Health Care Open Enrollment, How Much Is It Costing You?

Huntn

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Original poster
May 5, 2008
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It’s that that time of year. I’m on Medicare and I’ll be buying a supplemental that runs about $200 a month.

My wife, because of her status as a retiree spouse through my company is being offered a a low deductible, high premium plan for $1069 a month or a high deductible, high premium plan for $620 a month. The first plan is almost $13k per year just to be in the plan! The second one is Bronz HSA plan at $650 a month, $7k per year. When I look at the total, worst case, out of pocket for each plan, the Bronze plan is about $1200 less expensive. We decided on the Bronze.

Of note, when I was an active employee, insurance for both of us was about $900 a month. Now, a substantial increase.

Let me ask who many can afford this? Yes, I can, but I know people who could not especially for family coverage.
 
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vertical smile

macrumors 68040
Sep 23, 2014
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Is your former employer contributing toward the plan? If so, how much?

Let me ask who many can afford this? Yes, I can, but I know people who could not.
I have a middle-income family, and I wouldn't be able to afford that.

My health coverage has tripled over the past 10 years. Premiums are way up, and co-pays have more than tripled. I now spend about $3k a year in co-pays for my family.

Luckily, it seems like this open season, there was only a tiny increase in premium, and co-pays stayed the same. Maybe it has stabilized.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,013
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The Misty Mountains
Is your former employer contributing toward the plan? If so, how much?

I have a middle-income family, and I wouldn't be able to afford that.

My health coverage has tripled over the past 10 years. Premiums are way up, and co-pays have more than tripled. I now spend about $3k a year in co-pays for my family.

Luckily, it seems like this open season, there was only a tiny increase in premium, and co-pays stayed the same. Maybe it has stabilized.
The only subsidy I get is being offered these plans. When I was an active employee the subsidy was about 50% off for both of us.

We clearly have a serious problem and need politicians up for the challenge of fixing it. A Single payer health plan comes to mind, but other thing must be reworked, like our tort system. As long as the GOP occupies Congress, I don’t see it happening. :(
 

ChrisWB

macrumors 6502
Dec 28, 2004
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1,052
Chicago
It’s that that time of year. I’m on Medicare and I’ll be buying a supplemental that runs about $200 a month.

My wife, because of her status as a retiree spouse through my company is being offered a a low deductible, high premium plan for $1069 a month or a high deductible, high premium plan for $620 a month. The first plan is almost $13k per year just to be in the plan! The second one is Bronz HSA plan at $650 a month, $7k per year. When I look at the total, worst case, out of pocket for each plan, the Bronze plan is about $1200 less expensive. We decided on the Bronze.

Of note, when I was an active employee, insurance for both of us was about $900 a month. Now, a substantial increase.

Let me ask who many can afford this? Yes, I can, but I know people who could not especially for family coverage.
How do you like the Medicare supplemental plan? This year I have to choose between Medicare + supplemental, or a full private insurance plan.

I was quoted a similar number as your wife for a high deductible, high max out of pocket cost bronze plan. It's unbelievably expensive.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
How do you like the Medicare supplemental plan? This year I have to choose between Medicare + supplemental, or a full private insurance plan.

I was quoted a similar number as your wife for a high deductible, high max out of pocket cost bronze plan. It's unbelievably expensive.
It seems ok, my policy costs are much less, but medical visits themselves are slightly more expensive than when I was under Company Insurance. For dental crowns (not Medicare, but separate insurance) the price jumped from about $400 to $600. I’ve found that I can get common prescriptions filled at my local Grocery pharmacy for less than Express Scripts, a Medicare provider.
 

dogslobber

macrumors 68040
Oct 19, 2014
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Apple Campus, Cupertino CA
We clearly have a serious problem and need politicians up for the challenge of fixing it. A Single payer health plan comes to mind, but other thing must be reworked, like our tort system. As long as the GOP occupies Congress, I don’t see it happening. :(
We need socialist medicine regulated by the government and paid for through payroll taxes. I'd also add a medical tax of 50% to every dollar profit from playing the stock market for those who make north of 10k$ profit in a single tax year. Problem solved.
 
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Eraserhead

macrumors G4
Nov 3, 2005
10,300
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UK
We need socialist medicine regulated by the government and paid for through payroll taxes. I'd also add a medical tax of 50% to every dollar profit from playing the stock market for those who make north of 10k$ profit in a single tax year. Problem solved.
What’s stock market profit? Capital gains?
 

