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I searched for health insurance and didnt see a related thread so thought I should start one up.

I got my renewal letter from BCBS of Nebraska today and my premiums for January 1 have gone from $360 / month for my family plan to $790 / month.  This is for a HDHP with HSA and a $12,000 Family deduct.  No more single deduct + family style so that hurts too.

I am being forced to pay for maternity coverage despite the fact that our family is done growing.  There are lots of other "included" benefits but at the end of the day I'm not sure how I'm going to handle eating this increase in cost.  I havent started substantial searches for replacement options but I also have been reading a lot about companies pulling out of the game and stopping their health insurance offerings for private individuals.  

I work at a small software company which has always been in a situation where it is cheaper to have the employees own their own health care stuff rather than pay 2x at the company level.

Anyone have any thoughts or suggestions on what you've done?

Wait for the health exchanges to come online?  Obamacare has left me pretty uneasy since its initial passing and this is just cementing my opinion but I dont want to jump to conclusions just yet...and I need to spend some time researching but I figured I should see if you all are seeing similar situations pop up.

It might actually be better to just go without insurance until someone gets really sick then apply after the fact since they have removed the pre-existing conditions stuff right?  What a cluster...

Member Summary
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Sorry to hear all this my wife and I healthcare went up over 70% !

TiredofSame (Jan. 16, 2014 @ 12:10p) |

Prey Our went up over 70%

TiredofSame (Jan. 16, 2014 @ 12:17p) |

Thank god people on this thread are smarter than the politicians

TiredofSame (Jan. 16, 2014 @ 12:20p) |

The bolded part of my OP - which was bolded in my sticker shock anger - has been answered later in the thread (by me).

Please enjoy some of the following cliffs...

So I called BCBS and she said that basically all of the younger people (my wife and I are 32) are wildly more expensive and all the older people are now much cheaper.

Have to cancel in writing. Can only get insurance after the open enrollment on a life change (divorce, birth marriage etc) and the open enroll period is Oct - Mar this year and Oct-Dec next year.

Calculator to see if you get subsidy is coming online on Oct 1...which has income limits around $132k. They are still debating what the subsidy will be I guess. There are some calc's available online https://www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-an-estimate-of-costs-and-savings-on-marketplace-health-insurance/
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bNeta86 said:   
I work at a small software company which has always been in a situation where it is cheaper to have the employees own their own health care stuff rather than pay 2x at the company level.

Surprising given the selection of employees and the rather large tax breaks involved.

I would talk to colleagues to see if that's what they are seeing, and if so, perhaps look into a HDHP option for companies. The company could provide dollars for routine health care ("self-insure") and buy reinsurance for any real substantial claims, say from as long at 10k+. And oh, set aside some money for lobbying Washington not to regulate away this option.

How much are they depositing into your HSA?

Congrats! You are now paying for the unhealthy, smoking and older population in your premiums. This, unfortunately, will only get worse as they force insurers to keep adding coverage, etc.

Want to see the future, think of the postal service. Regulations don't let them run a profitable business.

I fear this as well. I'm self employed, have a plan through BCBS of NC for $325/mo. BCBS has warned me of substantial premium increases. If I see a doubling of my premium, I'll seriously consider taking the penalty.

Dumb question here: Have you taken a look at the health care exchanges? There should be varying levels of coverage offered (i.e. Bronze, Silver, Gold) at a more affordable rate.

Bizatch said:   I fear this as well. I'm self employed, have a plan through BCBS of NC for $325/mo. BCBS has warned me of substantial premium increases. If I see a doubling of my premium, I'll seriously consider taking the penalty.
  Same here, I have a United HDHP plan at $298 right now. I am nervously awaiting my renewal letter for November 1st.

JamesPolk said:   Dumb question here: Have you taken a look at the health care exchanges? There should be varying levels of coverage offered (i.e. Bronze, Silver, Gold) at a more affordable rate.
  I wouldn't count on that "affordable rate" you mentioned. Though opinions are mixed, it would be a shocker if the rates were more affordable via exchange in year 1. I am in Arizona and most of the big players have simply opted out of the exchange which reduces competition.

lotusgardener said:   How much are they depositing into your HSA?
  Nothing...the company offers a physical activity bonus for working out to help offset premiums but rather than paying what was historically 2-3x average premiums per employee, just pays people well enough to handle buying it on their own.  Up until now it hasn't been a problem as there was quite a bit of competition and premiums were very reasonable...it appears Aetna has pulled out of the state and now the only choices are Coventry, BCBS and United.  I cant find prices for Coventry and United for next year on eHealthinsurance.com so I only have one datapoint but this one datapoint is alarming.

