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Should I Throw Up Now Or Later?

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1318
Joined: Apr 2009

Hello All,

As we all struggle to survive in this horrible economy, isn't it just grand that our health insurance providers have the gall to double ,triple, & quadruple our premiums. I just got my packet for next years enrollment & my premium will go from $142 monthly to $350 monthly. The ironic part is my portion of that premium is $292 and I go to a doctor once a year to get a new BP medicine script, while my hubby's portion is $56 and he sees several doctors frequently and takes 10 meds. There is one saving grace in this. I will be 65 in March, so my premium will drop to $56. Even that amount has gone up from $14(his is a medicare supplement). Thank God for old age.

I'm sure that these amounts are small premiums for most of you, but it was like "sticker shock" when I read the packet. As Pink Floyd says "just another brick in the wall".

I also realized that when I become 66, my life insurance benefits will reduce by 10% each year. You can bet they won't decrease the premiums.

Luv,

Wolfen

mef123
Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2011

My premiums for family is $500 a month and haven't gotten the packet yet for next year. My husband now having cancer will be using it alot. I also use it a lot because I have bipolar and my son uses it alot because he has adhd and anxiety. So I think we get alot for our money but it's the copays that kill me. I can spend $65 for one precription. But there is nothing I can do about any of it. So why get upset.

Good luck.

Michele

mef123
Posts: 45
Joined: Oct 2011

double post

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

Which will cost you less?
Thank God the cost will come down in March.

tommycat's picture
tommycat
Posts: 790
Joined: Aug 2011

It's sickening isn't it? Greed greed greed and more (rampant) greed while people suffer.

PhillieG's picture
PhillieG
Posts: 4885
Joined: May 2005

99% of the way...
Why are people mad I wonder???
;-)

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

In 2008 I found my wife had saved my pay stubs from the beginning of the Bush administration (this is not a political gibe, just an observation) to the time my company went paperless.

Over the course of time I noticed an odd thing; as my taxes went down, my healthcare went up. For about three years it was almost dollar for dollar, so my net pay remained about the same.

Since I stopped working about a month ago we are now on COBRA. My wife gets Medicare (long story, but she was disabled by a chiropractor in 1995), and the cost of just me on COBRA is less than 1/2 of the two of us combined so I figured we could save money by getting her on an Advantage plan. Well, after running all of her meds and doctors through the calculators, it turned out to be cheaper to keep her on my insurance.

What does it cost? I had a pretty good plan, an HSA with a family deductible of $1,250 and an annual max spend of $5,000 and our monthly premium is $1,076. Total annual spend is somewhere around $18k

Of course, my former employers open enrollment is in March, so I can expect those number to go up, and we may be revisiting the Advantage option for April...

One last note, I now have a schedule for throwing up: Every other week, starting on Friday night and finishing sometime on Saturday. :-)

Hope you are well,

Blake

laurettas
Posts: 372
Joined: May 2011

I gritched and grumbled all the time about the amount we were paying for health insurance when Jake and I were healthy and had fewer medical expenses than our premium for one month. This year we began paying $850 a month for the two of us which is a lot on our retired income. But it had a small deductible, $500 for each of us I believe, and $2000 out of pocket per year. We pay $5 copay for prescriptions.

WELL, now that Jake has cancer and I see the vast amounts of money that our insurance company is paying out--$22000 for one infusion every two weeks--plus miscellaneous other expenses, I am almost feeling sorry for the insurance company. Or at least for all of the people who have paid money into the insurance company. This year the insurance company will have paid out more for Jake's treatment than we have paid in premiums for our whole lives.

I worry about how this will be possible to sustain as a country. Jake's expenses I am sure will top $1 million before we are finished. That isn't even taking into account any health needs I may have in the future. How can this work? And I can't blame the insurance company for this. They definitely are not making a profit on us. I have to look primarily at the pharmaceutical companies. There is where the vast majority of our expenses lie.

Sure we have wonderful health care in this country but how can we afford to use it? Something has to change.

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

It is definitely hard when premiums go up! What I'm wondering is how your premiums are so much cheaper than mine. I pay $909 a month just for myself on a Health Net HMO plan. My husband and kids are on a separate plan- Anthem Blue Cross & we pay almost $1200 a month for the 4 of them. Hence, my family is paying over $2100 a month for health insurance. I know everyone is in a different financial position, but when I hear people complaining of paying 5 or 6 hundred a month, I wish that was me! It kills us to pay what we are & I have a $1500 copay for my recent hospital stay, but I figure the bill would probably come to 100K, so I am grateful I have it since insurance will pay 100% after my copay. The cost really is outrageous, but we couldn't find anything for less with someone in my condition. My husband's plan is through his work. Maybe we chose the cushy plans. They are both HMO's which have pretty good coverage, but definitely limit where we can go. When I've consulted with a couple of other oncologists, including Dr. Lenz at Norris/USC, that was considered out of network & so I just had to pay cash.

