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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 08:52 AM
Original message
New Healthcare Reform At Work
Today our office manager received our medical insurance provider's pricing information for 2010-2011.

According to the insurance company's letter, our average premium increase is 15.5%

That's a 15.5% INCREASE in premium cost over last year's premiums, while they have increased our out-of-pocket contribution to 20%. Last year it was 10% out of pocket. For the three previous years our premium increases had averaged 18% (with no increase in out-of-pocket costs).

I mentioned that the AVERAGE increase was 15.5% on premiums (with the reduced coverage). My premium to cover myself and my wife rose $525 PER MONTH. A 38% increase.

Bear in mind that this is for a GROUP plan that has lower costs than most individual plans.

I don't know how much more of this kind of REFORM I can stand.

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Ron Green Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
1. Preemptive strikes by the insurance companies
They'll get it while they can.

Medicare for all is the only reasonable goal.
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Hell Hath No Fury Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:00 AM
Response to Reply #1
25. Amen.
Only a fool would think this was not going to happen. So despite credit card and health "reform" both industries are going to continue making out like bandits.
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bvar22 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:11 AM
Response to Reply #1
26. The Democratic Party should hang its head in shame....
...for leaving this door open for the predators in the Health Insurance Industry.


"Gee. Who could have predicted...yadda...yadda...yadda..."
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:39 AM
Response to Reply #1
30. +10000
:hi:
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Gman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 08:57 AM
Response to Original message
2. So you're buying the RW propaganda, eh?
Edited on Mon Sep-13-10 08:57 AM by Gman
And not considering the fact that the insurance companies are using HCR to try to justify these kind of probably illegal rate increases? Do your really think HCR caused this or are insurance companies squeezing even more profits out of you?
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:04 AM
Response to Reply #2
4. if it were really Insurance reform
(because it sure as hell is not health CARE reform) The legislation should never have provided these parasites so making fucking loopholes to increase their profits.

But who could have predicted, right? :eyes:
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area51 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:16 AM
Response to Reply #4
14. +1

Each day, 273 people die due to lack of health care in the U.S.; that's 100,000 deaths per year.

We need single-payer health care, not a welfare bailout for the serial-killer insurance agencies.

We don't need the GingrichCare of mandated, unregulated, for-profit insurance that is still too expensive, only pays parts of medical bills, denies claims, and bankrupts people. Republinazi '93 plan:
"Subtitle F: Universal Coverage - Requires each citizen or lawful permanent resident to be covered under a qualified health plan or equivalent health care program by January 1, 2005."


"We will never have real reform until people's health stops being treated as a financial opportunity for corporations."


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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:38 AM
Response to Reply #14
20. That's really the bottom line...
all along single payer is really the only "best" answer out there for us.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:37 AM
Response to Reply #4
19. I certainly agree with that.
HCR with no teeth is no reform at all.
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Jackpine Radical Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:10 AM
Response to Reply #2
5. Bert gets it.
If reform were real, we would be better off, not worse. A reform that doesn't prevent this kind of robbery is no reform.
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TheKentuckian Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:43 AM
Response to Reply #2
10. I think that since "reform" didn't stop the increased that you are voice a distinction
with no practical difference.

The outcome was utterly predictable yet was allowed. No question the insurance cartel is just doing what they do which is why the cartel should have been broken and such increases prohibited not with threats to be excluded from an exchange that they are the only players in but directly with the penalty of extinction.

Plus, deeming the employer market as acceptable in terms of affordability, access, and quality of benefit and excluding 85% of people from the exchanges was fucking moronic and put a crap floor on costs as a whole in this jacked up system.
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Donnachaidh Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:44 AM
Response to Reply #2
22. FAIL
The proof is in the increases, dude. The FACT that the Dems (Baucus et al) allowed the insurance industry to WRITE the damned thing goes completely against your smoke-blowing *propaganda* charge.

:eyes:
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jtrockville Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:57 AM
Response to Reply #2
24. I think bertman is buying health INSURANCE, not propaganda.
Too bad bertman can't get health care without participating in an insurance scam.
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ProgressiveProfessor Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:24 AM
Response to Reply #2
28. Why would it be illegal?
Edited on Mon Sep-13-10 12:05 PM by ProgressiveProfessor
Just curious as to what laws would be broken.