I did see a note on the obamacare wikipedia page that if the premiums for health insurance are more than 8% of your income you are exempt from paying the penalty so I'll have to do some more reading on that as well.

So I called BCBS and she said that basically all of the younger people (my wife and I are 32) are wildly more expensive and all the older people are now much cheaper.

Have to cancel in writing. Can only get insurance after the open enrollment on a life change (divorce, birth marriage etc) and the open enroll period is Oct - Mar this year and Oct-Dec next year.

Calculator to see if you get subsidy is coming online on Oct 1...which has income limits around $132k. They are still debating what the subsidy will be I guess.

Basically I would have a $22k out of pocket expense before I got any real benefits. i think they cover some routine well baby stuff is all. You cant just buy insurance after you get sick though because you're locked out unless it is an open enrollment window... she said they effectively have one rate now for everyone since they cant medically underwrite individual plan groups or segregate on age.


I know we're trying to "fix it" but this seems like a hammer to a system that needed some fine tuning...geeze.

Wait until people figure out that they can't be refused for a pre-existing condition and they don't actually need insurance... Then fewer young and healthy people will be paying into the system to pay for the sick and elderly... that will be when health care insurance costs really explode.


brettdoyle said:   Wait until people figure out that they can't be refused for a pre-existing condition and they don't actually need insurance... Then fewer young and healthy people will be paying into the system to pay for the sick and elderly... that will be when health care insurance costs really explode.
  Sounds familiar... Wait is this Social Security all over again?

bNeta86 said:   
Calculator to see if you get subsidy is coming online on Oct 1...

  
Calculator link and a bit of info
https://www.healthcare.gov/how-can-i-get-an-estimate-of-costs-and-savings-on-marketplace-health-insurance/   

Dude, you need to pay up so older people can retire early and game the system in order to get that sweet, sweet subsidy. Who else is going to help the millionares retire early? Check out the early retirement sites to really see how sick it is.

I wonder how much my Premium will go up? My company has been paying less and less every year.

Same boat here in Virginia.  After BCBS jacked our rates last year I went searching for an alternative.  I did find Optima which has an actual affordable HSA compliant plan.  However, I fear the end is near for those of us with large families who have taken on a responsible position of saving for medical emergencies and only using insurance as a backstop.  

I, too, was blissfully unaware that my HDHP family policy with $5k deductible for $483 per month was not meeting my federally-mandated needs. Thank goodness someone smarter than myself has taken it upon themselves to show me the error of my ways. I must remember to send Ms. Sebelius a Christmas card this year.

Exact same issue - self-employed, have the lowest cost plan available.  Next year premiums double.   You're far from alone.  The individual plans are getting nailed.  Group insurance is not changing much as they were already getting reamed.

brettdoyle said:   Wait until people figure out that they can't be refused for a pre-existing condition and they don't actually need insurance... Then fewer young and healthy people will be paying into the system to pay for the sick and elderly... that will be when health care insurance costs really explode.
  Like most employer insurance plans there is going to be predefined enrollment periods and unless you experience a "life changing event" you are not going to be allowed to enroll in insurance whenever you want.  So despite everyone and their mother think they are being clever by suggesting gee I won't carry insurance until I get sick I sure am smart tee hee hee, this isn't going to happen and stop thinking you are being smart by suggesting it.

bNeta86 said:   
It might actually be better to just go without insurance until someone gets really sick then apply after the fact since they have removed the pre-existing conditions stuff right?

Although when your kid falls out of a tree and breaks his neck, are you going to duct tape him to a 2x4 and stash him in the garage while you look up the number to call to enroll in a policy before calling an ambulance? There may not be an exclusion for preexisting conditions, but they wont retroactively cover already-received services.  And when you find yourself in a situation needing that catastrophic coverage, I'm thinking that enrolling for new coverage will be the last thing on your mind (especially if you are the one laying there in a coma...).

It goes hand-in-hand with the whole open-enrollment thing - the strategy works great for life-long conditions, where you intentionally plan to eat the initial costs until getting enrolled.  Doesnt work so well with the isolated emergencies that can incur significant costs over only a few days.

