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Blue Shield Raised Our Rates 73% In One Year


By Patrick   Follow   Mon, 27 Dec 2010, 2:40pm PST   27,198 views   352 comments
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Blue Shield has raised our rates so many times recently that I decided to graph it.

We have a very high deductible plan because I'm trying to be self-employed and that's all I could afford on my own. There is an $8000 per person deductible so it covers basically nothing but catastrophic care. Now it's $777 per month. It was $447 per month a year ago. This is utterly insane. 73% in one year! Here's the future if this keeps up:

2011: $1344 per month
2012: $2325 per month
2013: $4022 per month
2014: $6958 per month
2015: $12,037 per month
2016: $20,824 per month

Of course I'm shopping for other insurance via http://www.healthcare.gov/ but so far none of the others seem to be much cheaper.

Blue Shield claims that their own costs have gone up 19%. So WTF did they raise my premiums 73%? Isn't there any law against price gouging?

This all pleases our corporate masters of course, because the need for health insurance prevents small entrepreneurs from competing with them. It also makes employees into obedient servants.

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lostand confused   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 12:08pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 313

Meccos says

Patrick says



WTF? Where is all this money going?


Part of the money is going to subsidize for those who did not have insurance previously but now will because of the ACA. Increasing coverage comes at a cost... unfortunately we will be paying for that...

That and there is a tax on medical devices now to fund the ACA,as well as 40% tax on policies offered by companies for I think that are worth 25k-which is pretty much the cheapest policy for a family now.

Moderate Infidel   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 12:19pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 314

Meccos says

I am not sure about what is going on with nursing unions in seattle, but I can tell you that in california, the nursing unions run the show. In the hospital that I work in, there are many nurses making over 200k a year (more than most physicians), they decide who gets hired, where they work and how much they work. They decide what hours the clinics open and close. If nurses decide they do not want to work, clinics pretty much close. They even fight to keep nurses on staff even though they have been caught using illicit drugs on the floors. They pretty much dictate how the hospital runs. Its quite ridiculous.

What is your job at that hospital?

Patrick   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 12:31pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 315

lostand confused says

That and there is a tax on medical devices now to fund the ACA,as well as 40% tax on policies offered by companies for I think that are worth 25k-which is pretty much the cheapest policy for a family now.

The tax on devices is 2.3% starting in 2014, and the 40% tax on "Cadillac plans" with premiums over $27,500/year doesn't start till 2018.

So those things can't explain the recent giant jumps in premiums.

KILLERJANE   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 1:12pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 316

I want to opt out based on my personal belief. I beleive i will die and do not want to pay for it over and over again.

David Losh   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 1:47pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 317

Meccos says

in california, the nursing unions run the show.

Baloney!

What you are seeing is over time wages because of under staffing. Nurses have no say about the system they are forced to work under.

The same trick was tried here in Seattle to make nurses look over paid, they are not.

David Losh   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 1:49pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 318

Meccos says

Part of the money is going to subsidize for those who did not have insurance previously but now will because of the ACA

No it's not, that is another load of crap that the Insurance Industry wants you to repeat.

The money is going into future reserves. All of this "investment" in structures will be sold off to increase future revenues.

David Losh   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 1:52pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 319

Meccos says

However I think the ACA forcing people to buy insurance to subsidize the cost of others is not right.

Now let's see a link, or some reasonable logic for this statement.

More people paying into the pool will provide more income for future services. The future isn't now, so it's all speculation from the Insurance Industry, and hospitals.

Homeboy   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 1:57pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 320

Meccos says

Yes I agree with you. However I think the ACA forcing people to buy insurance to subsidize the cost of others is not right. Hence you see premiums still rising and people like patrick and others on this forum paying more and more for their insurance...

Noone has been forced to buy insurance yet, so how could that possibly be the cause of rising premiums?

As to it being "wrong" for some policy holders to subsidize others, I disagree. That is the very definition of how insurance works. You have a pool of people, all paying into the insurance fund. When you make a claim, the money you are given comes from that fund, so others are subsidizing you. Not a new concept.

