Oak Park, IL (PRWEB) January 17, 2008
Lee Einer, the man Michael Moore referred to as the Health Insurance Industry "Hitman" in SiCKO, has recently written his second guest column for the award-winning health advocacy blog, HonestMedicine.com. The blog's creator, Julia Schopick, announced the posting of Mr. Einer's column, "The Truth About Self-Funded Plans" (http://www.honestmedicine.com/2008/01/the-truth-about.html), today.
Ms. Schopick says, "In SiCKO, Michael Moore did a terrific job of exposing the fact that many of us who THINK we're insured really do need to worry because, so often, insurance companies deny our claims for very reasonable, very necessary treatments. But Michael Moore's film painted the situation with a broad stroke, without exposing the different kinds of plans, and the different ways in which they mislead the public. The public doesn't understand that some health plans are more equal than others. That's what Lee's HonestMedicine.com columns are about."
Einer's first two guest columns expose flaws in two very specific kinds of health insurance plans. His first column, "Faux Health Insurance for the Self-Employed: The Sham, The Scam, The Shame of It" (http://www.honestmedicine.com/2007/08/sicko-hitman-le.html), exposed the little-understood, but very widespread, insurance industry practice of health insurance for the self-employed person. Einer points out, "Many of these plans for the self-employed are quite deceptive; all the plans I spoke about in SiCKO were of this variety. It's a real shame that so many people who are self-employed go out and purchase insurance on their own -- out of necessity -- with the sincere belief that these policies will cover them when they get sick. But in far too many cases, what they purchase -- at very high rates, I might add, and often with extremely high deductibles -- is health insurance in name only. True health insurance requires a POOL OF MEMBERS, all of whom share in the risk. With an individual policy, there is no shared risk. It's a real shame -- and a real sham."
Einer's just-posted Honest Medicine column, "The Truth About Self-Funded Plans" (http://www.honestmedicine.com/2008/01/the-truth-about.html), addresses the fact that many employers choose to provide their employees with "self-funded" health plans, instead of traditional insurance coverage. Contrary to what most employees think, these plans are NOT the same as regular health insurance plans. And the employees who have these plans should know HOW they are different. Most often, they don't. As Einer describes it: "Most employees don't even realize they are covered by a self-funded plan rather than an employer group insurance plan. Employers who offer self-funded plans are NOT required to follow state laws governing health insurance; additionally, employers with self-funded plans can direct that claims for their top management and their families get paid 'outside the plan' -- i.e., paid even when the terms of the plan would result in claim denials for their rank and file employees. So, a self-funded plan may end up refusing an employee's lifesaving treatment while, at the same time, covering the CEO's (or his wife's) cosmetic surgery." Einer feels that it is very important that employees have all the information about their plans before they get sick, so there will be fewer surprises later on, when they are most vulnerable. IMPORTANT NOTE: Mr. Einer adds: "The recent, very controversial, case of Nataline Sarkisyan, the 17-year old girl who was denied a liver transplant, was an example of a self-funded plan. Most people -- including most of the media -- did not realize this fact."
Mr. Einer views his appearance in Michael Moore's SiCKO as the beginning of his efforts to inform the public about the outrageous nature of America's health insurance industry. "I am so happy that Honest Medicine is providing me with the opportunity to tell more of the true story about insurance companies than there was time for in SiCKO. People were shocked by what they saw in SiCKO. I am determined to give them more information about the tricks some insurance companies and employers play, so that people won't continue to get fooled and shortchanged."
Julia Schopick, who runs HonestMedicine.com (http://www.honestmedicine.com/), says that Lee Einer's guest columns are in keeping with the mission of her website. "In the 15 years before he died, my husband Tim Fisher was the survivor of a very serious, cancerous brain tumor. So, during those years, we got to witness firsthand the mess our healthcare system has become. After Tim's death, I started my medical advocacy blog, in order to expose lots of the myths and flaws surrounding the healthcare industry. Publishing Mr. Einer's columns fits in beautifully with my website's mission."
In addition to these two guest columns by Lee Einer, HonestMedicine.com also contains an audio interview with him and a review of SiCKO. (Both may be found at http://www.honestmedicine.com/2008/01/honestmedicines.html.) Since its inception in May, 2006, HonestMedicine.com has also exposed many other kinds of flaws in our healthcare system, in both its articles and its podcasts. Ms. Schopick's next podcast - and Honest Medicine's first interview of 2008, planned for February -- will be with Shannon Brownlee, award-winning author of "Overtreated: Why Too Much Medicine Is Making Us Sicker and Poorer" (http://www.overtreated.com/).
To interview Lee Einer or Julia Schopick -- or both -- please contact Ms. Schopick at 708-848-4788 or by email at JuliaS1573(at)aol.com.