I did see the report of Sebelius promising serious scrutiny,
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:00 AM
Response to Original message
3. Prove that it is tied to healthcare reform.
Edited on Mon Sep-13-10 09:00 AM by Dappleganger
Is that what the company letter claimed? If they did, ask them exactly which part of the healthcare law slated to take effect in 2014 directly affected pricing increases. Or is this YOUR claim?

While I am not happy with the health care law (health insurance law, IOW), these bogus claims need to be challenged every single fucking time. Pulling numbers out of one's ass doesn't make it so.

BTW, I feel for you...everyone's increases are going up and it SUCKS. Medicare for ALL.
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zipplewrath Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:15 AM
Response to Reply #3
6. Technically no such claim was made
The OP didn't actually make the claim, nor represent the insurance companies claim, as being connected to HCR. I suspect the actual complaint is that HCR did nothing to control these kinds of increases. It didn't control the cost of health care, and it does little to control the cost of health insurance to the vast majority of us. But it does mandate that everyone have it. (Well, almost everyone, about 25 million folks will be exempt).
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msongs Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:18 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. HCR permits and allows this kind of price gouging which is why so many dems voted for it nt
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:27 AM
Response to Reply #3
8. from june 2010
People who buy their own health insurance have been hit lately with premium hikes that far exceed increases in premiums for employer-sponsored coverage, according to a new survey from the Kaiser Family Foundation.

The nonprofit foundation, which is separate from health insurer Kaiser Permanente, said recent premium hikes requested by insurers for individual coverage averaged 20 percent. Some customers were able to switch plans and pay less, so people paying on their own actually wound up paying 13 percent more on average.

That tops last year's average 5 percent annual increase for employer-sponsored family coverage and almost unchanged premiums for employer-sponsored single coverage, though foundation Vice President Gary Claxton said the comparisons come with qualifications.

-snip-

http://abcnews.go.com/Business/wirestory?id=10971283&pa...



more recent....

http://pnhpcalifornia.org/2010/09/employers-push-higher... /

Employers Push Higher Health Insurance Costs Onto Workers

By Phil Galewitz
Kaiser Health News
SEP 02, 2010
The day after Presidents Day this year, employees of the President Abraham Lincoln Hotel and Conference Center in Springfield, Ill., got bad news: The hotel would no longer help pay for health insurance coverage for workers spouses and children. It had been covering 60 percent of the cost.

Brian Lewis, a front desk clerk, saw his monthly health insurance premium jump to $460 from $230 to cover himself and his wife, Sarah. He estimates about a third of his paycheck now goes to health coverage. We try to live a little more modestly, said Lewis, 28. We used to go out of town for a few weekends, but not anymore.

In facing rising costs for coverage, Lewis isnt unusual. Workers nationwide, on average, are paying nearly $4,000 a year toward the cost of family coverage. Thats a hefty 14 percent, or $482, more for family health insurance in 2010 than in 2009, according to a survey released today by the Kaiser Family Foundation and the Health Research & Educational Trust, two nonprofit organizations that focus on health policy issues. (Kaiser Health News is a part of the foundation.)

Total premiums for family coverage, taking into account both employee and employer contributions, are $13,770, up 3 percent from last year, the survey found.

The share of the premium paid by workers jumped 3 percentage points to 30 percent. In the dozen years the survey has been conducted, the employee share of family coverage has never topped 28 percent and has never risen more than 2 percentage points in a single year.

In past years, employers typically have shared the increase in health costs with workers. This year, employers contribution to the premium remained flat on average, the survey said.

Drew Altman, president and CEO of the Kaiser Family Foundation, said in an interview that shifting the costs to workers during a terrible economy is bad news for working people. He added, It speaks to the depths of the recession and the pressure employers are under, and it means added economic insecurity for working people.

Thirty percent of employers reported reducing the health benefits they offered or increasing the employees share of the cost.



As COBRA Ends, Insurance Costs Skyrocket

Health Insurance Costs Rise Sharply For Unemployed As COBRA Subsidy Ends


http://pnhpcalifornia.org/2010/08/as-cobra-ends-insuran... /

AUG 18, 2010
This story was produced in collaboration with our partner

Jennifer Richards of Park Ridge, Ill., is angry that her familys monthly health insurance bill tripled in August to $1,250 after her husband lost his job and health benefits. But as bad as that is, what really upsets her is the inaction of Congress.