Requiring people to have insurance is not a new thing. We're required to have auto insurance in California, and so far, the world hasn't ended.

Meccos   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 2:26pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 321

David Losh says

Meccos says

in california, the nursing unions run the show.

Baloney!

What you are seeing is over time wages because of under staffing. Nurses have no say about the system they are forced to work under.

The same trick was tried here in Seattle to make nurses look over paid, they are not.

Um BS. I have personally seen their pay check. One nurse showed me her hourly wage. It was 59 dollars + change per hour. That is about 120-130K a year without overtime...

Meccos   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 2:37pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 322

David Losh says

Meccos says

Part of the money is going to subsidize for those who did not have insurance previously but now will because of the ACA

No it's not, that is another load of crap that the Insurance Industry wants you to repeat.

The reality is that the ACA provides a lot more services, but the reimbursement will be lower... Where do you think this money is going to come from?

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703720004575478200948908976.html?KEYWORDS=health+care+insurance+premiums

Below are some requirements for insurance companies. More services = more costs.

1. Prohibit bans on pre-existing health conditions in children, lifetime and annual limits on expenses, and limits coverage exclusions of pre-existing health conditions in adults.

2. Requires family policies to include children up to age 26.

3. Requires direct access to obstetrical and gynecological care, which might include abortion.

4. Requires health plans to develop politically correct language services, community outreach and cultural competency trainings.

5. ObamaCare expands Medicaid (medical care for the poor) to everyone (under the Medicare age of 65) who has income less than 133% the federal poverty level. States must pay this enormous new burden, but federal government promises to reimburse costs of newly eligible patients under this program from 2014 to 2016.

Meccos   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 2:47pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 323

Homeboy says

Noone has been forced to buy insurance yet, so how could that possibly be the cause of rising premiums?

If companies only reacted to events instead of planning ahead, then most companies would likely fail. The insurance industry knows that their costs will increase while their reimbursements fall. This is them planning ahead, knowing what they know will happen with the ACA.

Homeboy says

As to it being "wrong" for some policy holders to subsidize others, I disagree. That is the very definition of how insurance works. You have a pool of people, all paying into the insurance fund. When you make a claim, the money you are given comes from that fund, so others are subsidizing you. Not a new concept.

The problem here is that the ACA skews the number of people who will likely draw from the fund in addition to lowering the reimbursement to the insurance companies. The end result is that the previous policy holders will have to pay more now. No this is not a new concept, but if similar laws were to be passed into other areas of insurance, all insurance companies would fail and go out of business.

Homeboy says

Requiring people to have insurance is not a new thing. We're required to have auto insurance in California, and so far, the world hasn't ended.

You are actually wrong. You do not need auto insurance in california. All you need is proof that you can afford to pay out if you are at fault.

Homeboy   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 4:03pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 324

Meccos says

You are actually wrong. You do not need auto insurance in california. All you need is proof that you can afford to pay out if you are at fault.

Oh, I see - you want to be nitpicky about it, eh? O.K., then YOU are wrong. You will not be forced to buy health insurance. All you have to do is pay a tax. See, I can play that game too. :D

Homeboy   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 4:22pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 325

Meccos says

The problem here is that the ACA skews the number of people who will likely draw from the fund

No it doesn't.

in addition to lowering the reimbursement to the insurance companies.

Insurance companies were making record profits and gouging consumers. They will be fine.

The end result is that the previous policy holders will have to pay more now.

I disagree. There are about 181 million people who will be subject to the mandate. Of those, about 26 million currently uninsured people will have to get insurance. Let's say the average person pays $200/month. That would be a $5.2 billion increase in revenue for the insurance companies. How do you figure the 181 million will have to pay more? With that much more income coming in, they most likely would have to pay LESS.

Homeboy   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 4:26pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 326

Meccos says

If companies only reacted to events instead of planning ahead, then most companies would likely fail. The insurance industry knows that their costs will increase while their reimbursements fall. This is them planning ahead, knowing what they know will happen with the ACA.

