Thursday, February 11, 2010

Insurance Rates

I have had an Anthem Blue Cross individual health insurance policy for about the last 8 years. Every January they adjust the rate. Overall the rate adjustments have been relative slight. In fact, last year my premium actually went down a few dollars.

I turn 65 next month, so I have signed up for Medicare and can drop the private plan. A couple of weeks ago, I got my annual letter from Anthem Blue Cross about my premium. The cost is increasing from $360/month to $494/month, a healthy 37% increase for a plan with a $5000 deductible. If I wanted to increase the deductible to $7500, the cost would be $397/month. My first thought was that they don't want me to keep their insurance. They know I am turning 65 and can assume that I am going on Medicare. They just want to help me along by giving me an obscene rate increase.

Notice my surprise when I read this article - WellPoint price hike defense fails to satisfy feds. (Anthem Blue Cross is part of WellPoint) They are raising the rates in California by an average of 39%. Little did I realize that they were encouraging me to stay with them by raising my rates only 37%.

I still smiled when I called them up and told them to cancel my policy.

Let me add, Medicare is not free. Between the medical coverage and the drug plan, it will cost about $150/month, but that is a vast improvement over what I would have to pay for a private plan. Granted, because I am old, the government is subsidizing the cost. If we had Medicare for all, the cost would be higher for those under 65 because they would have to pay the full cost. But it would still be much less than private insurance.

So, remind me again why we are subsidizing private insurance companies with our hard earned money when the government has the ability to provide coverage at a lower cost to us?


  1. I am 2 years behind you Jerry, so it would good if you could keep us (me) informed on how Medicare works for you.

  2. I will. I am having an eye operation probably around April so I will give a Medicare report then.

  3. I hope you told Blue Cross to get fucked! It's obscene what is going on in this country, truly OBSCENE. Those who defend insurance companies(like Linda), should be ashamed! I will go without insurance and If I become deathly ill, I'll just go to the hospital, they won't turn me away. Thats my plan and I'm stickin to it!

    Good luck Jerry!

  4. When I retired from Metro I was required to take my BC PPO plan with me in order to get the benefits. Because I was also getting Medicare, my BC premiums are $75.00/month.

    BC pays for my drugs and Medicare A & B pick up the rest. If not for the BC, I couldn't afford my meds - one of which is $450/month without insurance. I've heard horror stories about Medicare's drug options.

    I had surgery nearly two years ago - along with cat scans, nuclear imaging, etc., etc. Medicare picked up about 80%, BC about 15%, and I had to pay about $600. I got financial assistance from the hospital, so ended up paying zero. I can't remember the exact amount it would have been without insurance. I just know I would have had to sell my soul to the devil to pay any of it.

    A relative who handles insurance claims at Kroger strongly recommends not having a secondary insurance plan because they just end up fighting it out as to who's going to pay and who isn't.

  5. Happy 65 next month.. !!!!!!!

    Your eyes again.. ?? I thought you already had surgery on them last year..


  6. I had cataract surgery on both eyes last year. The membrane covering the retina in my left eye is growing thicker, so the doctor will remove it some time in the next couple of months. I have not scheduled the surgery yet.

  7. hugs on the surgery..

    Happy Valentine Day to You and Mrs. Critter. :)

    I read this on a blog today. You might have heard this already. I love the way Obama speaks.:

    "In the end it's our ideals, our values that build America, values that allowed us to forge a nation made of of immigrants from every corner of the globe, values that drive our citizens still.

    Every day Americans meet their responsibilities to their families and their employers. Time and again, they lend a hand to their neighbors and give back to their country. They take pride in their labor and are generous in spirit.

    These aren't Republican values or Democratic values that they're living by, business values or labor values. They're American values."

    President Barack Obama

  8. For those websites which make it difficult the consumer may find that calling the company or visiting their physical office location might be a better and faster way to obtain insurance quotes.