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Blue Shield Raised Our Rates 73% In One Year

By Patrick   2010 Dec 27, 2:40pm   2 links   47,687 views   352 comments   watch (2)   quote      

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.

#insurance

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233   ¥     2011 May 23, 4:41am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

michaelsch says

Could you pls specify what’s the ideology.

your laissez faire bullshit about "poor" people "usually" getting the medical care they need as private, uninsured consumers. This is just hand-waving generalities.

This medical care goes far far beyond $60 office visits, as you will find out as you grow older and or encounter a serious health care need.

The reality is that every other first-world nation on the planet has a much better health care system now, with per-capita prices less than half ours for prenatal to grave universal coverage.

The only way to get there is by breaking the cartels controlling supply for one, and putting single payer cost controls run by the state.

ACA is only a small step in that direction, but by having taxpayers pay subsidies for the middle class we (aka the state) will be buying a seat at the cost-control -- actually, profit-control -- table eventually.

234   APOCALYPSEFUCKisShostikovitch     2011 May 23, 6:07am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

No hospital in America will let you into the parking lot without insurance that they know they can bill successfully.

They'll rent you a parking spot to stop and blow your brains out, though, once you give up on the hope that you will be able to see a real doctor and get any kind of treatment besides a once over, cover-the-doc's-ass flurry of tests and a slap on the back and admission, 'hey, can't find anything. Must be aging' non-diagnosis.

235   michaelsch     2011 May 24, 4:39am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Troy says

The reality is that every other first-world nation on the planet has a much better health care system now, with per-capita prices less than half ours for prenatal to grave universal coverage.

The only way to get there is by breaking the cartels controlling supply for one, and putting single payer cost controls run by the state.

ACA is only a small step in that direction, but by having taxpayers pay subsidies for the middle class we (aka the state) will be buying a seat at the cost-control — actually, profit-control — table eventually.

Who is ACA?

The reality is that what reform we got was writen with the goal to kill any chance of a single payor system. Or even of a limited version of it they call public option. It was writen by Health Insurance execs. Because of it we won't have any chance of any public option in lifetime of the current generation.

As a side effect, the government gets incredible level of control on how health care is done without taking on any responsibility. As the result, health care providing organizations must concentrate on government relations rather than on health care.

As one directly involved in health processes that serve more than 2.5 million people in S. Cal. i'm directly witnessing devastating effects of the reform on actual services. As of today it mostly affects costs, however, it's clear that the quality is to deteriorate over the next several years.

I'm not saying this from any ideological position. In fact I would like to have a state single payor system in USA, even though there are large differences between Europe and USA that may make such a system much less efficient here. Anyways I agree that a single payor care is the least evil of our options.

Again, the purpose of the current reform is to kill a chance of such a system, rather than bridging to it.

236   michaelsch     2011 May 24, 6:43am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

APOCALYPSEFUCK says

No hospital in America will let you into the parking lot without insurance that they know they can bill successfully.

Kind of a new argument to me.

I don't know how it is today, but in the 90th at least some university hospitals accepted uninsured patient and negotiated payments later on.
Of course you needed to live quite close to one, which was expensive.

The main argument I heard when telling people I held no health insurance was: "yes, but do you really want to be treated by an intern instead of an experienced doctor, or by a dental school student instead of a real dentist."
It could make some sense, however KP family doctors are hardly better than UCLA interns and are allowed much less time per a patient visit.

Most private hospitals accept uninsured patients in emergency rooms even today. Visiting an emergency room is not a fun, but may save you in a severe situation.

237   MsAnnaNOLA     2011 May 24, 7:08am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Austinhousingbubble says


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.

Another reason for this is the antitrust exemption the insurance industry enjoys. The House passed a bill to eliminate it, but whether you’ll hear anything more about it is doubtful.

Bingo. Anti trust pure and simple. These guys were making 28 percent profit. Now they are trying to make 28 percent profit while offering a lot more coverage as mandated by Congress. (No lifetimes and all that jazz.) Thanks Congress and Obama administration for this piss poor excuse for reform. This was completely forseeable and precisely why we need real reform including a public option.

238   MsAnnaNOLA     2011 May 24, 7:32am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Oh and by the way. I have cured myself of allergies/asthma/fibrocystic breast disease through natural means.