If they are "planning ahead" for increased costs, then why are rates increasing at a slower rate than they did before ACA?

David Losh   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 5:31pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 327

Meccos says

It was 59 dollars + change per hour.

What kind of nurse, and how many hours are they allowed to work?

I'm guessing Intensive Care with a limit on hours.

Now you are really changing things up to fit your opinions.

David Losh   Mon, 31 Dec 2012, 5:33pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 328

Meccos says

The reality is that the ACA provides a lot more services, but the reimbursement will be lower... Where do you think this money is going to come from?

Once again, Health Insurance has nothing to do with Health Care.

Meccos   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 1:59am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 329

Homeboy says

Meccos says

You are actually wrong. You do not need auto insurance in california. All you need is proof that you can afford to pay out if you are at fault.

Oh, I see - you want to be nitpicky about it, eh? O.K., then YOU are wrong. You will not be forced to buy health insurance. All you have to do is pay a tax. See, I can play that game too. :D

Well if you are penalized, then you are being forced arent you? And no this is not being nitpicky. You do not need auto insurance, most people like you just do not know that. THere is no law that fines you for not having auto insurance.
You played the game and lost... :)

Meccos   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 2:08am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 330

Homeboy says

Meccos says

The problem here is that the ACA skews the number of people who will likely draw from the fund

No it doesn't.

Um pre-exisiting conditions? insurance for the those at 133% of poverty level? Those are two groups who will for sure draw more from the fund than what they pay into it. Thus people like you, me, patrick and the rest of the people here have seen rates increase to make up for this.

Homeboy says

in addition to lowering the reimbursement to the insurance companies.

Insurance companies were making record profits and gouging consumers. They will be fine.

You really do not know what is in the ACA. there are tons of things in the ACA that will decrease reimbursements... BTW health insurance companies have some of the lowest profit margins...

Homeboy says

I disagree. There are about 181 million people who will be subject to the mandate. Of those, about 26 million currently uninsured people will have to get insurance. Let's say the average person pays $200/month. That would be a $5.2 billion increase in revenue for the insurance companies. How do you figure the 181 million will have to pay more? With that much more income coming in, they most likely would have to pay LESS.

Who do you think those people are? THey are most likely the people with pre-existing conditions or people who cant pay for insurance. Not only that ACA requires insurance to cover more and more things. These are costs that should be incurred by people using the system, but now it will be spread out to everyone.
Furthermore, just because you decide to simplify health care economics into a simple multiplication, it doesnt make it true does it? I wish the world was that simple...

Meccos   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 2:13am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 331

David Losh says

Meccos says

It was 59 dollars + change per hour.

What kind of nurse, and how many hours are they allowed to work?

I'm guessing Intensive Care with a limit on hours.

Now you are really changing things up to fit your opinions.

A simple clinic nurse. Im serious. They are ENTITLED to 40 hours a week but works less if they want. In fact, there is one who takes off about 10 months of the year for medical leave and comes back 2 months each year so that she doesnt lose her "spot". Each time she comes back, she has to be "re-oriented" for almost a month with another nurse. Thus she is really useless. Unfortunately, nurses union wont let her be removed. Thus we have to hire someone else just for that spot. Oh... we cant even hire who we want, we have to take whoever the nurses union gives us.

This is not an opinion. I work with this every day.

Meccos   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 2:14am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 332

David Losh says

Once again, Health Insurance has nothing to do with Health Care.

Health care laws directly affect health insurance plans which then directly affects health care given to the people... so tell us again how health insurance has nothing to do with health care...

David Losh   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 2:54am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 333

Meccos says

so tell us again how health insurance has nothing to do with health care...

This one is simple, you are saying health insurance companies are dicating how health insurance laws are applied, and you don't see a problem with that?

David Losh   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 2:57am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 334

Meccos says

A simple clinic nurse.

It always amazes me that in a huge multi billion industry the workers, at the lower end, who have a union, are always the cash drain on the company. It seems where ever I go, no matter what the industry, if we could just break the unions everything would be much better.

