THE WAY I SEE IT: It's time for somebody to do the right thing
In May 10 issue, Russell County News By Barbara Sharp Zimmerman, Columnist
Admittedly, it’s my bug that is getting mashed in the struggle between Russell County Hospital and Anthem Health Plans of Kentucky. I am an Anthem policyholder, and I have to have monthly blood tests, quarterly blood tests and sometimes other tests and it is very convenient for me to run up to the hospital and have them do them for me.
The RCH hospital people are very competent and very nice, and I like using hometown folks for needed services whenever possible. It also saves me the time to make a trip to Louisville, Lexington or, at least, Somerset. Gas being the price it is, it also saves me some money.
But now it seems that Russell County Hospital wants to be paid a fair price for the services it provides for people who have Anthem health coverage, which surely several hundred other Russell Countians and I do.
Anthem, on the other hand, wants to pay RCH even less for the services it performs for Anthem patients than it does now. They have agreed to disagree, and, come fall, Anthem will no longer reimburse RCH as an in-network provider.
My monthly Anthem premiums are so ridiculously high you probably wouldn’t believe me if I told you what they are. I just can’t believe they aren’t making a mint on me and many others who have Anthem coverage. Of course, Anthem will tell you that they have to charge so much to cover their entire pool of insurants, some of whom will run up huge medical costs. But isn’t that the point of insurance – to protect individuals from catastrophe?
I’m betting that Anthem makes a gazillion bucks a year on their health premiums. I understand that they have stockholders to satisfy, but how much is enough – and when is enough simply greedy?
I think Anthem and Russell County Hospital need to put on their big-boy pants and act like they’re interested in the welfare of the Anthem health-plan holders in Russell County. Maybe RCH can give a little; after all, a tiny profit is better than no profit at all. If all the Anthem coverage goes somewhere else, won’t RCH lose even more money and maybe even be forced to lay off staff?
Maybe Anthem can make a little less on its Russell County policyholders; after all, we’re a small county and it shouldn’t hurt such a big corporation all that much.
I liked the attitude of the City Council of Jamestown when they voted to accept the $225,000 offer for City Hall and related property from the Judicial Center Project Board for the proposed new Judicial Center.
Sure, the property was probably worth more than the offer, but the Council was willing to sacrifice a current value now for the greater good of the community’s future.
They did the right thing. Hopefully, Anthem and Russell County Hospital can learn something from them.
The Times Journal is a weekly newspaper issued on Thursdays. It was first published on October 13, 1949, by Andrew J. and Terry Norfleet.
P.O. Box 190
120 Wilson St.
Russell Springs KY 42642
Russell County News is a weekly newspaper issued on Saturdays, and is mailed free to every address in Russell County, Ky. It was first published on February 1, 1913.
404 Monument Square
Jamestown KY 42629