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Have you had any Health Ins. rate increases?
Old 05-01-2020, 01:59 PM   #1
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Have you had any Health Ins. rate increases?

I started Medicare Mar 1, and switched our BCBS Non-Obabmacare policy over into my wife's name, with our kids still on it. It all went smooth. The price for those three went up slightly, because of one less person covered.

Yesterday in the mail we (she) got a notice of a 12% rate increase.
I just don't know how the costs can continue to run 3, 4 or even 12 times
inflation, without a break.
These are my increases since 2010-7.7%, '11' 8.1%, '12'-19.4%, '13'-24%,
'14'-18.8%, '15'-9.2%, '16'-7.1%, ('17', '18', records not found) '19'-5.1% '20'-12%.
The double digit increases were courtesy of Obamacare regulations. Almost a double of my premium in 4 years.
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Old 05-01-2020, 02:12 PM   #2
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Health care insurance coverage has been increasing double digits since the '90's, well before the ACA was passed. This is not new. KFF employer annual survey has lots of rich detail https://www.kff.org/report-section/e...lth-insurance/


I think just about everyone on this forum has suffered years of hefty price increases. Attached is a chart by KFF from the linked report that shows 20 years of sustained hefty price increases for employer sponsored health insurance policies, which represent most of all private insurance in the US.
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File Type: jpg KFF health care premiums history.JPG (61.4 KB, 38 views)
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Old 05-01-2020, 04:34 PM   #3
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I only checked my worst years '12' through '15' none on your chart double digit.
2012 I had 19.4% vs your chart 8.1%
2013 I had 24% vs your chart 2.1%
2014 I had 18.8% vs your chart 1.7%
2015 I had 9.2% vs your chart 4.8%


I'm going insurance shopping next week, I have done it before and
always find what I have is cheapest. The premium is $8,772 for 60 yr old female and 2 grown children. That may seem cheap, but it has a $10,000 deductible and also max $10,000 OOP.
I thought I was doing great about 10 years ago when I raised my deductible from $2,500 to $10,000 and dropped my premium from $9,900 to $4,300. Maxed out my HSA and had over $10k in it within two years.
Then the first year of Obamacare regulations the premium started going crazy.
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Old 05-01-2020, 10:37 PM   #4
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........The double digit increases were courtesy of Obamacare regulations. Almost a double of my premium in 4 years.
As Michael B points out, double-digit premium increases went on well before Obamacare existed. I signed up for private medical in 2003, they guaranteed NO rate increase in the first year. And after the year was up, increase. Then another increase 9 months later, then another 6 months, it was incredible, I had to bail out. During the whole time, no health issues at all, zero claims, the only costs they paid for me were their own internal processing costs to take me and the kids on board.

The pre-ACA private health insurance scene was grim. And I had ZERO pre-existing conditions! If I would have had any one of a long laundry list of conditions, it would have been "no insurance for you!"
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Old 05-02-2020, 06:47 AM   #5
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My premiums went down by over 60% last year. Same plan, same coverage. Statewide was an 18% decrease.

Yes premium growth is not new or related to much except our current for profit system. Of course I am grateful to be able to buy insurance at ANY price, before ACA I couldn't
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Old 05-02-2020, 07:05 AM   #6
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When I ERed in late 2008, I had found a decent HI plan which fit into my budget for 2009. But in 2010 my rate went up 20% and in 2011 it went up another 25%. Together, that's 50% in 2 years, putting a strain on my budget.


By mid-2011, the ACA had been passed, so the exchanges and premium subsidies were coming in 2014, 2 1/2 years away. So, I bailed out of the existing plan and switched to a bare-bones, hospital-only plan to get me to the end of 2013 and hope I had no health issues now that I was underinsured.


Then came 2014 and I signed up for an ACA plan here in New York, hardly a friendly state for HI. My rate went down to less than what it was in 2009. I qualified for only a small premium subsidy (< $500 per year).


The rates began climbing, in the 7%-10% a more reasonable set of increases. I had some health issues in 2015, but thanks to the ACA I was no longer underinsured. I changed insurance companies in 2016 which reduced my rate some.


But after a few more years of reasonable rate increases, my rates began rising in the 15% range. I also went over the ACA subsidy cliff in 2017-2019, so I was bearing the entire rate increase. At the end of 2019, I changed the stock side of my portfolio, abandoning a long-held dividend fund in favor of a more growth-oriented fund so I could get back on the ACA subsidy train in 2020 and see my net rate drop by about 50% from 2019.
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:27 AM   #7
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Our premium increases have been very modest.

2013-2020 were 13%, 8%, 7%, 1%, 5%, 3%, 0% and 9%.

I think some of it is because we have that cat plan that is designed for younger folks as through the years I've noticed that the annual increases are generally more modest than the increases for the bronze plan.

Also, Vermont prohibts age rating so we don't get hit each year for being a year older.