Strider64

macrumors 6502a
Dec 1, 2015
714
2,363
Suburb of Detroit
Well I might become a Democrat (joking) for I finally got medical assistance from my state. I guess it does pay to be honest, for after all the not eligible letters over the years I finally got an eligible letter. I wonder if it's because I'm getting old? :D
 

Herdfan

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2011
267
3,840
Of note, when I was an active employee, insurance for both of us was about $900 a month. Now, a substantial increase.

Let me ask who many can afford this? Yes, I can, but I know people who could not especially for family coverage.
This has been my complaint about the ACA for years. One of these days I am going to go back to 2003 when I went off Cobra to an individual plan and track the actual increases and the percentage increases. The last 5 years have been astronomical including this years 20+%.

In the past I have simply absorbed the increase. This year I will not as my premium for a mid-level silver plan is more than my mortgage. I have 2 options. 1) Look at an HSA plan and cut my premiums in half or 2) Accept the offer for selling my business to a larger competitor and bailing on this town and heading south. Get a simple no-brainer job that provides insurance and ease into retirement. The downside of this option, while good for me, is horrible for my employees as they will not be kept by the new company. They simply don't need them.

I said in the past I absorbed the increase. We did not save less, we spent less on smaller things. We ate out less, bought fewer clothes and went riding locally ($50 annual permit) vs loading up the toy hauler and heading to Tennessee where we would spend $100 on permits, $150-250 on an RV slot and $$$ for the diesel to get us there. That means I put less money into local economies.

But it is what it is.
[doublepost=1541986520][/doublepost]
How do you like the Medicare supplemental plan? This year I have to choose between Medicare + supplemental, or a full private insurance plan.

I was quoted a similar number as your wife for a high deductible, high max out of pocket cost bronze plan. It's unbelievably expensive.
ALL I can say is my mom has Medicare and a supplement from United American ($256/mo for her) and she has not paid an out-of-pocket medical bill in years.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,013
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The Misty Mountains
This has been my complaint about the ACA for years. One of these days I am going to go back to 2003 when I went off Cobra to an individual plan and track the actual increases and the percentage increases. The last 5 years have been astronomical including this years 20+%.

In the past I have simply absorbed the increase. This year I will not as my premium for a mid-level silver plan is more than my mortgage. I have 2 options. 1) Look at an HSA plan and cut my premiums in half or 2) Accept the offer for selling my business to a larger competitor and bailing on this town and heading south. Get a simple no-brainer job that provides insurance and ease into retirement. The downside of this option, while good for me, is horrible for my employees as they will not be kept by the new company. They simply don't need them.

I said in the past I absorbed the increase. We did not save less, we spent less on smaller things. We ate out less, bought fewer clothes and went riding locally ($50 annual permit) vs loading up the toy hauler and heading to Tennessee where we would spend $100 on permits, $150-250 on an RV slot and $$$ for the diesel to get us there. That means I put less money into local economies.

But it is what it is.
[doublepost=1541986520][/doublepost]

ALL I can say is my mom has Medicare and a supplement from United American ($256/mo for her) and she has not paid an out-of-pocket medical bill in years.
Did you use ACA plans? I was always with my company plan and it did not have huge increases, until i retired, at least for my wife who just turned 60. If you plan goes up with your company, can you just blame it on the ACA? Not saying you are, just asking. My point and complaint has always been, the GOP, who has no interest in fixing this issue for average citizens. Democrats want to, but they don’t control everything by a long shot, look at the GOP road blocks.
 

s2mikey

macrumors 68020
Sep 23, 2013
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Upstate, NY
The only subsidy I get is being offered these plans. When I was an active employee the subsidy was about 50% off for both of us.

We clearly have a serious problem and need politicians up for the challenge of fixing it. A Single payer health plan comes to mind, but other thing must be reworked, like our tort system. As long as the GOP occupies Congress, I don’t see it happening. :(
Whilw I can see your frustration, how can you say that this is just a GOP problem? What have the Dems *really* done to try and tame health care costs? There is plenty of blame to go around the extremely broken system.

Costs for medical things are simply WAY too high and that stems from too many hands in the 'till. Far too many people dont pay in, insurance companies are out of control, Medicaid gets milked & scammed, and on and on.
 