So if you fall really ill, just divorce your wife, and sign up for a new plan!

Glitch99 said:   
bNeta86 said:   
It might actually be better to just go without insurance until someone gets really sick then apply after the fact since they have removed the pre-existing conditions stuff right?

Although when your kid falls out of a tree and breaks his neck, are you going to duct tape him to a 2x4 and stash him in the garage while you look up the number to call to enroll in a policy before calling an ambulance? There may not be an exclusion for preexisting conditions, but they wont retroactively cover already-received services.  And when you find yourself in a situation needing that catastrophic coverage, I'm thinking that enrolling for new coverage will be the last thing on your mind (especially if you are the one laying there in a coma...).

  Indeed - as was pointed out later the enrollment windows will prevent this  (I hadn't yet researched much about it at that point and was in sticker shock mode).

It appears I'm actually without many good options here...the coverage is so much more expensive it is quite alarming.  I know they are taking the "good of the people" approach here but from my view here in the cheap seats this is really going to cripple the whole self insured marketplace for younger people.

It's not like I'm out of line here...I'm being asked to shoulder a $22k out of pocket expense sans some routine preventative care before I get any real benefit from this insurance coverage...that is obnoxious.  Not only that but I'll be penalized for not taking this great option...  Just tough to see the rubber meet the road in a real life example.  I'm sure there will be many seniors and low income folks that will get huge benefit from this though...and I take at least some solice in the fact that profits for the insurance companies are capped and so the bulk of the benefit will go to those that need it most...well besides the Docs and hospitals.

How do other countries handle this problem without financially raping the middle class? Hmmm.

My family health insurance policy, not health care, a damn insurance policy, for 3 healthy people, is my largest annual expense. It is absurd.

bNeta86 said:   ...and I take at least some solice in the fact that profits for the insurance companies are capped and so the bulk of the benefit will go to those that need it most...well besides the Docs and hospitals.
 

Go ahead and take solace... until you realize that the profit is capped at a PERCENTAGE of premium revenue, and therefore the incentive is for health insurers to GROW health care expenses (a 10% slice of a LARGE pie is much, much bigger than a 10% slice of a tiny pie) rather than control them.

ganda said:   
My family health insurance policy, not health care, a damn insurance policy,

Thus the fallacy - somehow, everyone decided that the solution to health care costs is health insurance. Reshuffling the cards to pay for the same costs in different ways is in no way solving the initial problem of the cost.

I'm seeing mine is $135/mo for single male with BCBS of AZ. Might be as low as $97.50/month I'm seeing printed elsewhere.

I don't know why are you all whining. My parents migrated in 2009 to US. They don't pay diddly squat for insurance and they are getting super healthcare including prescription for free.

I guess you all are paying for their care. LOL.

Al3xK said:   I'm seeing mine is $135/mo for single male with BCBS of AZ. Might be as low as $97.50/month I'm seeing printed elsewhere.
  If you want to see the future, change your address on one of the internet insurance sites to NY or NJ from AZ... We already have some of the requirements that Obamacare is introducing nationally, madated by the state, and it is a real problem. 

SteveG

You could blame the elderly, but they already have Medicare and Sup coverage and their rates are going up as well. Perhaps you should blame those without current insurance... non-working (old and young), 20,000,000+ undocumented, but most of all it is the Governments fault (payroll and so much paperwork requiring Doctors to cut their work load up to 40% just to do it). Just my 2 cents.

Maybe we could blame Bush (LOL).

Wait until the exchanges come online. You really should comparison shop with all the big January 1 changes rather than simply renew.

EDIT: In the unlikely event that you don't know, www.healthcare.gov is the relevant website.

Glitch99 said:   
ganda said:   
My family health insurance policy, not health care, a damn insurance policy,

Thus the fallacy - somehow, everyone decided that the solution to health care costs is health insurance. Reshuffling the cards to pay for the same costs in different ways is in no way solving the initial problem of the cost.

  Actually expands it a little after admin costs and other overhead. 
brettdoyle said:   Wait until people figure out that they can't be refused for a pre-existing condition and they don't actually need insurance... Then fewer young and healthy people will be paying into the system to pay for the sick and elderly... that will be when health care insurance costs really explode.
  
