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Old 12-28-2008, 08:44 PM   #21
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Medical Inflation is not just about aging insureds, but about the cost of health care.
..."
I certainly did not intend to imply that medical inflation is "just about aging insureds".

What I did intend to say is that that aging of insureds is often overlooked as one of the components of medical insurance premium inflation. It may not be one of the major components of medical insurance premium inflation, but it definitely is one of the components, and it is rarely mentioned.
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Old 12-29-2008, 04:37 AM   #22
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Originally Posted by Gotadimple View Post
....
It is likely that if you are in the middle of the band that your rates won't change dramatically -- unless -- medical inflation increases rapidly. Be prepared though for a bump in rates when you move from one band to another.

-- Rita
Rita, I should have specified that the age band is 60-64, I believe the next band is called, "off the cliff."

(kidding)

The insurance company (HMO) does have a MediCare combo which hopefully will be less.
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Old 12-29-2008, 08:46 AM   #23
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I sincerely doubt that this policy will last very long. Age and gender are two of the big no-no areas for determining the cost of any sort of public services. I'm guessing medical care would be considered a public service, as in open to the general public, not funded by the public.
Line up the lawyers.
Nearly every state allows "rate banding" by age, and a number by sex, because it is based on data of actual cost differences, inotherwords, it has a rational basis.
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Old 12-29-2008, 03:50 PM   #24
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Ok, I found out what happen, FYI:
I went to ehealthinsurance.com, I was given a 12 month
no rate increase, and went with golden rule (UnitedHealth).
Apparently they normally raise their rates 2-3% per billing
period (3 months), after the period is up, they simply jack
up your rates to make up for lost time assuming you won't
go elsewhere I guess, well , their WRONG!
TJ
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Old 12-31-2008, 03:16 PM   #25
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Just got the bill for January 2009. Insurance up 20% for third or fourth year in a row. Went from over 1600 to over 1900/month. In New york health insurance is strictly regulated and HDP and HSA's and not available for individuals. Heading back to work to get coverage. It's been a good three year vacation.
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Old 01-06-2009, 09:22 AM   #26
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Allegany, is that family coverage?
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:25 AM   #27
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Maybe someone out there knows the answer to this question. Does your credit score affect health care premium? I know first hand that it does in auto and home insurance. (I have first hand experiences if anyone wants to know.) You can only get a quote by going to an agent; however, health care premium is posted on the internet for God and everybody to see.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:34 AM   #28
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The cost of prescriptions went up for federal employees' BCBS Standard in 2009. Instead of paying $22.xx for my name brand prescription, yesterday I had to pay $27.xx . So, $5 gone with the wind. I should have refilled my prescription last week.

If this gets much worse, there won't be any pharmacies left in the US because everyone will be getting their prescribed drugs in Mexico or Canada.
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Old 01-06-2009, 11:40 AM   #29
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The cost of prescriptions went up for federal employees' BCBS Standard in 2009. Instead of paying $22.xx for my name brand prescription, yesterday I had to pay $27.xx . So, $5 gone with the wind. I should have refilled my prescription last week.

If this gets much worse, there won't be any pharmacies left in the US because everyone will be getting their prescribed drugs in Mexico or Canada.
It's even more interesting with an HDHP/HSA. We've had to become VERY aware of drug costs. When we were in a PPO there was simply a $25 copay for brand name "preferred" and $10 for generics. Now we pay the entire cost until the deductible is met ($2500).

It's forced us to look at several different medications for the same symptoms so we could look for a generic. When we switched just over a year ago, my wife was taking a medication that used to cost $25 to us but would be about $90 (per 30 days) out of pocket with the HDHP. Well, I did some homework and realized that the $90 medication was a slightly updated form of a drug which had an expired patent (and had generics available). So we spoke to the doc and got the prescription changed, which now saves us nearly $1000 a year. She says the generic works just as well.... and makes her less drowsy to boot!
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Old 01-06-2009, 02:08 PM   #30
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With individual policies, having the ability to not treat pre-existing conditions is a prime factor in the continuation of plans.
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Old 01-06-2009, 03:48 PM   #31
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Originally Posted by Want2retire View Post
The cost of prescriptions went up for federal employees' BCBS Standard in 2009. Instead of paying $22.xx for my name brand prescription, yesterday I had to pay $27.xx . So, $5 gone with the wind. I should have refilled my prescription last week.

If this gets much worse, there won't be any pharmacies left in the US because everyone will be getting their prescribed drugs in Mexico or Canada.
W2R,
There will always be pharmacies - they get the wholesale cost of the drug plus a dispensing fee (that's why Walmart and others offer generic prescriptions for a $4 co-pay, regardless of what your healthplan offers). A solution to the fiscal problem, is to move to the generic version, if available, or -- go to mail order where you get a 3 month supply for the cost of two co-pays. Doesn't the FEHP support these two options?