Herdfan

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2011
267
3,840
Did you use ACA plans? I was always with my company plan and it did not have huge increases, until i retired, at least for my wife who just turned 60. If you plan goes up with your company, can you just blame it on the ACA? Not saying you are, just asking. My point and complaint has always been, the GOP, who has no interest in fixing this issue for average citizens. Democrats want to, but they don’t control everything by a long shot, look at the GOP road blocks.
Yes, they are ACA plans. I have had an individual policy since 2003 which morphed into the ACA.

As for fixing it, my question is why is it broke? The Dems had both houses of Congress (including 60 in the Senate) and the WH and they couldn't do better than this?

It also didn't help that Obama pushed back on anything, even with full bi-partisan support, for anything that changed it.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
Whilw I can see your frustration, how can you say that this is just a GOP problem? What have the Dems *really* done to try and tame health care costs? There is plenty of blame to go around the extremely broken system.

Costs for medical things are simply WAY too high and that stems from too many hands in the 'till. Far too many people dont pay in, insurance companies are out of control, Medicaid gets milked & scammed, and on and on.
It is a GOP problem simply because the GOP has no interest in addressing this issue, has fought it all the way. What really disturbs them avout the ACA is that Democrats actually made it happen so they sell it as evil, to fool their suckers. It’s very ironic that at one time the single payer health plan idea came from a Republican think tank. Clearly they have lost their humanity since then.
[doublepost=1542032661][/doublepost]
Yes, they are ACA plans. I have had an individual policy since 2003 which morphed into the ACA.

As for fixing it, my question is why is it broke? The Dems had both houses of Congress (including 60 in the Senate) and the WH and they couldn't do better than this?

It also didn't help that Obama pushed back on anything, even with full bi-partisan support, for anything that changed it.
Dude, there was never ANY bipartisan support for the ACA. The GOP has been trying to kill it since the beginning. To fix it properly requires many changes like our tort system, like big pharma, like how medicine for profit is structured, etc, and you need a Congress firing in agreement on all cylinders to tackle this huge challenge.. The GOP is way to hyper partisan to do anything where their arch enemies might get some credit.

Think for a minute about the Republicans, their motto in 2016, not fix, was repeal and replace. Yet, yet when they take over Congress there is lots of kill talk and despite 8 YEARS to formulate their alternative plan, as in a real plan that makes this system better, they 1) could not even agree among themselves, and 2) never had a plan, because they don’t want to put the effort in to fix this. They just want to rule over the sheep. Well the sheep better get smart before the wolves consume them or have them working as their Capitalist slaves.
 
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Herdfan

macrumors 6502
Apr 11, 2011
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Dude, there was never ANY bipartisan support for the ACA. The GOP has been trying to kill it since the beginning. To fix it properly requires many changes like our tort system, like big pharma, like how medicine for profit is structured, etc, and you need a Congress firing in agreement on all cylinders to tackle this huge challenge.. The GOP is way to hyper partisan to do anything where their arch enemies might get some credit.

Think for a minute about the Republicans, their motto in 2016, not fix, was repeal and replace. Yet, yet when they take over Congress there is lots of kill talk and despite 8 YEARS to formulate their alternative plan, as in a real plan that makes this system better, they 1) could not even agree among themselves, and 2) never had a plan, because they don’t want to put the effort in to fix this. They just want to rule over the sheep. Well the sheep better get smart before the wolves consume them or have them working as their Capitalist slaves.
I really can't disagree with anything you said. And like that you included the need for tort reform as most think this is irrelevant.

But no matter what the GOP's position on this was or still is, the truth is the Dems had full control when it was passed. Any issues with the original bill are on them 100%.
 

VulchR

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Jun 8, 2009
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Not a penny. I pay for my health care through taxes (UK NHS). To each according to their need, from each according to their ability to pay.
 
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Volusia

macrumors 6502
Jun 8, 2016
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When I was working my employer paid for my health insurance (been retired 8 years). My wife worked for the same employer so her's was covered also - she retired at the same time I did. Upon retiring, we were not yet eligible for Medicare but could stay on the employer's plan, but paid full cost for us. This was around $1,200 per month for a high deductible plan (deductible $3,500 individual, $7,000 family).

I have finally reached Medicare age and have gone with a Medicare Advantage Plan. Total monthly $136 for Medicare, plus $49 for Advantage Plan. Wife still with previous employer's plan, through COBRA and paying little over $700 per month.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
I really can't disagree with anything you said. And like that you included the need for tort reform as most think this is irrelevant.

