House Bill 4 [“Much ado about nothing,” SBN Columbus, August 1999]. Being from the brokerage side of the insurance world, I see an awful lot go on.

Since doctors have to answer to the decisions they make about a patient’s care, so should an insurance carrier. Both affect the patient significantly.

I agree with you for the most part, but what happened to getting educated about your insurance plan? One of the things that amazes me is how many people don’t know about the insurance policy they currently have. They don’t know what their out-of-pocket expenses are. They don’t know preauthorization is a requirement for most procedures over and above a regular office regular office visit. They don’t take the time to read the policy which is mailed to them, etc.

Also as consumers, we don’t take the time to ask doctors why they make the recommendations they do. Too often, I find people are intimidated by both doctors and insurers. I spend a lot of time with my clients educating them about their insurance plans while acting as the buffer between insurer, insured and providers. It’s not always the fault of the insurer.

In addition, the hype of HMO scares is only a few cases out of the millions of cases that pass through an insurer’s hands throughout the year. Ultimately, yes, one should be able to file a lawsuit against an insurer if they did violate their contract [and] obstructed one from receiving the treatment that might save one’s life. [But] what happened to taking responsibility of our own? Too many times we assume.

I could go on about the things I see, but the fault does not always lie on the part of one specific party.

Victoria A. Green

president

Green Insurance Agency

Westerville

It’s our money

This letter is a response to your recent article, “BWC premium cut in peril,” SBN Columbus, July 1999 issue. The BWC currently has approximately $1.7 billion in annual expenses. That number includes satisfying all of its current claims. The BWC insurance fund has approximately $24 billion in reserve. This amount satisfies all future claims plus some. Any money held that goes above and beyond satisfying future claims should be returned to the employers.

Stephen Mindzak and William Burga need to remember who funds the BWC insurance fund — the employers, not the employees. To refund or discount excess dollars is far from “looting the fund.”

In my opinion, what should be done is to legislate the reserve dollar number which, needless to say, would change annually based on future claim dollar amounts. Then, treated like an annuity, discounts could be issued on a going-forward basis, instead of issuing refunds to the employers. The following is an example:

There’s approximately $24 billion in reserve now, of which $21 billion must be kept to satisfy future claims. The $24 billion invested at 5 percent interest would create an income stream of $1.2 billion, and with annual expenses at $1.7 billion, it would leave a balance of $500 million to be paid by Ohio’s employers at approximately a 70 percent premium discount annually.

It’s the investment climate that has benefited this fund and it should be returned to those who made the investment after all the legitimate claims are satisfied. That’s the employers.

Michael P. Paul

president

E.T. Paul Co. Tires

Columbus