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I just received my annual letter from my medical insurance carrier explaining my annual increase in premium. When I say annual increase, I mean it. My costs, even with much less coverage than in the past, have increased over 700% since 1999. For some reason, I don't think this is calculated in the government's Consumer Price Index (CPI).
In Montana where I live, the options for "health" insurance are not very competitive, and some years ago, the least expensive plan I could find was with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Montana. This was not my preference, but at the time, I had little choice. I have a $5000.00 deductible major medical plan that has no bells or whistles, dental, or any additional coverage.
I will preface the rest of my statements by saying that virtually no claim of any substance has ever been filed. We are very healthy individuals, and very health conscious, and only visit the doctor when absolutely necessary. And of course, any costs incurred are paid directly out of pocket, not by the insurer.
With that said, the premiums have increased dramatically every single year; averaging from 10% to a little over 20% depending on the year. This year however, things changed substantially. In the letter I just received, the premium went up by 39% in one year! That increase was well over $4,000.00 annually. To put this in context, if this continues at this same rate of increase for just four more years, my premium would be around $60,000.00 per year; an impossible situation.
The reason given by the insurance company for this massive increase:
"Your renewal rate was primarily based on an assessment of all the medical claims by all the individuals enrolled in this plan."
This is bogus, and I think it impossible that claims increased almost 40% in just one year, even with the passage of Obamacare. But once all the mandates, subsidies, penalties, and monstrous tax increases take effect in that socialistic atrocity, all bets are off. So what are the real reasons for this astronomical increase in premium?
I could speculate, and then would be faced with a never-ending debate. I could write about the current insurance climate, the structure of bogus groups, of government mandated coverage present and future, of new regulations, of tax and price increases in health care, in government subsidies funded by individual taxpayers, and on and on. Besides being boring, the absolute truth of the matter would go unanswered, because all these things and more are the problem. Or maybe its just because I'm getting older and may actually need to use the coverage I've been paying for most of my life. That certainly would not be in the interest of any state subsidized insurance company!
The bottom line is that this country is headed toward a completely socialized single payer "healthcare" system. At this point, that is not arguable. Unfortunately, my situation is not unique, and things will only worsen from here.
The system is purposely designed as a disincentive for those of us who choose to be self-reliant and self-responsible. We are being pushed out of the so-called private market, so that the state can take full control, and fully socialize the system. The advantage here is the government's, because when it fully controls the country's health system, the populace at large will be more dependent than ever before on the government. This gains for the government a huge amount of power over the individual. In turn, the individual will suffer greatly, and the quality of care will disintegrate.
Just looking at a few of the changes that will take place over the next few years is eye opening. The Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) is already law, and the implementation of mandated changes will continue to take effect for the next several years. These new rules, regulations, taxes, subsidies, and mandates, should serve to enlighten any who doubt the economic devastation that this will cause. A brief timeline is telling.
- Medicaid payment rates to physicians will be increased, and can be no less than 100% of Medicare rates, and states will receive 100% federal taxpayer funding to cover costs to meet this requirement
- Annual limitation on contributions to Flexible Spending Accounts will begin
- A new excise tax of 2.3 % on medical device manufacturers begins
- The elimination of certain deductions for employers takes effect
- Income threshold for claiming itemized deduction for medical expenses will increase by 33%
- Insurance companies prohibited from not insuring any due to pre-existing conditions
- New federal insurance regulations begin
- New taxes and tax credits, including a mandate that all obtain health insurance coverage (This insurance mandate has very low limits, and the rest is subsidized)
- The employer mandate and penalties begin
- The individual mandate and penalties begin
- Federal premium subsidies for insurance begins
- A 40 percent tax on high-cost, employer-sponsored health plans begins. The tax falls on plans worth more than $10,200 for individuals and $27,500 for families.
Many things have already taken effect, such as:
- Co-payments for preventive care for all ages have been eliminated.
- Young adults can stay on their parents’ insurance up to age 26.
- Insurers can’t deny coverage to children with health problems.
- Policies can’t limit how much they’ll pay over a person’s lifetime.
- Older people save money through improved Medicare prescription benefits that are phasing in through 2020.
- A temporary program helps people with pre-existing conditions
Keep in mind that these are only a handful of federally mandated changes that have or will take place in healthcare over the next few years. There are many, many more changes as well, and all will be destructive to business, to the economy, and to most individuals, especially those who do not fall under the umbrella of welfare takers. Unemployment will go up due to these mandates, and employers will be forced to make drastic changes. In addition, the costs will be so prohibitive, that any who choose to insure privately will most likely be priced out of the market.
Given the recent increase in my premium, and given the changes coming over the next few years due to Obamacare, what should be expected? I can tell you, much higher costs, long waits for life-saving medical procedures, and much lower quality medical care in general will be the result. That is where we are headed, and all, even those who are parasites on the system, will be adversely affected in the long run.
I plan to self insure, but with the extremely high medical costs today, and much higher costs on the way, what will it take to prepare for those major medical situations? How will most react when they can't get the care they need to survive? Canadians now come to the U.S. for major or timely procedures, but where will they go in the future? Where will Americans go?
The political system in this country has brought us to this place, and the voters who support that system have been a major part of the cause, and therefore are much to blame. Nothing in life is free, and when the masses expect everything to be supplied by government at the expense of their neighbors, including healthcare, then all will suffer.
Get used to it, for those who choose theft as a way of life, even if government thugs on their behalf perpetrate that theft, will eventually reap what they sow!