For those with higher increases, are you bifurcating the increase between the real increase and the increase because you are another year older? IOW, the "real" increase is your current year premium in relation to the premium in the prior year for someone your age in the current year.... so if in 2020 you are 60 you would compare to the 2019 premium for a 60 year old rather than the 2019 premium for a 59 year old.
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:35 AM   #8
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Quote:
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... Yes premium growth is not new or related to much except our current for profit system. Of course I am grateful to be able to buy insurance at ANY price, before ACA I couldn't
And to be clear, the premium growth is related to the for-profit system of health care providers since under Obamacare insurers any premium over 125% of claim costs would need to be refunded to policyholders.
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:42 AM   #9
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As Michael B points out, double-digit premium increases went on well before Obamacare existed. I signed up for private medical in 2003, they guaranteed NO rate increase in the first year. And after the year was up, increase. Then another increase 9 months later, then another 6 months, it was incredible, I had to bail out. During the whole time, no health issues at all, zero claims, the only costs they paid for me were their own internal processing costs to take me and the kids on board.

The pre-ACA private health insurance scene was grim. And I had ZERO pre-existing conditions! If I would have had any one of a long laundry list of conditions, it would have been "no insurance for you!"

I don't mean to quibble, but double digit means any increase of 10% or more. I only found one double digit increase on the graph, that was 2010 to 2011 on the Large Firm line.
Same with us on the spending insurance Company money, with our $10k deductible we never even got close to that. So we paid all the bills. Yes, the ins co. did set prices which was very helpful. After the Obamacare regulations started in 2012, that forced even my non Obamacare policy to cover some things they didn't before, the the 75% increase in three years.
A tidbit I picked up recently, you would think that insurance companies would want to pay the lowest price for services, but that's not true, the companies must payout at least 80% of the premiums received. So the higher their payout the more profit they make. It was part of MLR in tha ACA.
https://peterattiamd.com/martymakary/
Starting at 1:28:30 about a 3 minute explanation.
Marty Makary as wrote a book, "The Price we pay" and has spent time studying healthcare pricing.



The whole podcast is interesting.
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:42 AM   #10
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.... I'm going insurance shopping next week, I have done it before and
always find what I have is cheapest. The premium is $8,772 for 60 yr old female and 2 grown children. That may seem cheap, but it has a $10,000 deductible and also max $10,000 OOP. ...
You may need to recalibrate your expectations. $731/month for a HDHI policy for a 60 yo with 2 kids is a screaming deal IME. My home state has pretty affordable health insurance and it would be over $1,000/month with a $13,500 deductible for one adult and children.
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Old 05-02-2020, 08:50 AM   #11
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And to be clear, the premium growth is related to the for-profit system of health care providers since under Obamacare insurers any premium over 125% of claim costs would need to be refunded to policyholders.
Good point. I think the health-care system is adept at shifting blame for rising costs, but the ACA removed insurance as one of their scapegoats.

They also love to point to liability and malpractice awards as a reason for cost increases. Yet, in Wisconsin the Legislature has capped all non-economic awards (pain and suffering, loss of companionship, etc.) at $750,000. Personal-injury lawyers won't touch a malpractice case in this state.
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Old 05-02-2020, 09:04 AM   #12
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.... A tidbit I picked up recently, you would think that insurance companies would want to pay the lowest price for services, but that's not true, the companies must payout at least 80% of the premiums received. So the higher their payout the more profit they make. It was part of MLR in tha ACA.
https://peterattiamd.com/martymakary/
Starting at 1:28:30 about a 3 minute explanation. ...
I definitely don't agree with the view that the insurers don't care what they pay because the cost is just passed on to the policyholder. What you and Dr. Malarky (sic) are not considering is that insurers also need to compete for business with other insurers... so if their claim costs are less since their margin for expenses, taxes, overhead and profit/return on capital is limited to 25% (1/80%) then their premiums are less and with lower premiums they hope to gain share. OTOH, if they really don't care as Dr. Malarky suggests, then the premium increases would cause them to lose market share. Also, in reality the margin priced into premiums is less than 25% so if it is say 20%, then they directly benefit from lower claim costs until margins increase to 25%.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:42 AM   #13
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I definitely don't agree with the view that the insurers don't care what they pay because the cost is just passed on to the policyholder. What you and Dr. Malarky (sic) are not considering is that insurers also need to compete for business with other insurers... so if their claim costs are less since their margin for expenses, taxes, overhead and profit/return on capital is limited to 25% (1/80%) then their premiums are less and with lower premiums they hope to gain share. OTOH, if they really don't case as Dr. Malarky suggests, then the premium increases would cause them to lose market share. Also, in reality the margin priced into premiums is less than 25% so if it is say 20%, then they directly benefit from lower claim costs until margins increase to 25%.

You may alter your opinion if you compare cash price to what your insurance company will pay.
I have one med that is $220 with insurance, $45 cash price. I paid cash $330 for an MRI, the insurance cost was over $1,000.
At best the system is messed up.
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Old 05-02-2020, 10:59 AM   #14
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... At best the system is messed up.
On this we do agree. The system needs radical changes... much better price transparency.... higher Medicare and Medicaid reimbursement rates... less variation in pricing... and more.
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