In A Few Years, We'll All Laugh About This Shitty New Health Insurance PlanCommentary • workplace • Opinion • healthcare • ISSUE 44•07 • Feb 13, 2008 By Liam Snels, Regional Sales Manager, DeHart Advertising Fellow employees, I know that many of you feel frustrated, angry, and confused about this company's new insurance provider, BirchStreet.com Health Insurance. Some of you are even scared for your well-being and the well-being of your families. That's understandable. Right now, it must seem like it's the worst thing in the world that our own employers have chosen to double our deductible and slash our benefits, but trust me, in a few years this will all seem pretty funny.Think about it. Our president said they switched to this shitty insurance because our old, good plan wasn't worth it financially since employees weren't filing enough claims, so they put us on a new, cheaper plan that might not cover you when you do need to file a claim. See? Now, that's the kind of outright kooky stuff you've just got to laugh about! I bet in a few years, we'll all be cracking up about the wacky timing of that stroke Bernice from accounting had. "Crazy old Bernice," we'll say. "Always picking the worst possible time to have a stroke!"Believe me, it looks bad now, but later on down the road we'll be able to share a good, hearty chuckle about the e-mail we got from HR touting the $8 we save on monthly premiums—especially Bo, the guy with clinical depression who has to pay $172 for the pills that were $10 under the old insurance. He'll be laughing his head off!But hey, you know what they say: Laughter is the best medicine. Which is lucky, because under our new provider, laughter is the only medicine that doesn't cost at least $80 at Walgreens.So we might have to pay up to $2,500 per year out of our own pockets if we get sick, and simple allergy medications cost five times what they did on the old plan, and you have to pay full price for an ambulance ride, and our insurance cards look like laminated business cards and have typos all over them. Big deal! Think how funny all this will seem at a later date.Sure, it doesn't seem so silly now that Dave from marketing has to drive 75 miles to see the only in-network physician in the state registered to treat his daughter's spinal meningitis. Or that our new provider only pays 20 percent of the cost incurred for her treatment because her illness was a preexisting condition. But when we're able to look back on this situation with some perspective, it will make for quite a humorous anecdote, assuming she doesn't die.It's these kind of zany stories that make life worth living!Take Richard from down the hall, for instance. Tomorrow we're all holding a big raffle to help him raise money for surgery on his punctured eardrum, which would've cost $150 last year but now costs more than $1,000. I bet your sides are splitting even now, just thinking about how the company is ultimately helping him pay for the operation, but not the part of the company that's supposed to, and—well, trust me, the irony will be clear one day, once the initial feeling of betrayal and outrage has worn off.You know, it'll even seem pretty darn funny that our insurance company is called "BirchStreet.com," and that when you try to visit its website it says "Domain name for sale" and redirects you to "Birch Street Farms, growers of fine California berries." What a hoot! I'm sure my grandkids will love that story. Just love it!Even the fact that we only get about $5.40 off the incredibly expensive retail price of prescription drugs will someday provide a few chuckles. I understand that right now it makes people want to go crazy and quit their jobs and just curl up in a ball and weep, but there's really no point in getting all worked up over something as trivial as not being able to afford to take care of yourself and your loved ones.Who needs a great health insurance provider, anyway? As long as we have our health, things can't be that bad.Besides, what's the worst that can happen? Someone feels sick but is reluctant to go to the doctor because they can't afford to pay out of pocket for a checkup, so they convince themselves it's nothing serious and then the pain that could have easily been prevented gets worse and worse until it's too late and they get sick and die?Hilarious!