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KAREN HENDERSON, Kingston: Health insurers leave customers with terrible choices

My husband and I have strong ties with Tufts Medical Center. My husband has been diagnosed with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and had a successful myecotomy in December 2010 at Tufts Medical Center. On Nov. 22, 2010, I was informed that I had a brain tumor the size of a small clementine, and in January 2011, I had a craniotomy, also from Tufts. My employer recently had an open enrollment period for health insurance. We were members of Harvard Pilgrim Health Care. I have had great luck with them. We were notified , however, that HPHC would be going up $145 a month, and we were already paying $477 a month. The increase is something we could just not afford. After calling all my doctors and my husband’s, we made the choice to switch to Blue Cross. I cannot begin to tell you the despair, anger and downright frustration I felt after Blue Cross notified members that it may not be able to renew its contract with Tufts. I feel like our family is in a vice being squeezed by both of there large health insurance companies. On one hand, you have Harvard Pilgrim Health Care going up an exorbitant amount, and then you have Blue Cross Blue Shield, saying it may have to walk away from a place with which we have become so intimately involved, that has helped us overcome these health issues so that we can be parents to our 2- and 9-year-old girls. The physicians at Tufts have done so much for us, and they know our physical health already. It would be devastating to have to start all over again. Blue Cross Blue Shield needs to be fair in the way it reimburses its doctors and must support the clients it wishes to retain. KAREN HENDERSON Kingston

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