I don't buy it, and it sounds like you need some collective bargaing.

Homeboy   Tue, 1 Jan 2013, 3:52am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like (1)   Dislike     Comment 335

Meccos says

Um pre-exisiting conditions? insurance for the those at 133% of poverty level? Those are two groups who will for sure draw more from the fund than what they pay into it. Thus people like you, me, patrick and the rest of the people here have seen rates increase to make up for this.

No we haven't. The rate at which premiums are rising is LOWER than the rate at which premiums were rising before ACA. You simply cannot blame rising rates on ACA. Why is it I keep saying this over and over and you keep ignoring the facts?

And how do you think poor people are getting medical treatment now? Mainly, they're going to the ER. You don't think you're paying for that? If you don't think so, you're dreaming. ER treatment is much more expensive than regular treatment.

Meccos says

You really do not know what is in the ACA. there are tons of things in the ACA that will decrease reimbursements... BTW health insurance companies have some of the lowest profit margins..

Let me guess... You work for a healthcare insurance company.

Meccos says

Who do you think those people are? THey are most likely the people with pre-existing conditions or people who cant pay for insurance. Not only that ACA requires insurance to cover more and more things. These are costs that should be incurred by people using the system, but now it will be spread out to everyone.

Furthermore, just because you decide to simplify health care economics into a simple multiplication, it doesnt make it true does it? I wish the world was that simple...

Pure speculation. Several people on this forum have stated that they have no health insurance, but could afford it. In fact, many have complained about being "forced" to buy insurance. Quite obviously, these are not people who wanted insurance but couldn't afford it or were denied it. There are millions of people "gaming the system" right now, who will have to pay their fair share when the mandate kicks in. You have absolutely no proof for your contention that this will cause prices to go up.

When has more customers EVER caused prices to go UP? Doesn't work that way.

Meccos   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 9:39am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 336

David Losh says

It always amazes me that in a huge multi billion industry the workers, at the lower end, who have a union, are always the cash drain on the company. It seems where ever I go, no matter what the industry, if we could just break the unions everything would be much better.

I don't buy it, and it sounds like you need some collective bargaing.

So basically I present facts, but you refuse to acknowledge it right? Fact is fact...

zzyzzx   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 9:53am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike (1)     Comment 337

KILLERJANE says

I have thought about starting my own insurance plan. Take 2000 members each paying 5000 person for a 5 year period. This insurance applies to extreme incidents and not regual visits. Your coverage maxes out at 250,000.

Obama won't allow that! He knows much better than you do aboit what you need.

Meccos   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 9:56am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 338

Homeboy says

No we haven't. The rate at which premiums are rising is LOWER than the rate at which premiums were rising before ACA. You simply cannot blame rising rates on ACA. Why is it I keep saying this over and over and you keep ignoring the facts?

ACA was passed with the promise of decreasing rates. we have yet to see that. In fact it continues to rise. In addition, we have provisions in the ACA will REQUIRE more services to more people, but yet will provide decreased reimbursment. WHere do you think the money to cover these people will come from? Lets see what happens in a few years...

Homeboy says

When has more customers EVER caused prices to go UP? Doesn't work that way.

If they were customers who PAY, it wouldnt be an issue. In addition to this, there are more services which were not required previously. Thus the cost of these new services will have to be absorbed somewhere.. my guess it that your premiums will absorb it.

David Losh   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 10:43am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 339

Meccos says

Um BS. I have personally seen their pay check. One nurse showed me her hourly wage. It was 59 dollars + change per hour. That is about 120-130K a year without overtime...

You presented an anecdote that you are claiming to be a fact.

Meccos says

So basically I present facts, but you refuse to acknowledge it right? Fact is fact...

David Losh   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 11:14am PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 340

Nurses pay in San Francisco is about $70K, and tops at about $94K.

http://swz.salary.com/SalaryWizard/registered-nurse-Salary-Details-San-Francisco-CA.aspx

Let's get rid of all of them and the price of health care will go down, then we can get rid of the doctors.