Deficit-conscious lawmakers have not renewed a subsidy that helped many jobless Americans afford health benefits. A longstanding federal law called COBRA requires employers to continue insurance for former employees, typically for 18 more months, if they pay the entire premium plus a two percent administrative fee. Last year, Congress approved a 65% COBRA premium subsidy, but it ended May 31.

People who started on COBRA before May 31 can still get the aid. But those who had exhausted the 15-month subsidy, and the newly unemployed, arent eligible.

Richards says she has no other way to get health coverage except for COBRA: Other insurers wont cover her because of her diabetes and high blood pressure. The subsidy would have kept her familys insurance bill to $438. Now, shes worried about being able to pay college tuition for her 18-year-old daughter, Erica. Its very upsetting, she said.
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:31 AM
Response to Reply #3
9. and
I really resent the fact that democrats continue to defend the blood sucking ins. companys and their employees in congress.

It really is life or death and they actually win when we die. I thought that was common knowledge.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 09:48 AM
Response to Reply #9
11. I am not defending them at all.
Did you read my entire post?

What I am saying is that insurance companies and employers are making claims that this year's increases are specifically due to health care reform, and so far I am not seeing it. YES, premiums and associated costs are going up (as they have been doing significantly for the past decade, while employer contributions have been going down). Two years ago these same costs were going UP but nobody was saying it was due to health care reform. Does this make any sense?

I am not being facetious and our family was hit HARD during my husband layoff with health care costs. At first I was for the HCR and see that there are some immediate benefits but it did not go nearly far enough and the devil is in the details. Too many are being sunk by health care costs but I also want to know the truth about why those costs are continuing to go up.
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:06 AM
Response to Reply #11
13. no it does not make sense
Edited on Mon Sep-13-10 10:07 AM by another saigon
most of the facts I posted were were from PNHR which is an adversary of the for profit insurers. And btw, Obama REFUSED to allow PNHR or any other single payer advocate into any of the back door meetings with the for profits.

The for profit democratic enablers put no checks in the bill to prevent this. Who in their right mind did not know the parasites would start to ramp up profits immediately to ensure profits keep rolling in before 2014. (like that will even matter).

The whole thing was a FARCE! Does it really matter what reason the parasites give for premiums escalating? Whether it is true or not They are allowed to do it

The real point is, the democrats did NOTHING to prevent it. But I can hear the universal refrain from the congressional corporate asskissers, "who could have known?"

FUCK THEM!
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:01 AM
Response to Reply #3
12. Dappleganger, what "bogus claims"? I stated facts. Your denial of the situation is mindboggling.
Who in the world could have predicted any of this??!! Why, everyone in America except the people who engineered the "compromises" that brought us the healthcare reform legislation.

Since you insist, here's a claim: healthcare reform was supposed to make healthcare MORE AFFORDABLE and MORE ACCESSIBLE to Americans.

here's another claim: when healthcare premium costs rise 38% to $16,320 per year for a married couple, there will be millions of Americans who WILL NOT BE ABLE TO AFFORD health insurance. (Please remember that this is on an employer's group plan and not on an individual policy).

and, one last claim: people who are paying premiums like this will go to the doctor less frequently and get worse care because they can no longer afford to pay the copays and deductibles due to the increased premium costs.

I know, Dappleganger, I'm one of those glass half empty types who doesn't know how good I have it.



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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:35 AM
Response to Reply #12
17. We are on the same side.
Please chill.

What I am saying is that companies are using "Health Care Reform" as an excuse for this year's rising costs and increased responsibility of the employee. They need to be called on it.

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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:40 AM
Response to Reply #12
21. I am confused
between what you are saying your company letter stated and what you are asserting. Thanks.
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bertman Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:22 AM
Response to Reply #21
27. No problem. My misunderstanding. I was simply pointing out that
our 'reformed' healthcare system is doing the same or worse than the previously 'unreformed' system.

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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:37 AM
Response to Reply #27
29. I would say it is the same and worse
this year, for most people as it was last year and the year before that (back at least a decade). Quite honestly I don't believe the actual costs of health care going up are specifically due to the recent changes.