But no matter what the GOP's position on this was or still is, the truth is the Dems had full control when it was passed. Any issues with the original bill are on them 100%.
Yes, they had full control, but that at the time, was the best they could do, and the GOP killed any attempts to improve it. It needs improvement, Dems want to improve it, the GOP wants to kill it. My opinion is we need less GOP in Congress if anything is to be fixed.
 

VulchR

macrumors 68020
Jun 8, 2009
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you know this is about the US, not UK
Of course I do. I was making a point about how ridiculous the US system is compared to alternatives. FWIW I am a US citizen with family still in the States and I worry about them being able to afford health care.
 
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Rigby

macrumors 601
Aug 5, 2008
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Did you use ACA plans? I was always with my company plan and it did not have huge increases, until i retired, at least for my wife who just turned 60.
Generally, the premiums for employer-based plans have been growing at about the same rate as in the previous 15 years since the ACA. The problem is that incomes have stagnated at the same time.

Individual plans have actually become less expensive since the ACA (see e.g. here). Many people forget to take the ACA premium subsidies into account (which are calculated to cap the out-of-pocket premiums at about 9.5% of income for most people).

But yes, there is still a lot to do to stop the cost explosion in the healthcare system and fix some of the ACA's flaws. So far, only one party has made specific proposals, while the other is just trying to sabotage the system because they couldn't get the votes to dismantle it (which is what they really want).
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
17,013
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The Misty Mountains
Generally, the premiums for employer-based plans have been growing at about the same rate as in the previous 15 years since the ACA. The problem is that incomes have stagnated at the same time.

Individual plans have actually become less expensive since the ACA (see e.g. here). Many people forget to take the ACA premium subsidies into account (which are calculated to cap the out-of-pocket premiums at about 9.5% of income for most people).

But yes, there is still a lot to do to stop the cost explosion in the healthcare system and fix some of the ACA's flaws. So far, only one party has made specific proposals, while the other is just trying to sabotage the system because they couldn't get the votes to dismantle it (which is what they really want).
This is it exactly. If we want affordable and efficient healthcare, unless the GOP can change it’s stripes, they are not the answer and voting for them on this issue and many others, like the proper collection and assessment of taxes, msnaging the government and our infastructure, scaling back our war machine, insisting on truth and level playing fields for our citizens, voter rights, employee rights, allow employee unions, outlawing overt prejudicial actions and refusal to provide services in the public market place based on race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, stay the **** out of our bedrooms, allow reproductive rights to be an individual liberty, etc, etc, etc, voting for the GOzP is voting against our best interests, if you reside in the bottom 90%.

This should not be a hard thing to recognize. But it is hard, really hard, because look who we elected as Supreme Leader. :(:(:oops:
 
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Herdfan

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Apr 11, 2011
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Ok, so here is a question.

In the USA we essentially have 2 medical markets: corporate and individual.

So if we went to a payroll based single-payer, how will that work for someone who works for a large corporation that pays 80-100% of the premium cost? This person who essentially had free HC now is facing a XX% tax increase and the corporation is off the hook for premiums. Is there any way to force the corporation to pay what it was paying in HC premiums and instead pay them to employees? And would it make the employee whole?

And if we use a payroll based collection method, how do we fund someone who doesn't make a salary. For example a day-trader or someone who lives off dividends?

Like I've said, I accept that we will get to single-payer so lets figure out the best way.
 
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Huntn

macrumors demi-god
Original poster
May 5, 2008
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The Misty Mountains
Ok, so here is a question.

In the USA we essentially have 2 medical markets: corporate and individual.

So if we went to a payroll based single-payer, how will that work for someone who works for a large corporation that pays 80-100% of the premium cost? This person who essentially had free HC now is facing a XX% tax increase and the corporation is off the hook for premiums. Is there any way to force the corporation to pay what it was paying in HC premiums and instead pay them to employees? And would it make the employee whole?

And if we use a payroll based collection method, how do we fund someone who doesn't make a salary. For example a day-trader or someone who lives off dividends?

Like I've said, I accept that we will get to single-payer so lets figure out the best way.
My impression was that was that my employer subsidized, but did not pay 80-100% of my premium costs in the last 10 years I worked. This was after a bankruptsey where costs rose for employees substantially. As an active employee, I was paying $1000 per month for 2 people.