Gavin Newson was loved and then hated after he left, but I have to admit that I approve of one thing he did — Healthy San Francisco. I was wary at first because it started by only serving the residents of Chinatown and then moved out into the Mission, but now it includes Brown and Toland which is an excellent health care facility that has several locations around the city and has saved my life a couple of times.
Because of that I have what is called a pre-existing condition. Most people in the 40’s do and because of that when you need to buy health insurance for yourself you usually get turned down or you are offered a plan at a grossly inflated rate. Because of this I applied and was given the San Francisco Health Plan which is a part of Healthy San Francisco. While it turns out that I can’t keep the same doctor I had with Brown and Toland I did get a very well respected doctor who’s right around the corner from him and I have zero co-pay on my visits.
I had a job once where the owner of the company called health insurance a crap shoot. Maybe you’ll need it, maybe you won’t. Nowadays from my experience when you are approaching your 40’s something starts to go wrong with you and you’ll need some kind of medication. Your blood pressure goes up, your cholesterol goes hay-wire. It’s not a crap shoot, but a necessity. You’ll need it and as you get older you’ll need it more. It kind of sucks to get old even though you can be more active as you’re older.
Healthy San Francisco is a good thing. Our insurance prior to being accepted would be costing us around $1500/month and even my doctor’s jaw dropped at that. That doesn’t include co-pays and medications, etc. Incidentally if you are on any forms of generic medications I highly recommend you look into Walgreen’s plan that for $35/year will give your family access to more than 400 generic meds for $12 for three months. It’s a great deal during these times.
Speaking of which, with the economy slowly coming back I’m seeing more part-time work than full time because it’s cheaper to pay two people to do one person’s job than it is to pay one person with benefits and it gives you them a run around the city’s law that employer’s have to provide health benefits. I am at least seeing more jobs offering benefits in San Francisco now and that’s a good thing. I do miss my old doctor, but once I get a job that offers real benefits I’ll transition back to him. The funny thing is that most of the benefits I’ve had in the past have had deductibles on the medications before you started getting them cheaper. One of the medications I take that is widely prescribed costs $120 until you’ve reached the deductible and then it drops down to $30. With the San Francisco Health Plan it’s free. Now if my doctor could add himself to the San Francisco Health Plan I’d be in a perfect world for my health.