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Another year, another 15% increase in premiums
Old 04-22-2010, 06:47 PM   #1
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Another year, another 15% increase in premiums

Our Horizon BC/BS of NJ individual health insurance premium rose another 15 % this year, after rising the same amount last year. There is a 15% cap on premium increases, so they raise it to the max.
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Old 04-22-2010, 07:09 PM   #2
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BC/BS is seeking approval from my state for a 25% premium increase. This is an overall increase, not related to age.
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Old 04-22-2010, 09:47 PM   #3
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That's why you need some serious extra margin of error when working out expenses in ER.
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Old 04-23-2010, 08:39 AM   #4
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That's why you need some serious extra margin of error when working out expenses in ER.
I've been advocating that people who are contemplating FIRE with individual health insurance assume health insurance inflation on the order of 15-20% moving forward. At least until 2014, then who knows what will happen?
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:09 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
Our Horizon BC/BS of NJ individual health insurance premium rose another 15 % this year, after rising the same amount last year. There is a 15% cap on premium increases, so they raise it to the max.
Ask for a policy review (I think that is the term). They will look at your medical history and review the price.
This is how I found out about this review.
When I got my premium notice I went to the BC/BS GA site to see what they were quoting for a new person with the same policy - it was less. I called up BC/BS and asked how I could get that rate - they told me about the review.
One thing they said is that if I went with the lower rate pre-existing conditions were not covered. I didn't have any pre-existing conditions so I went with it.

The other thing to do is look at other policies similar to yours with a higher deductible etc.

Since 2006 I've had 3 or 4 different types of policies with BC/BS - I'm paying 163/mo with a 5K deductible, 3 Dr Visits with $40 copay.

What is your current plan (deductible etc.) and what is the premium?
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:39 AM   #6
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I am not surprised at all on the increases. Seems the insurers are trying to build up reserves for when they have to take everyone with pre-existing conditions..........
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:53 AM   #7
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What is your current plan (deductible etc.) and what is the premium?
Our current plans is an HMO with a deductible and copay. Deductible is $2500 & max out of pocket is $5000. Copay is $40

We are in NJ, which is a community rating state, so pre-existing conditions do not come into play. There is another plan which is less expensive this year, but it is age based and will be more expensive for me next year as I move into a higher age bracket. Also, that plan is not covered under the 15% cap. So, this seems to be the best plan for me. DW has the same plan. Two individual plans were less expensive than one joint plan.

Thanks for the suggestion on the review.

The cost of health insurance and property taxes are the main reasons we're thinking of leaving NJ next year.
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Old 04-23-2010, 09:59 AM   #8
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Originally Posted by walkinwood View Post
Our current plans is an HMO with a deductible and copay. Deductible is $2500 & max out of pocket is $5000. Copay is $40

We are in NJ, which is a community rating state, so pre-existing conditions do not come into play. There is another plan which is less expensive this year, but it is age based and will be more expensive for me next year as I move into a higher age bracket. Also, that plan is not covered under the 15% cap. So, this seems to be the best plan for me. DW has the same plan. Two individual plans were less expensive than one joint plan.
Thanks for the suggestion on the review.
The cost of health insurance and property taxes are the main reasons we're thinking of leaving NJ next year.
I would get out of NJ after watching 'The Jersey Shore' and 'Jerseylious' and my heritage is Italian
.
Take a look at raising the deductible and the number of Dr. visits included.

My thinking on the deductible is that if I'm using the 5K of mine, I'm pretty sick and I will not be spending other budget expenses such as travel.
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Old 04-23-2010, 10:03 AM   #9
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Ask for a policy review (I think that is the term). They will look at your medical history and review the price.
This is how I found out about this review.
When I got my premium notice I went to the BC/BS GA site to see what they were quoting for a new person with the same policy - it was less. I called up BC/BS and asked how I could get that rate - they told me about the review.
Yup, that is the way they circumvent the prohibition on jacking rates for sick customers. Jack everyone's rate and then offer lower prices to people who go through the underwriting process again. What a great system.
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Old 04-24-2010, 08:16 AM   #10
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I am not surprised at all on the increases. Seems the insurers are trying to build up reserves for when they have to take everyone with pre-existing conditions..........
There were articles published yesterday, I think, saying basically what many were complaining about before the health insurance reform was passed. It is going to cost more than originally thought and will cause premiums to go up. I'd expect more price increases in the future. There reports were conducted by independent organizations and some government agencies. IIRC one was done by the HHS.

http://www.nytimes.com/aponline/2010...osts.html?_r=1
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Old 04-26-2010, 09:57 AM   #11
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It will be interesting to see how the available federal options price out this year. Open season for federal employees is a ways off.

I expect to see a substantial increase too.
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Old 04-26-2010, 10:02 AM   #12
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It will be interesting to see how the available federal options price out this year. Open season for federal employees is a ways off.

I expect to see a substantial increase too.
Perhaps -- but it looks like the biggest problem in terms of premium increases has been in the individual insurance market. Some have said that's because more healthy people are choosing to "go naked" on the individual insurance side, thus leaving the insurers with the older and sicker folks. Group plans tend to be heavily employer-subsidized and there is little or no incentive for the young and healthy to opt out.
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Old 04-26-2010, 11:29 AM   #13
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Perhaps -- but it looks like the biggest problem in terms of premium increases has been in the individual insurance market. Some have said that's because more healthy people are choosing to "go naked" on the individual insurance side, thus leaving the insurers with the older and sicker folks. Group plans tend to be heavily employer-subsidized and there is little or no incentive for the young and healthy to opt out.
I suspect the small group plans have it the worst. Individual policies are denied to the sickest so there is some screening, but small groups can't be denied so they're getting taken advantage of. Wouldn't be at all surprised to if there was collusion between the top providers as well.
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Old 04-26-2010, 02:00 PM   #14
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There is an 8% proposed increase on my risk pool plan.

Prices started going up several years ago and to attribute increases to health insurance reform may be speculative. Back in 2006 I posted that increases were running at 11.2% on the average. The increases cannot continue as they have been over the past few years as at some point no one can afford it. In ten years of 15% inflation an annual premium of $10,000 will be $40,000 and in 20 years more than $150,000. Not many can budget for that kind of inflation.
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Old 05-02-2010, 09:46 PM   #15
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Premium increases have been 20-35% with most companies in VA. Only United Healthcare really had lower increases, averaging 8-10% for the year. There are some major changes going on right now in the individual market and companies have already started pulling optional 24 and 36 month rate guarantees. Pretty soon there will be no 12 month rate guarantees until they figure out how much the additional mandates that are required in September 2010 will cost.
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