-- Rita
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Old 01-06-2009, 04:37 PM   #32
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W2R,
There will always be pharmacies - they get the wholesale cost of the drug plus a dispensing fee (that's why Walmart and others offer generic prescriptions for a $4 co-pay, regardless of what your healthplan offers). A solution to the fiscal problem, is to move to the generic version, if available, or -- go to mail order where you get a 3 month supply for the cost of two co-pays. Doesn't the FEHP support these two options?
Rita, yes, I agree that these are part of the purchase of medications that people should look into before filling a long term prescription. The generic version is not available and surprisingly, the FEHB mail order arrangement doesn't save me anything. I guess that's not really germaine to the issue, which is the increase in insuree responsibility in paying for prescription drugs, despite the parallel increase in insurance costs.

If the amount that the insured must pay directly for prescription drugs continues to rise like this for the next few years, then I think American pharmacies will lose a lot more customers to other suppliers. If they can't compete, they are going to lose business.
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Old 01-06-2009, 05:19 PM   #33
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Count us a people who are abandoning American pharmacies. DH recently needed a drug for which there is no appropriate generic replacement. The cost from Canada was 1/3 the cost under Medicare Part D.
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Old 01-06-2009, 06:56 PM   #34
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Martha, that is for two person coverage.
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Old 01-06-2009, 08:44 PM   #35
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W2R,
There will always be pharmacies - they get the wholesale cost of the drug plus a dispensing fee (that's why Walmart and others offer generic prescriptions for a $4 co-pay, regardless of what your healthplan offers). A solution to the fiscal problem, is to move to the generic version, if available, or -- go to mail order where you get a 3 month supply for the cost of two co-pays. Doesn't the FEHP support these two options?

-- Rita
Get my generics at WalMart (they don't carry every one) for $10 for a 90 day supply and a couple are only $6 for 90 days. I don't even run these through my Medicare Advantage Plan because it's my cost PLUS their cost that goes towards the "donut hole" of $2750. I'm trying to stay away from the donut hole.
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:28 AM   #36
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What do they charge for a woman trapped in a man's body? Or a man trapped in a woman's body?

I think this could get sticky.

Ha
Lessee... The cost of the gender-change surgery minus the deductible that you'd have to pay, plus the gains from reduced premiums over expected lifetime....
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Old 01-07-2009, 08:23 PM   #37
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In a few days, I will call my current carrier - AETNA - and tell them to take a short walk off a long pier (or something like that ) after they tried to raise my rates 22%. My cousin/insurance agent says I should check back with AETNA in a couple of years when my new carrier tries to jack up my rates.

Those of us who work hard to live a healthy lifestyle really need our own medical insurance coverage. I don't like being lumped in with the vast herd of Americans waddling to early graves due to toxic lifestyles. Right now, my rates are quite reasonable, but down the road they're going to get nasty.
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Old 01-14-2009, 09:14 AM   #38
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Well People are getting a Real Wake up call when they Get their Own Insurance after having their Employer take care of it.. Finding out The "real " value they had with their former employer was about worth +$10,000 yr more..

Yrs ago wihen it cost only $1200-$2,500 yr it was worth that much in Gov't taxes, but now? Group plans cost ave of $8k for singles and over $14k for Family plans..

and not getting the ave of 21% Payroll taxes and SS & Medicare taxes is alot of $ Not to be going after now...

Why do you think the Likes of the Auto makers were getting Killed Paying for UAW Workers Health Plans...and The workers not having to pay taxes on it....? Like getting an extra $10k yr in Free $...!

Nice, if you can get it..LOL

In your 40's and only paying $200 /mo for a single? Your getting off cheap and cheaper yet if have a family...

Send the wife to a Job that pays for Health Care, even if she makes $10k yr less.. It will still be worth it as you get into theo 'fablous 50's and 60's ", your going to need it..
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Old 01-23-2009, 11:40 PM   #39
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Just got a notice that my Anthem Blue Cross monthly payment will be going up over 50% in March! It's a high-deductible ($3500) HSA plan. It's still relatively cheap (was $107, now going to $163) but, as they say, "it's the principle of the thing."

The only claims I filed were just to get counted under the deductible (i.e. no payout), and I can't imagine that any sort of actuarial logic can justify this. Part of me is wondering if it's just a bait-and-switch maneuver now that they've got me in their plan (I signed up in Feb last year).

Just for fun, I went to the Anthem website and got a quote for my age/location/etc for coverage starting in April 2009. Still $107/month.

Something is fishy here...
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Old 01-24-2009, 07:13 AM   #40
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Medical inflation is not 20% per year, but it has been the double digits generally.

What does your insurance carrier say about the reason for the increase?
Look for a large cost increase for all lines of insurance. With the exception of a government run plan , the insurance business IS about how bad Allstate ,Chuub , State Farm, etc. got beat up with investments. Risk pooling is only part of the picture.

The acctuaries tweak the data a little to justify rates to the regulators in normal times. When the insurance company ballance sheet is sick (profit wise) look for the spin masters in underwriting to come up with the highest rates the market will tollerate.
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