WHAT YOU SAID
Q. As a federal worker, are you satisfied with your health care, including the prescription drug benefit?
Glenn Dale; employed by Gallaudet University, which by law participates fully in all civil service retirement and health benefit programs.
I am satisfied that we have a wide array of choices, and that's for the better. However, I'm not convinced that we are faring that well compared to some non-federal employees.
A friend of mine is a former Maryland state employee, and his health plan options are superior to mine. First of all, his recurring costs are somewhat lower than mine, yet he has better benefits. He also has a cafeteria plan, which allows him to select health-care "modules" such as dental, prescription, vision, etc., paying for each individually.
His deductibles are less than mine, and he can see the same Blue Cross Blue Shield doctors that I can. Finally, he has the option of adding domestic partners to his plans at the group rate, but federal employees cannot do this. If Maryland can offer such an attractive plan, why can't the feds?
Riverview, Fla.; retired from the Department of Defense Dependents Schools in August.
Blue Cross Blue Shield raised its rates by 9 percent this year. For me, that is an increase of about $50 per month. And this is happening at a time that the government is trying to lower medical care costs. I have a senator asking why, and I have yet to receive an answer.
The company also will drop my college-age son when he turns 22, even though he has not graduated and found a job. We need to take health insurance from the profit-making sector and make it government-run, as do almost all other countries.
Yes, I am satisfied with my federal health insurance and prescription benefits, even though my plan does not cover dental, eyeglasses or hearing aids. It would be nice to have at least a portion of hearing aids covered, because they are so expensive and I needed them for work and school.
However, I am not happy with health-care costs. I was shocked at the cost of going to a local health clinic to get a tetanus shot when I snagged my fingernail on a small nail while washing a window. My first visit cost about $400. However, the clinic called me and said I had go for a follow-up to prevent infection, even though I was feeling fine. So I went back, and it cost another $400, and I was only with the doctor about two minutes.
I complained to the director of the clinic, with no success. Her argument was that "she was allowed to charge me that." I don't understand why many Americans don't want health-care reform.
Jerome E. Wallace
Philadelphia; Economic Development Administration.