Try the water cure. www.watercure2.org.

All the information is there for free.

Water, sea salt, magnesium (I use magnesium oil), potassium (fruits and veggies), iodine (I use lugols solution.)

The Drs will tell you there is nothing you can do but take expensive pharmaceuticals. They are misinformed. I now no longer require any pharmaceuticals on a daily basis. Have not taken antibiotics in a year. Before that I took them 4-6 times a year for chronic sinus infection.

I will share my knowledge with all who ask. I hope everyone would get better like me. Healthcare costs would go down for everyone.

239   John Spikes     2011 May 28, 7:41am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

The only discussion should be how to eliminate the middle man, and not give out free medical care to anyone.

Healthcare is not a right, it is a product sold by free people. You have no right to anyone's product, no matter your need.

Socialism is a failure, more socialism will not work, it adds way too much friction to the system.

Your philosophy is corrupt, who made you God to decide how health companies should function? They owe you nothing. They own their products.

240   John Spikes     2011 May 28, 7:43am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

If Blue cross wants to charge $1 million per year then tough, they have the right to charge whatever they want, who are you to demand anything? Do not buy their product. Go to any doctor and pay in cash.

241   Patrick   1803/1803 = 100% civil   2011 May 28, 11:32am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

John Spikes says

Socialism is a failure, more socialism will not work, it adds way too much friction to the system.

Your philosophy is corrupt, who made you God to decide how health companies should function? They owe you nothing. They own their products.

Right! Why should anyone be able to use the government to rob you of everything you ever worked for?

But that's exactly what you are supporting.

Corporate control of your life is a TAX.

242   ¥     2011 May 31, 3:26am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

John Spikes says

Socialism is a failure, more socialism will not work, it adds way too much friction to the system.

tell it to the Swedes, Norwegians, Denmark people, and Germans.

your ideological thinking is very reality-challenged.

RENTS are what destroy any system in the end, capitalist or socialist.

The eurosocialism of the Nordic countries is actually just a mixed economy, taking the things that work from both sides of the debate, and leaving the things that don't, like private capture of rents created by public goods that our current system here in the US suffers from.

Free-market ideology was BS 50 years ago when Goldwater was espousing it and it's demonstrably still BS today.

243   EBGuy     2011 Jun 7, 3:29am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

Congrats to Patrick and those advocating for reform. I know, a drop in the bucket, but a moral victory nonetheless.
Blue Shield to cap profits at 2 percent

244   EBGuy     2011 Jun 7, 6:25am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

SF ace, How could you be cynical about a non profit where the chief executive pulled in $4.6 million last year? Clearly, he's fearful of the state insurance commissioner being given authority to regulate his ATM machine business.

245   OO     2011 Jun 7, 10:41am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Many US Employers to Drop Health Benefits: McKinsey
http://www.cnbc.com/id/43312215

Not good...

The biggest failure of Obama is he didn't implement a single payer system, now we are all gonna get screwed.

246   Dan8267   2540/2572 = 98% civil   2011 Jun 7, 2:05pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

This is exactly why we need single payer. If medical providers can't charge people different amounts for the same service, then insurance companies cannot hold people captive.

90% of the reason people buy insurance is just for the group bargaining power. You get billed a lot more if you don't have insurance.

Plus if single-payer existed, anyone could start up an insurance company and compete against big insurance since the prices would be the same. A well written software system could put all the big insurance companies out of business. After all, it's all well-known math and if an insurance pool reaches a critical size, it's essentially zero-risk.

247   OO     2011 Jun 7, 3:27pm  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

All I can say is, there are so many moron Americans out there that it is almost comical watching them constantly, consistently voting for something entirely against their self interest. Take single payer for example.

A typically rational voter with $20M net worth, probably should vote it down (but even Donna Dubinsky had difficulty getting her individual insurance and complained openly). Most Americans are just poor slobs teetering on the verge of bankruptcy, and if they are sick, they are almost assured of financial ruins, yet they want to vote it down, because they don't want so-called socialism, I am just amazed and amused by their stupidity.

