November 3, 2013
Obamacare Made My Premiums Go Up
Editor’s Note: The following is the opinion of redOrbit writer/blogger Peter Suciu and does not necessarily represent the opinions or position of redOrbit.
Lately I’ve been dreading any letter that was coming from United Healthcare/Golden Rule, as I expected that there was a chance that my premium might go up, or even worse, that my coverage would be canceled. I knew I probably wasn’t going to like the changes with the Affordable Health Care Act – aka Obamacare.
I also knew – as many expected – that Obamacare was going to be controversial. I don’t like it for a laundry list of reasons, not the least of which that it forces everyone to have health insurance or pay a penalty. Isn’t not having insurance already a penalty when you get sick or injured and have to pay out of pocket? Over the years there have been time that my wife and I have opted to go without insurance because we’re self-employed and didn’t want the monthly expense.
Now we have coverage, and like many who pay for it out of pocket we don’t think we’re getting a fair deal. Wasn’t Obamacare supposed to make it better? Don’t answer, because I never expected it to really improve.
What I didn’t expect however was that people would be dropped despite promises that “if you liked your plan you could keep it.”
Recently on FoxNews, syndicated columnist George Will noted, “It is possible that more people since the first of October have lost their coverage than have signed up for the Affordable Care Act, government program, in all 50 states.”
I learned not to discuss politics a long time ago, and I’m not about to start now. However, politics aside this isn’t exactly what I expected, and I doubt anyone else did so let’s get back on target.
I was not happy with my coverage, which carried a $5,000 deductable. This week I received that dreaded letter and it was the lesser of two evils. It stated that “we are working hard to provide our customers with quality insurance at an affordable cost. In spite of our efforts, medical costs continue to go up due to the increased use and higher charges for health care products and services.”
It then added, “Periodically, we have to adjust payment rates to compensate for the rising costs of health care. These payment adjustments are not based on your individual claim costs. They are based on the combined costs of all company policyholiders who have the same plan. Everyone covered by this plan in your state is receiving a rate adjustment.”
Wow! For my wife and me this meant an increase of more than $78 per month! How exactly did the Affordable Health Care Act make this more affordable?
At this point our only option is pay more than 20 percent more for health care, or we could increase the deductable to $10,000 and actually save some money – and by save I basically mean pay for something we have to pray we never use.
Now I understand that the plan in this was to ensure that more people are covered, but I’m hardly alone in this story. Atlantic Wire reported that one woman is looking at nearly a 1000 percent increase in her health care costs, so that makes my complaint about 20 percent seem mild.
There are now even conspiracy theories that the Healthcare.gov site is crashing because it is a way to keep Americans from knowing the cost of health care.
What isn’t a conspiracy is what Obamacare has always been about, as noted by Forbes:
“Obamacare wasn’t designed to help healthy people with average incomes get health insurance. It was designed to force those people to pay more for coverage, in order to subsidize insurance for people with incomes near the poverty line, and those with chronic or costly medical conditions.”
See in the old days I actually made a decent living and because I was young and healthy opted not to pay for health insurance. As many younger people do this they don’t pay into the system and it has become clear they need to do so, because if only the sick pay for insurance – and worse use it, well it becomes something else.
It becomes a Ponzi scheme. And we all know how those work out.
Image Credit: zimmytws / Shutterstock