Will Sicko Prompt Changes In US Healthcare?

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Jeffrey Johnson is a legal writer with a focus on personal injury. He has worked on personal injury and sovereign immunity litigation in addition to experience in family, estate, and criminal law. He earned a J.D. from the University of Baltimore and has worked in legal offices and non-profits in Maryland, Texas, and North Carolina. He has also earned an MFA in screenwriting from Chapman Univer...

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UPDATED: Jun 19, 2018

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Michael Moore’s new movie, Sicko, takes a hard look at the healthcare system in the US today. The stories he presents in the movie are sometimes hard to watch, but they do represent real life situations of Americans who have been treated very badly by their insurance companies. But, will the film prompt real changes in the US healthcare system?

A move in the right direction

Consumer groups are doubtful that changes in the healthcare system will occur immediately, but they do say that the film is a move in the right direction. The reasons that so many consumer groups, and Americans in general, are skeptical about changes being made boil down to the powerful lobbyist groups that seem to have many politicians in their back pockets and to the efforts made by, then first lady and now presidential candidate, Hillary Clinton in 1992. Clinton’s efforts were admirable; however, she didn’t have enough support to institute a national healthcare system at that point in time. Many wonder whether the political landscape has changed enough since 1992 to try it again.

Immediate concerns

Regardless of whether change is in the air, nobody doubts that Americans have immediate healthcare concerns now. One of those concerns is long term care health insurance. Insurers are denying valid long term care insurance claims in droves, so much so that Senators Hillary Clinton and Barrack Obama have requested that Congress investigate the situation.

Why insurers are denying claims – an expert’s opinion

Experts looking at the long term care insurance controversy believe that many insurers are denying benefits for selfish reasons. Bob Scott, a partner with the Advocate Law Group in California, explains that a critical emerging area in the long term care insurance area is that many insurance companies did not know how to price the product early on.

According to Scott, “Insurers built provisions into their policies to increase the premium and companies are increasing the premium dramatically at this point in time. The reason they are now increasing those premiums may be that the usage is much higher than was anticipated, but it also may be that the investment earnings that they had hoped to achieve when they originally priced the product have been much lower than they expected. Interest rates have fallen dramatically from the rates of the ‘80s and early ‘90s, down to around the 4 to 5 percent range now. So they’re not making the big returns they expected on the investment money.”

If your valid long term care claim has been denied, there are several options, including a lawsuit. Read How to Take Action When Your Long Term Care Claim Has Been Denied.

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