If I were someone making $80K, completely dependent on employer for medical insurance, hell, I would vote with both hands and feet for single payer. Most Americans don't even have a decent insurance plan with their employers for god's sake. Who cares if it is socialism or communism, you can cal it fascism and I will vote for it.

Where else do you find a bunch of morons who always get brainwashed to vote against their self interest? Only in America.

248   pianist     2011 Jun 7, 5:08pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

I would love to see the following options available to me for an individual policy:

Fixed premium that increases only with CPI or equivalent.

Deductible that increases with age, predetermined.

Multi-year contract that allows this locked-in rate for X years.

We can lock in on just about every other kind of contract, and the whole point of insurance is to protect us from the financial unknowns of medical cost. Yet, the costs are still unknown, now, when an insurer can take such giant arbitrary leaps in price.

249   Patrick   1803/1803 = 100% civil   2011 Jun 7, 6:46pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike (1)   quote    

pianist says

Yet, the costs are still unknown, now, when an insurer can take such giant arbitrary leaps in price.

We need insurance against insurance cost increases!

250   oddhack     2011 Jun 7, 7:20pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

We need insurance against insurance cost increases!

Ala the CATO "Health-status insurance" white paper?

251   marcus   670/674 = 99% civil   2011 Jun 8, 12:18am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

pianist says

I would love to see the following options available to me for an individual policy:

Fixed premium that increases only with CPI or equivalent.

Single payer. IF there is only one payer, that one payer can to a great degree set the price. Providers can try another country where they will be paid less if they have a problem with it.

"But the government can never do anythng right."

People are so fricking gullible.

252   bob2356   494/498 = 99% civil   2011 Jun 8, 5:12am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

pianist says

Fixed premium that increases only with CPI or equivalent.

You would also have to exclude yourself from any newer more expensive medical treatments in the future for this to work. That might be a little tricky if you got sick with something that couldn't be cured when you signed your policy but is curable later for a higher cost.

253   michaelsch     2011 Jun 15, 4:48am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

OO says

I am just amazed and amused by their stupidity.

The stupidity is induced by decades of failed education system and embedded distortion of American political system. All those who believe in Dem/Rep opposition are nothing by stupid. There is practically no differences between them.

(Well, in recent history Dems mostly care about financial capital, while Reps care about all major corporations, but this practically does not matter to 99% of people.)

Praising Obama reform is nothing but stupidity. The guy actually had opportunity to reform healthcare, he rather opted to create a reform that only insures profits of owners and top executives of insurance companies. Worst of all his reform kills ANY chance of any meaningful healthcare reform for decades to go. He deserves the worst punishment for this. (If only there was any remotely better candidate to vote for.)

254   Lam     2012 Dec 28, 9:18pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

So private insurance rates for individuals are totally unrealistic. People group together (small companies, etc) to get leverage to negotiate lower terms. I imagine the larger the group, the better the terms. SO - why not create a corporation including all (or maybe just 99%) of US citizens, then see what BS BS comes up with?

255   Meccos     2012 Dec 28, 11:14pm  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    


That's the same as saying this: If I hold a gun to your head and charge you $1 million to remain alive, tough, I have the right to charge whatever I want. Who are you to demand anything? Do not live, just die.

No one is holding a gun to your head though....

256   Patrick   1803/1803 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 1:49am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Yes, the insurance companies are holding a gun to my head, and yours.

Everyone eventually needs medical care.

257   David Losh     2012 Dec 29, 1:58am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

John Spikes says

You have no right to anyone's product, no matter your need.

Sorry, buddy, but you do.

This here, boy, is the United States of America, and we do have rights. Obviously you have no idea how Health Care works, or how much of it already comes from the government.

We have a right to participate in that system of Health Care, provided by our government, but we are barred from getting that access.

All any one has asked for is access to the same Health Insurance Congress people enjoy.

258   errc   452/459 = 98% civil   2012 Dec 29, 1:58am  ↑ like (3)   ↓ dislike   quote    


Yes, the insurance companies are holding a gun to my head, and yours.

Everyone eventually needs medical care.

We are the ones to blame, for this silly concept that we can't have medical care, without "insurance"

259   David Losh     2012 Dec 29, 1:59am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Meccos says

No one is holding a gun to your head though....