Lack of change is different, however--no stop-gaps or parameters have been put into place which keeps the health care industry from behaving as it always has...like a greedy mother-fucking pig. In 2013-2014 that's when the real costs will be slamming us into our graves.

Once again, the best answer is going to be single payer (my view is fix Medicare and make it better, then give it to everyone).
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:21 AM
Response to Original message
15. Turn the provider in for scalping you.
Letter from Sebelius on rate increases:
http://www.politico.com/static/PPM153_aa_090910.html

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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:36 AM
Response to Reply #15
18. she is checking them on it...
IOW, no bogus claims. It needs to be tied to specifics.

Thanks.
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 11:58 AM
Response to Reply #15
31. Yet Another "strongly worded letter"
I am so not impressed. The regulations should have been implemented immediately, to preclude the parasites from sucking us dry. I wonder why they didn't? :eyes:
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 12:24 PM
Response to Reply #31
33. You should be impressed.
They're getting the money out there to do something about the increases. If they ignored it you'd have something to complain about.
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 01:11 PM
Response to Reply #33
34. it is a letter
with the weakest 'threat' I believe I have seen yet from this WH. Do you really believe they are going to protect us from this organized crime?

Like I said, they knew damn well Ins. would do this and chose to look the other way.



http://www.consumerwatchdog.org/patients/articles/?stor...

Yep, employer healthcare costs more, and it's employees paying for it

September 2, 2010 | Posted by Judy Dugan

Corporations are shoving all of the increased cost of worker healthcare, and more, onto their employees, says a new study. And that's on top of news that companies are sitting on loads of cash while refusing to hire laid-off workers. Please pass the salt to rub in our wounds.
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jaxx Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 03:43 PM
Response to Reply #34
37. It's not good enough?
Imagine that.
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another saigon Donating Member (450 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 05:29 PM
Response to Reply #37
38. I am not surprised
I choose to stick with REALITY. Therefore I am well prepared when the inevitable purge of the peasants continues.
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daa Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:31 AM
Response to Original message
16. No no you don't get it
Most buttholes on here tell you how lucky you are to be able to buy insurance. A big win.
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 10:49 AM
Response to Original message
23. Like they weren't doing this before
They've been squeezing my nuts harder than that every year for the last 3-4 years :(
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woo me with science Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 02:13 PM
Response to Reply #23
35. Yes, but now, thanks to government "help," we are MANDATED to buy it.
Edited on Mon Sep-13-10 02:14 PM by woo me with science
And they did nothing to prevent this.
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guitar man Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 02:20 PM
Response to Reply #35
36. when does the "mandate" start?
and when does the "we'll help you pay for it" start?

I don't get to see what they are going to do to me until November but if it's bad enough this time around I may just have to drop out and pay the damned tax.
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Hekate Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Sep-13-10 12:07 PM
Response to Original message
32. Krugman's comment on his blog has to do with it being a long-term package deal...
I know his observation is not going to help individuals like you -- yet. But since he's a respected economist, and a liberal, I will take what he says and think on it. Aside from that, I hope that your employer can get some relief for you all by pursuing whatever complaint process is available. Insurance companies are still (as my self-employed sis and her husband say) The Evil Empire. They really are. I'm really sorry.

Hekate

>> Consider The Curve Bent
>
>> Wow a lot of misinformation about the new estimates on health care costs. Read Ezra Klein, who concludes:
>
>>>> So, the nickel version: Spending goes up in 2014 because were covering 30 million new people and then down after that because were controlling costs in the system.
>
>> So yes, theres a bump when 35 million people who would otherwise have been uninsured get coverage; but growth is slower after that, which will mean big savings in the long run. It really doesnt matter at all whether your estimate says that overall health spending will be slightly higher or slightly lower in 2019 as a result of the law; aside from the fact that covering all those people with at most a minimal rise in costs is itself a policy triumph, its spending in the decades that follow that matters for cost.
>
>> And lets be clear: you could not have gotten the cost savings without the move to near-universal coverage, for both political and technical reasons. This thing really is a package a package that, with all its flaws, both makes our society more decent and improves our long-run budget outlook.

http://krugman.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/09/11/consider-th... /

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