My husband and I live reasonably healthy lifestyles. My son and I go in for yearly check-ups, and my husband just goes in when he has a problem. My son usually has one illness that requires a trip to the doctor, and I also usually have one extra trip. I tried to dump my maternity coverage, but here in Utah, Regence ValueCare Blue Cross Blue Shield won’t let me unless I sign up for a plan with such a ridiculously high deductible, and pay only $20 less in premiums. I did the math. It would cost more to do this. At least until my husband turned 30 last month.
This month, I noticed that my insurance premium had increased by $40, even though we had just got a new plan at enrollment. I called and the insurer told me that it was an age-based increase. I also found out that next month, when I turn 30, it will probably go up by another $40. Is there anything I can do? No. Not for an age-based increase. $80 more dollars a month because of an age increase. Is there any consideration for our state of health? No. Are there any incentives for us in terms of preventative care? No. This experience has simply cemented in my mind the fact that “health care” in this country has very little to do with health at all.
So be on the lookout for these age-based premium increases. And don’t expect much from health care “reform” efforts, either. What the House just passed looks more like a complex crapfest that should help health insurance retain their stranglehold, while adding all sorts of amendments that provided Democrats and Republicans alike the chance to stand up and make some sort of political statements without actually providing something useful or cost-effective for most Americans.
Am I bitter? Unbelievably so. Time to revisit the super high deductible plans available, and look into a Health Savings Account. And find out which of my care providers offers a cash discount if we avoid the health insurance company altogether. Because this is becoming ridiculous.