Life & Health Insurance/raise deductible again?
QUESTION: I'm 61 and have an individual health plan (CoreShare) with Anthem Blue Cross of Colorado. I got it over 2 years ago at $201 a month with a $10,000 deductible. About a year later it went up to $246 and now it's gone up to $290...outrageous considering I have to pay for all Dr. visits, no vision or dental, etc. Anyway, I called and they said I could increase the deductible to $15,000 or to $25,000. Neither brings the premium down a ton and the $25,000 feels too risky. With the $15,000 deductible I could bring the premium down from $290 to $274. I'm not sure if it's worth doing. Any feedback is appreciated.
$192 a year savings is not worth taking on an additional $5000 in financial exposure in my opinion. I would stick with the $10,000 deductible.
I had no idea health insurance was so expensive in Colorado. I'm 50 years old with a $10,000 and the premium is $94 a month. Unfortunately, due to Obamacare, my policy, and yours, will no longer be offered in 2014. They will be illegal, the highest deductible plan we may buy will be around $6300, or the equivalent of the highest HSA deductible allowed at that time. This means our premiums will be going up substantially in January of 2014. In my case the premium will be in the $350 a month range.
Here's an online tool that will give you an idea of what you will be spending in 2014, and whether you qualify for any tax credit assistance... http://healthreform.kff.org/subsidycalculator.aspx
Hope this helps,
[an error occurred while processing this directive]---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------
QUESTION: Thanks, that helps me. I talked to Anthem after getting the notice of the latest increase, and they said if someone had their plan before March 23, 2010, they are considered to have a 'grandfathered' plan that won't be subject to the mandates starting in 2014, and those people can keep their policy. Also said that any premium increases for those plans probably won't increase as much as 'non-grandfathered' plans, because they won't include some of the new benefits. Don't know if it's different in CA or not.
Thanks for your feedback!
If history is any predictor, your grandfathered plan will increase in price more quickly than a non-grandfathered plan, and become more expensive than a non-grandfathered plan, the opposite of what you have been told. As less and less people are left in your grandfathered risk pool, the premium will rise dramatically as there are less and less people in the pool to spread the risk.
I'm not a conspiracy theory kind of guy, but this faze-out of grandfathered plan participants is by design, baked into Obamacare. Obamacare creators had to have known that your grandfathered plan would become much too costly to keep, and force you into a non-grandfathered plan with the rest of us. This whole grandfathered and non-grandfathered fiasco was created so that the government could say while pushing the law through that you are more than welcome to keep the coverage you have. What they didn't tell you is that the price of that coverage is going to go through the roof, it has to, it's simple math.
Continuing with my non-conspiracy theory, I believe Obamacare is designed to fail, to be used as an example of why there must be a single-payer option, i.e., everyone insured through the government. Medicare is an example of how well that works out from a financial point of view, not well.
The law is over 2000 pages long, and I have read every word of it. The people that created this law are some of the smartest attorneys in the country, they knew exactly what they were doing in my opinion.
Bottom line, expect another 20%-40% rate increase next year as Obamacare goes into full swing. I'm afraid most people haven't a clue how bad things are to become very soon, and just how much it is going to cost them.
All that said, we are still the luckiest folks in the world to live in such a great country, and this will all be worked out one way or another. For now it's best to assume that health insurance rates will go up dramatically, and plan accordingly.