Homeboy   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 12:01pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 341

Meccos says

ACA was passed with the promise of decreasing rates. we have yet to see that. In fact it continues to rise.

Earlier, you implied that ACA CAUSED the increase in rates. I showed that to be false, and now you say, "but they promised decreasing rates". Seems like you are backpedaling. First of all, it doesn't make sense to expect rates to go lower before the individual mandate kicks in. Because of the way the law is phased in, more coverage is required before we have the increased enrollment to pay for it. Why don't you wait for the law to actually be in effect before you criticize it? Second, politicians promise lots of things that don't happen. That's life. The pertinent question should be, "Are we going to be better off?", not "Did they keep all their promises?"
Meccos says

In addition, we have provisions in the ACA will REQUIRE more services to more people, but yet will provide decreased reimbursment. WHere do you think the money to cover these people will come from?

I'm not sure why you keep asking this, as we already covered it. You do understand that ACA doesn't provide free healthcare, right? The people who are required to get insurance will have to pay for the insurance. That's where the money comes from. Also from some taxes on extremely wealthy people.

Meccos says

If they were customers who PAY, it wouldnt be an issue. In addition to this, there are more services which were not required previously. Thus the cost of these new services will have to be absorbed somewhere.. my guess it that your premiums will absorb it.

Again, ACA isn't free healthcare. The customers DO have to pay. Not sure what makes you think otherwise. There are going to be subsidies for poor people, but if you think about it, we aren't refusing medical treatment to poor people now, so their care is ALREADY built into whatever insurance premium you're paying now. What exactly do you think is going to be different?

Meccos   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 2:10pm PST   Share   Quote   Permalink   Like   Dislike     Comment 342

Homeboy says

Earlier, you implied that ACA CAUSED the increase in rates. I showed that to be false, and now you say, "but they promised decreasing rates". Seems like you are backpedaling.

You speak about the fact that the rate of increasing rates is decreasing. My point is that the rates are STILL increasing. ACA was passed with the promise that rates would decrease. It hasnt. It still increases. Patrick and other people on this forum are proof of this, so are stats which show that rates still increase. Your only point is that the rate of increase in the last year have not increased. SO basically if rates went up 20% last year but only increased 18% this year, the rate of increase was less. This is hardly much of an argument.

Homeboy says

Why don't you wait for the law to actually be in effect before you criticize it?

Because we know what is coming. Unlike Pelosi, if you actually read it, you dont have to sign it into law to find out whats in it and whats going to happen. As I have repeated many times, the provision will increase cost of health care as we know it. Its simple math... more services, less reimbursement... its very simple.

Homeboy says

Second, politicians promise lots of things that don't happen. That's life.

Yup.. thats no lie. how is this pertinent?

Homeboy says

The pertinent question should be, "Are we going to be better off?", not "Did they keep all their promises?"

Well the focus of this discussion was the fact that rates keep increasing. Thus if the ACA was passed on the promise of decreasing costs, I think that commenting on the fact that lied is legitimate. In addition, I would say that a minority of the people are better off. But for the majority of us who has had insurance and had been paying for insurance for years, we are not better off because our rates are higher...

Homeboy says

You do understand that ACA doesn't provide free healthcare, right? The people who are required to get insurance will have to pay for the insurance. That's where the money comes from.

The problem is that the new services mandated through the ACA will not and can not be covered. This is one reason why they are making EVERYONE get insured by law... its to partially cover the cost. HOwever even this is not enough. Pre-existing conditions will be one huge costs, but so will the low income people who will have this subsidized by people like you and me.

Homeboy says

What exactly do you think is going to be different?

To think that the cost of treating uninsured people in the ER will be equal to the cost of increased premiums is wrong. First of all the cost is now transferred to people like you and me. Secondly, I can guarantee you the treatment of the uninsured in the past to the newly insured is not equal.

Meccos   Wed, 2 Jan 2013, 2:18pm PST