My first adventure with the new health insurance rates occurred today.
Let me preface this with my and my wife's health history. I have no serious health problems. I am 63 with slightly raised blood pressure and slightly elevated cholesterol. Both are controlled easily with meds.
My wife has had more problems over the years. Her BP and cholesterol are fine, but she has had a knee replaced and had a minor back surgery, otherwise she is healthy. She does have occasional migraines. We are both overweight. (Remember though, that preexisting conditions are not a consideration for insurance coverage under Obamacare.)
We are both retired. We pay for our own insurance, no help from any group or company. We have no children who will be covered. Just my wife and me.
We have been given the bronze option, the lowest of the options for coverage. I had thought I might get better coverage with what I was paying in the past for health insurance. I was wrong. I am not going to receive silver, gold, or platinum coverage. I get the lowest level of coverage with very large deductibles and out of pockets expenses. I also have a coinsurance payment of 40 percent of the charges. This is a killer.
I got a letter from our insurance company stating that as of Jan.1, 2014 my rate would be $1,252.10 per month for bronze coverage. My old rate was $722.28 per month. The reason given was "Due to Federal Healthcare Reform." And I thought the old rate was a bit high.
In essence I am getting less coverage with greater out of pocket expenses for a good deal more money.
Further reading of this contract for health insurance and it just keeps getting better. Assuming Judy and I each have a minor health problem next year and it requires a day or two in the hospital. Using the limits in this plan we would spend, next year, I would pay for my year's coverage - $36,725.20. This year for the same illness we would have paid less than $10,000. The increase is due to the increase in rates, the max deductible each year of $9,000 the max out of pocket of $9,700, and the max out of pocket for drugs of $3,000.
This policy could be a financial black hole. Considering options that others may also consider, might include, pay the $95 a year penalty, bank the premiums, hope we do not get sick, and throw ourselves on the mercy of Health Right.