When does the skyrocketing health insurance costs end? Will it just eventually be that people start going without because they just can't afford it anymore? Last year the health insurance premiums on the private insurance I have DH and the kids on went up 58%. This January it will go up another 25%. It keeps going up and I keep upping the deductible and lowering the benefits to try and keep a plan that is within our budget.
Let's talk actual dollars here. Two years ago I was paying $188 a month - for all three of them! Then it took a jump to $266 a month. Last year it went from $266 to $422. Then this past summer the insurance company dropped prescription coverage on the plan (it basically only covered generics with a copay of $15 and a small discount on brand name drugs). With the drop in prescription coverage they lowered the monthly premium down to $408 (big whoop). If I wanted the one plan they now offer with prescription coverage (and not even as much coverage as the old plan) it would cost over $200 more per month than I was paying. Now, effective Jan 1st the plan goes up to $503 per month. So, in 2 years time our health insurance premiums have gone up a total of 167%. There is something seriously wrong with our health care system and the insurance companies.
As of right now I basically have 3 companies to choose from in my state for individual/private health insurance options. I'm looking into the other 2 (again!) to see what plans they are offering this year and see if I can either get something cheaper or at least more benefits for the same cost.
Currently, I'm spending about $283 a month for Dh's prescriptions (but this keeps changing every 2-3 months as DH keeps trying to find a drug that will help, so it's hard to budget). Three of these prescriptions are generic, yet one costs $83, one cost $66 and one is on the $4 formulary. The name brand drug he is currently on is $130 (for a few months, then I lose the $30 copay discount that is offered by the drug company for the first 3 refills). So, I need to take that monthly cost into figuring out which is the most cost effective plan and give him the benefits he needs.
I think I found a plan combination today that will cost $506 per month. $3 more than what our current plan will be Jan 1 but, with some key benefits that will bring my other out of pocket costs down. Generics will be $10 copay and brand name drugs will be 50% covered after a $500 prescription deductible. The plan also has a vision benefit of $150 per year, which we have never had and DH is much in need of an eye exam and glasses. The deductible is very high at $7500 but the first 4 office visits are not subject to the deductible, just a $25 copay. This year was probably one of his highest in medical costs and we still didn't quite hit our $3500 deductible with our current plan. Knock on wood, but I don't foresee next year being quite as costly as this year. The doctor is about out of options for him to try and I don't see him having to have an MRI (the bulk our our cost this year) again. So, I might as well take the high deductible that has much lower monthly premiums. If I can get those 2 higher priced generic prescriptions DH takes for $10 ea, then I will be saving $129 per month just on those.
I'm going to send in the application for this plan but I'm also now concerned because now DH is probably considered to have a pre-existing condition. The info wasn't real clear on whether that would cause a 9 month delay for the plan to cover pre-existing conditions. The info I could find said "may" be a 9 month wait. I think I'd have to stay stuck with the plan he has, if that is the case, or do some serious thinking of what my out of pocket costs for his fibromyalgia might be if it's not covered.
I'm so tired of paying a $100 or more a month increase every damn year!