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27 March 2010

58% health insurance hike [More:]Yesterday, I processed the monthly bill for my employer's health insurance. Regence / Blue Shield increased their rates 58%!!! Normally, the rates increase about 7% a year.

Is anybody else seeing similar rate hikes?

Regence says they are concerned about cost containment, but it seems their concerns are that costs are going to be contained.
Yep, my Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Illinois went up 43% in one year, and this was at a huge company where most of the employees are in their 20s and healthy. Complete insanity.
posted by desjardins 27 March | 13:17
Mine went up 35%. I nearly had another heart attack when I got my first premium bill.
posted by MonkeyButter 27 March | 13:41
heh MonkeyButter. Some enterprising economist should make a graph out of the counter-productivity of raising bills too much.
posted by Firas 27 March | 14:31
A 28% increase and elimination of the $650 deductible. The minimum deductible in now $1600.
posted by Ardiril 27 March | 14:41
Cue health care industry bailout in two years.
2014 might not be perfect but anything doing a double digit price increase every quarter...Ugh.
posted by buzzman 27 March | 15:18
Yeah, healthcare executives are probably already planning how to raid the vaults and jump ship before the regulators can make anything stick.
posted by Ardiril 27 March | 15:47
Health care reform hasn't gone far enough.
posted by msali 27 March | 15:54
I've seriously considered dropping my health insurance coverage lately. $3k yearly in annual premiums, $2500 deductible, nothing is covered: prescriptions, copays, nothing. So why keep lining their pockets if I'm going to pay for everything anyway?
posted by chewatadistance 27 March | 17:07
Letting health care stay privatized was insane. So it is a universal right for everyone to get health insurance, but we are also going to let these fucking vampires and leeches take a juicy cut?

The good thing about socialism is nobody has to make profit.
posted by Meatbomb 27 March | 18:11
chewatadistance - because if you have to go to the ER, you are well and truly fucked. You're paying for the worst-case scenario, not the every day stuff.
posted by desjardins 27 March | 20:08
$1800/m for a family of 3 here. And we had to form our own corporation just to get it in the first place.
posted by Obscure Reference 28 March | 12:01
Danny Westneat from the Seattle Times:

"The last column I wrote about how some insurance CEOs are jacking up health premiums while waltzing off with fat year-end bonuses sure had readers upset with me.

Not for being too hard on the CEOs. For being too soft.

"I don't know where you got the numbers you're reporting, but they're way too low," phoned Anneliese Whitney, 70, of Renton, in a typical call.

Whitney was ticked off that I cited the state insurance commissioner's office as saying health premiums went up on average 6 to 17 percent last year, depending on the plan or company.

"They should come out and look at my plan!" she shouted.

Her supplemental coverage to Medicare from Regence Blue Shield soared from a little more than $98 a month to $195 a 98 percent boost.

She's hardly alone, I learned."
posted by Feisty 28 March | 12:49
This whole issue has me baffled and near-incoherent with rage. As someone from a Canadian family full of doctors (and one paramedic), recently transplanted to the States, I really don't understand why there's even a debate about whether or not to have universal health care, let alone such poisonous, violent acrimony at the very idea. My grandfather practised medicine before and after medicare (and his father practised it before there was such a thing, accepting payment in chickens and such during the Depression), and there was never any doubt in Granddad's mind which was the better solution. The idea that a hospital should be primarily about profit was anathema to him. This clusterfuck just makes no sense to me at all, and the only explanation I can think of is that when people are so used to doing things one way, any other way is scary and incomprehensible. (Except in my case, because I'm right.) Given the tone of some of the arguments, it's clear that McCarthyism still shapes American political discourse, which I find much scarier than teh Socialism.
posted by elizard 28 March | 15:26
My company just dropped BC/BS after 20 years in favor of another insurer because the premium increase was too steep.

eLizard - yes, it's idiotic.
posted by Miko 28 March | 18:02
(though I don't really think it's McCarthyism at all - it's more the much older anti-Federalist, pro-rugged-individualist, gubmint-hatin' American streak, in combination with effective rhetoric from the business sector)
posted by Miko 28 March | 18:03
That's a good point. It's the hysteria surrounding the suggestion of socialism and the use of 'socialist' as an epithet, as well as the way the more mouth-frothy commentators equate socialism with communism, that makes me think of McCarthyism. I hadn't considered the longer history of anti-government sentiment here.
posted by elizard 28 March | 21:59
It's kind of an off-the-cuff observation, I admit - but I think the reason that "creeping Socialism" and "red menace" stuff has gone so far here and popped up so many times in history is this deeper strain of anti-collectivism, which tends to just poison so much political discourse in the US. And it goes back a long time, at least 100 years before we even had a nation going on here. And it's exhausting, weird, and regressive - yet it keeps insinuating itself into political discourse in a way that, at the bottom of it, is really anti-progressive.

Or, regressive.
posted by Miko 28 March | 22:28
The fall of Mexico || Bebby bunnies! OMG!