Costs won't explode, premiums will.

Glitch99 said:   
ganda said:   
My family health insurance policy, not health care, a damn insurance policy,

Thus the fallacy - somehow, everyone decided that the solution to health care costs is health insurance. Reshuffling the cards to pay for the same costs in different ways is in no way solving the initial problem of the cost.

  I'm still (but less so everyday) hopeful that the cost control portion of the bill will have an effect.  But the union love their gold plated "insurance" plan and are pushing back right now.

Even I got one such letter, where Humana (my current carrier) threatens that an ACA compliant plan will cost me 110% more. But, then there is reality.

Health insurance newsletters agree that rates shocks are unlikely.
http://www.kaiserhealthnews.org/Daily-Reports/2013/August/30/ran...

Not every state has published their data. The ones that have don't look as menacing as the letter I got from Humana.

But, go ahead and scream if that suits your worldview.

mrmonty said:   But, go ahead and scream if that suits your worldview.
  Did you skip OP completely or you thought he made up the entire thing with the renewal rate?

ZenNUTS said:   
mrmonty said:   But, go ahead and scream if that suits your worldview.
  Did you skip OP completely or you thought he made up the entire thing with the renewal rate?

  Did you read my post saying that even I got a letter from Humana saying "my rates will go up 110%"? Then, I checked Humana's listed rates on my exchange found them to be nowhere close to what was quoted in the letter. Humana's on-exchange maximum rates for Bronze, Silver and Platinum plans in my State are close to what I pay currently not double that amount. I think this is a cynical last-ditch effort by the carriers to frighten everyone that has insurance. 

All I am saying is wait a month and see what the exchanges are offering before screaming.

If several employees are interested in health insurance, your employer might be willing to consider self-insurance. Depending on the laws in your state, it may be possible for some companies to create a plan that meets its employee's needs at a lower cost than purchasing an off-the-shelf plan. I stated a topic on this option several months ago.

http://http://www.fatwallet.com/forums/finance/1260772/     

“Federal and state officials and consumer advocates have grown worried that companies with relatively young, healthy employees may opt out of the regular health insurance market to avoid the minimum coverage standards in President Obama’s sweeping law, a move that could drive up costs for workers at other companies.

Companies can avoid many standards in the new law by insuring their own employees, rather than signing up with commercial insurers, because Congress did not want to disrupt self-insurance arrangements that were seen as working well for many large employers.”



“The new law reduces the risks of self-insurance. Previously, self-insured companies would have struggled to switch to the insured market if employees developed costly illnesses. Under the law, companies can switch with no penalty, as insurers generally ‘must accept every employer and individual’ who applies for coverage.”  

New York Times    
 
 

 

ZenNUTS said:   
mrmonty said:   But, go ahead and scream if that suits your worldview.
  Did you skip OP completely or you thought he made up the entire thing with the renewal rate?

  OP got a renewal notice from his existing Insurer. He does not know what are his options in the market place.  If he waits till Oct 1st, he may have other options. If he's buying his own insurance through the market place, he may be eligible for potentially large tax subsidy based on his income.

If you notice, everyone talks about their premium but do not want to talk about the "tax" subsidy that'll get.  Try http://kff.org/interactive/subsidy-calculator/  

A couple in Mid 30s with 2 kids and an income of 90K, will pay approx 4k per year for a bronze plan.  Less than 100 bucks per month per individual. This is  total annual premium - Tax subsidy. 
If the same couple has an income of 75K, their total outflow will be $1500. Approx $30-40  per person every month. Less than a Smartphone plan. 

One can make an argument for/against participating in the exchange and paying the penalty based on their political leaning.  You can also make a great argument why enforcing universal health insurance doesn't translate to lower costs.

But if anyone wants to pursue self employment or early retirement (forced or voluntary), this is golden.  I know several folks in their 40s-50s waiting for this to kick in. Currently, you can be denied coverage for something like elevated sugar levels or high triglycerides.

 

king0fSpades said:   I don't know why are you all whining. My parents migrated in 2009 to US. They don't pay diddly squat for insurance and they are getting super healthcare including prescription for free.

I guess you all are paying for their care. LOL.

  
God grant me the serenity and patience to hear the same damn joke repeated countless times over the next few months. Amen.

Skipping 435 Messages...
Thank god people on this thread are smarter than the politicians



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