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Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-26-2006, 10:18 PM   #1
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Health Insurance Premiums

Just got the renewal notice for our HSA policy. Our premiums went down this year. I was floored. Is this a trend, or just some local anomalous manna from heaven?
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-27-2006, 12:05 AM   #2
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by wab
Just got the renewal notice for our HSA policy. Our premiums went down this year. I was floored. Is this a trend, or just some local anomalous manna from heaven?
I get my insurance through the company cobra and the annual renewal premiums June 1st remained unchanged although they raised the co-pay $5. Since I have an 11% medical inflation rate. My medical budget was reduced by $57/month. I can live with that.
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-27-2006, 05:11 AM   #3
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
I get my insurance through the company cobra and the annual renewal premiums June 1st remained unchanged although they raised the co-pay $5. Since I have an 11% medical inflation rate. My medical budget was reduced by $57/month. I can live with that.*
The feds would call this a budget "cut" because you expected your costs to increase, but they did not. Ergo, your expenses for the year in question went "down". Government Orwellian
accounting.

JG
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-27-2006, 06:27 AM   #4
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

MJ our company health insurance didn't go up much for out employees this year but only because we changed things like deductables, copays for dr visits and scripts. Our increases over the last 5 years have ranged between 10% to 25%, so if yours stayed the same with that one exception you are very lucky.
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-27-2006, 09:04 AM   #5
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

The company plan changed to a new provider for this year. The list of network doctors went down and the deductible all went up. The drug coverage copay went from $15 to $20 for a formulary Rx and to 80% copay on a nonformulary.

Those changes would have cost us $3k this year.

DW also works for mega corp. and we decided to go with her plan. We will actually save $2k this year from Rx copays alone. She also needs to be in her plan for a year so we can take it with us when we retire next year so it is a win-win for us.

Oh, and the premiums are about the same but my company pays me $30/month for not taking their insurance.
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-27-2006, 10:21 AM   #6
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Check your coverage. In great detail.

My HMO "cut the rates" a couple of years ago. When I checked the details, some were obvious...a higher co-pay for visits and drugs. Some were subtle...if I didnt take a generic drug, the copay jumped from 10 to 40 bucks. If I went to the emergency room and wasnt admitted to the hospital I had to pay $500. The copay daily rate for hospitalization doubled. A whole bunch of stuff like that.

Didnt make the coverage bad, but they were clearly shifting a lot of the likely costs and 'elective' costs to me in exchange for a $20 lower fee.
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-27-2006, 11:35 PM   #7
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by (Cute Fuzzy Bunny)
Check your coverage. In great detail.
I didn't look for the fine print because right now (knock on wood) baring getting hit by drunk driver or a careless truck driver while riding my bicycle, I am fortunate to be in the best of health (cough, cough) and only use my insurance for my annual medical checkup and dental visits. I haven't bought prescription drug in many years. Even if the fine print indicated hidden increases, in my area, my cobra payments as high as they are, are cheap compare to individual coverage.

After I sell my house soon, I am moving out of the NY area. One of the reasons is the high cost of health insurance. I am considering NM, AZ and possible OR where I can get high deductable insurance.

MJ
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 05:16 AM   #8
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ

After I sell my house soon, I am moving out of the NY area. One of the reasons is the high cost of health insurance. I am considering NM, AZ and possible OR where I can get high deductable insurance.

MJ
GHI sells a hospitalization-only policy in NY, with the rate varying by region. Where I live, the quarterly rate is $317. The lowest, $262 quarterly, is in Watertown/Utica, and the highest, $354 quarterly, is Downstate.

I had to request the info twice before I got it.

kate
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 08:43 AM   #9
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by kate
GHI sells a hospitalization-only policy in NY, with the rate varying by region. Where I live, the quarterly rate is $317. The lowest, $262 quarterly, is in Watertown/Utica, and the highest, $354 quarterly, is Downstate.

I had to request the info twice before I got it.

kate
Hi kate,

Thats my region "downstate". We get sick alot down here, mostly of high rates!


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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 09:18 AM   #10
 
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Our Blue Cross just went up 15%.
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 10:02 AM   #11
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

We went down $46 per month on our premiums.
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 10:51 AM   #12
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by kate
GHI sells a hospitalization-only policy in NY, with the rate varying by region. Where I live, the quarterly rate is $317. The lowest, $262 quarterly, is in Watertown/Utica, and the highest, $354 quarterly, is Downstate.

I had to request the info twice before I got it.

kate
I am assuming you are not refering to medicare part B. I'm no where 65 yet.
Is that only for the hospital stay or does it include all doctor's bills which could be significant in the event of surgery?

MJ
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 11:25 AM   #13
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
I didn't look for the fine print because right now
You might want to. In my case my Kaiser HMO got cheaper but offered less and cost me more, but what was also happening (as told in the fine print) was that I was being lateralled into a lower monthly cost, higher out of pocket cost, lower services plan and once I paid for and accepted that, I was locked into it. Moving back into the "regular" plan (which had a slight cost increase) required a re-application and re-opened the can of worms of non-acceptance or pre-existing conditions. If I had stayed with the full bore package, I could have "downgraded" at any time at my discretion to the lower cost, lower service option.

I ended up taking the cheaper version, as I hardly ever go to the doctor and except for the recent (uncovered so far) lunesta, all i've ever gotten was a antibiotics. Go ahead...go there... :
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 11:42 AM   #14
 
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Does the fact that they don't cover Lunesta tend to keep you awake a night?
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 12:54 PM   #15
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Ba da bum! Tah!

Good one Al...

They're gonna cover it...its just a matter of time...
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 01:01 PM   #16
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Our Blue Shield policy is going up 20%.
The IEEE plan is starting to look cheap

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Re: Health Insurance Premiums
Old 01-28-2006, 04:20 PM   #17
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Re: Health Insurance Premiums

Quote:
Originally Posted by MJ
I am assuming you are not refering to medicare part B. I'm no where 65 yet.
Is that only for the hospital stay or does it include all doctor's bills which could be significant in the event of surgery?

MJ
It's an "open enrollment program" required under NY law. ALL insurance companies have to offer something to an individual or family that contacts them. This one is different because it's bare bones and more affordable. It's for semi-private room and board, general nursing care, emergency care, hospice care, and alcoholism/substance abuse treatment.

These are some of the other features:
use of surgical operating and recovery rooms, etc
in-hospital drugs, exams, therapies, diagnostic studies, etc
other medical, surgical or related services and supplies customarily provided by the hospital unless excluded
maternity coverage, etc.

Outpatient services in general hospitals:
Outpatient er services
hospital/surgical facilities relating to minor surgery
presurgical testing
mammography, etc
infertility services
dialysis, etc
hospice care
home care
referred ambulatory care (lab, physical therapy, diagnostic x-rays...)
second surgical opinion

"It does not provide basic medical or major medical insurance." It's the minimum allowed under NY law.

In other words, it doesn't cover the doctor or the actual surgery, and tests and equipment and drugs outside the hospital.

It's probably only good if you plan on not using it.

They have another plan, more inclusive, at about 3 times the quarterly rate.

This is probably the closest thing NY has to catastrophic insurance with a large deductible (i.e, the doctor's fee you'd have to pay).

Not sure I'll do it. I might qualify for the state's plan for small business, Healthy NY, while I'm semi-retired. (I quit working but I'm still catching up on billing). Costs a bit more, but covers more.

kate
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