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Paying More for Less September 17, 2009

Posted by Admin in Money.
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According to a group called Families USA, health care premiums in Washington state rose 5.3 times faster than median earnings since the year 2000.  If you are feeling poorer than nine years ago, this might be one reason. Families USA has national data, but this number is just for Washington state.

People with coverage are receiving less net coverage than before the millennium. Anyone else remember being a DINK (dual income no kids) with health insurance coverage for both spouses and one policy would pick up what the other one would not pay? That seems like a dream now-or another country! Plus now there are higher deductibles, category specific deductibles, higher co-payments and services not covered at all.

I might meet my out-of-pocket cap soon, ($2000) and then an incentive has been created to bundle other visits and procedures into the last quarter of the year, to “pile on” due to the benefit increasing. Does that mean that I will “spend” too much or ask for “too many” services? Stay tuned. By the way, the co-pays don’t apply to your out-of-pocket costs (as you may recall), so the annual out-of-pocket maximum of $2000 (in my coverage) is not accurate. It’s really $2000, plus premiums, plus co-pays.

Fall means open enrollment is coming soon, with the expected double digit price increase. Last year my employer openly suggested that families with children should seek other plans, if other family coverage was available. I understand why they felt that was necessary, but remember what your mother told you, “If everyone picked a flower at the park, there wouldn’t be any left!”.

Where is the national first aid kit? Congress has it!

Where is the national first aid kit? Congress has it!

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