In 19 days I turn 55.
Recently I received my first birthday greeting, from my health insurance carrier, a well-known Minnesota-based company.
The message wasn’t all that nice. In fact, I’d say it wasn’t at all thoughtful, not one bit, for a soon-to-be birthday celebrant. My three-month premium is increasing $151, from $878 to $1,029.
The whole correspondence made me so darn mad that I called my husband at work to see if I could still get on the company insurance plan. His employer was switching to a new insurance carrier to try and curb costs. He said he would check and get back to me.
So while he was asking, I was calling my insurer. I got through the first automated voice when my cell phone rang. (Did I mention that I hate those automated systems?) It was my husband calling back, and probably a good thing since at that moment I glanced at my insurance bill and saw the reason for the $151 premium increase:
REASON FOR RATE CHANGE—SUBSCRIBER OR SPOUSE AGE CHANGES
There it was in bold-faced, capitalized letters.
The bill could have included these bold-faced, uppercased letters to project some Minnesota Nice: HAPPY BIRTHDAY, AUDREY!
My husband shared a dismal message. Coverage through his employer would be $30 higher than my new monthly premium of $342.83. How do they come up with that 83 cents tacked on the end?
My husband’s news sent my anger level soaring off the charts. “What the blankety-blank (not my exact words, but I want to keep this post family-friendly) is going on?” I screeched.
“Welcome to Obama Care,” he said.
I have no idea if rising insurance premiums are related to changes in healthcare policies, but my spouse seems to think so. I didn’t follow healthcare reform because
half most of the time I couldn’t understand it anyway. That’s not an excuse, simply the truth.
But I do know this: Way too much—well over $800 a month— of my family’s income is now going toward health insurance premiums for my husband and me, who turns 55 shortly after me. I have a $3,000 deductible and my spouse has a $2,400 deductible.
His employer has been paying about $90 of his monthly premium. Since I’m self-employed, well, every premium cent comes from my pocket.
We rarely visit the doctor because that costs us even more money.
Honestly, I am fed up with the rising cost of health insurance and healthcare and I don’t know what the heck to do about it.
I’ve even thought about dropping my insurance coverage. But I am smart enough to realize that at my age, that would not be a wise decision.