Lisa

Buckwirth's picture
Buckwirth
Posts: 1272
Joined: Jun 2010

Is there a reason you are not on your husband's plan?

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

Blake,
Originally, we were all on the same plan, which was my work plan & we all stayed on that until my Cobra and then Cal-Cobra expired after 36 months. After that point, we were all going to go on my husband's plan. The reason I stayed on my own plan when they switched is because I was on Gemzar, which isn't FDA approved for colorectal cancer. I had gone through two denials, filing with the Dept of Managed Care for California and won & they ended up paying for the Gemzar after all. I didn't want to have to go through all that again with a new insurance company. Also, my oncologist said in his experience that Anthem Blue Cross was about the worst insurance company so far as denying meds he'd try to get for his patients.(he said Medicare is the best). That's what my husband's plan is, so I opted to stay on my own with Health Net. It would be a bit cheaper if I went onto my husband's plan, but we thought it wasn't worth the risk of being denied my chemo.

Now that what treatment I'm going to do is in flux and may not be Gemzar anymore, maybe we'll reconsider for the next open enrollment period. We'll see.

Lisa

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1318
Joined: Apr 2009

See, I knew I shouldn't have complained about my paltry amount. I don't understand how many of you can pay the high, high amounts. On the other side of the coin, our insurance pays a major portion of the medicine costs(insulin, for example). After reading your replies, I find that I shouldn't complain at all. It was just unexpected when I read the new amount.

Phil, as for which action costs less, it doesn't matter. I'd still have to clean it up.LOL
So I'll just follow Blake's schedule, and shut my trap.

Luv,

Wolfen

lisa42's picture
lisa42
Posts: 3661
Joined: Jul 2008

I didn't mean to come off like I was trying to make you feel bad for complaining. Sorry about that. I guess I was just surprised at the amounts with what I'm paying each month. I imagine it's really my choice in some aspect of what I pay- I could have chosen a plan with a higher deductible that doesn't pay out as much and gotten a lower premium, but this is what we chose.

Lisa

wolfen's picture
wolfen
Posts: 1318
Joined: Apr 2009

I knew you weren't trying to make me feel bad. I think it's just because I'm trying so hard to hang onto the many things I worked my whole life for. I can't stop the inevitable, and another expense just helps the walls crumble faster. I was fortunate not to have to pay anything for insurance until 2010 when the company I retired from negotaited that "freebie" right out of the contract. My complaints are just ramblings to my friends here. So many here have way more right to complain than I do.

Luv Ya,

Wolfen

tanstaafl's picture
tanstaafl
Posts: 1292
Joined: Oct 2010

These insurance increases are an early symptom of why more medical self reliance and health preservation are going to become necessities.

There is not enough money in the world for too many medical answers that are wrong headed - no cure, no limit to expenses. Marginal, chronic new treatments with unlimited price tags. New treatments with hidden side effects. Limited user accountability with nearly unlimited coverage. This was/is a formula for economic meltdown. An aging population. I don't count too much on Medicare, from our family experience with Medicare nursing homes, they seemed to be on the path toward the German T4 program, got one, almost a second. The retirees that I have lunch with 1-2x per week already grouse about how very few doctors locally take Medicare and are available at all.

I've repeatedly found that there are cheaper and better answers than what's being touted as "current medicine". Some are old. Some are "alternative" or both. At some point the failures and disconnects can be so bad that conventional medical insurance is not feasible. Forced insurance can be a symptom of such a situation generalized.

What are the rays of hope? Generic medicines like 90 days for $10. Natural medicines, (super)nutrition and nutrigenomics. Self education and self reliance. Community, local and on the internet. Computerization, home and self testing. The internet, for education and personal telemedicine. Medical outsourcing.

I'm sure medical costs can be reduced 80% even 90% (I think we're at 95%, with some advantages). We individually have to take responsibility, and reclaim it as a matter of freedom. The current US system makes it easy to compromise or surrender that, and increasingly demands it.

ketziah35
Posts: 1154
Joined: Jun 2010

I am so disappointed in our healthcare system. I could go on, but then your thread would be political and most people would lose their humanity (again).

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