When you are at end of life, and have a chance for a cure, or more years with your family, they certainly are.

260   Meccos     2012 Dec 29, 2:23am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    


Yes, the insurance companies are holding a gun to my head, and yours.

Everyone eventually needs medical care.

Everyone may need medical care but you do not need to get it through one particular carrier or for that matter any carrier. You choose to buy insurance. You wanted the aca...you got it.

261   Meccos     2012 Dec 29, 2:25am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

David Losh says

John Spikes says

You have no right to anyone's product, no matter your need.

Sorry, buddy, but you do.

This here, boy, is the United States of America, and we do have rights. Obviously you have no idea how Health Care works, or how much of it already comes from the government.

We have a right to participate in that system of Health Care, provided by our government, but we are barred from getting that access.

All any one has asked for is access to the same Health Insurance Congress people enjoy.

Perhaps it is the gov't getting involved that is the problem. The sense of entitlement in this country is like a cancer... it will kill us all.

262   Patrick   1803/1803 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 2:37am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Meccos says

Perhaps it is the gov't getting involved that is the problem.

Wrongo! You Meccos are the problem. Yes, you personally, by buying into and propogating that line of complete bullshit that the government is always the problem.

Whose interest does that line of bullshit serve? To find the answer, follow the money.

The only counterweight to corporate power is government power.

263   David Losh     2012 Dec 29, 3:08am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Meccos says

The sense of entitlement in this country is like a cancer... it will kill us all.

I love this argument, especially from conservatives.

We have a government by the People.

We forget that the principles of freedom were based on getting rid of the monarchy systems.

According to conservatives we should be allowed to go back to having monarchies in the form of corporate control over such basic rights as education, health care, and energy.

These are basic rights. Then we throw in Social Security, which every one contributes to, and it all gets wrapped up in the flag of entitlements.

I think the vision is that we have this poor working class, and untouchables, while the Kings, and Queens of this once great country reap all the benefits.

That's the way I look at it. I also look at how much we spend to protect those Kings, and Queens, and the endeavors they have around the world.

Military spending, patents, medical research that is given freely to private enterprise, farm subsidies you need a battery of accounts to access, all of these things also add up to entitlements, but they never get pointed to.

264   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 3:58am  ↑ like (2)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Meccos says

The sense of entitlement in this country is like a cancer... it will kill us all.

This statement itself may be true, but healthcare is NOT a form of entitlement. It is rather similar to national defense.

The role of a government is to protect lives and private properties. Healthcare fits into that role.

Every enterprising conservative SHOULD support universal healthcare. Employer-provided plans are just tools for wage-slavey.

265   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 4:08am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    

Patrick, have you consider going for a group policy?

http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/small-business-health-insurance

Individual policies worry me because they are not guarantee issues.

266   David Losh     2012 Dec 29, 4:45am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Peter P says

It is rather similar to national defense.

One of the things that is a distant memory was the AIDS crisis of the 1980s which threatened to bankrupt the private Health Insurance.

All of a sudden a group of healthy young men, and women began needing expensive Health Care treatments. The government was forced to step in and provide more care, more research.

As it turned out this was a global health crisis.

We are all still paying for this today, both in higher premiums, and higher medical costs.

267   Meccos     2012 Dec 29, 5:17am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    


Meccos says

Perhaps it is the gov't getting involved that is the problem.

Wrongo! You Meccos are the problem. Yes, you personally, by buying into and propogating that line of complete bullshit that the government is always the problem.

Whose interest does that line of bullshit serve? To find the answer, follow the money.

The only counterweight to corporate power is government power.

Patrick why do you liberals accuse people like me of being the problem for holding onto my beliefs? The prob with liberals are their intolerance to opposing opinions. In reality govt is the problem in many things including healthcare. Please do not put words into my mouth.... I never said the gov't is ALWAYS the prob.

268   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 29, 5:19am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    


The only counterweight to corporate power is government power.

This I disagree. The best counterweight to both corporate power and government power is INDIVIDUAL POWER.

269   Meccos     2012 Dec 29, 5:23am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Peter P says

The only counterweight to corporate power is government power.

This I disagree. The best counterweight to both corporate power and government power is INDIVIDUAL POWER.

Totally agree.... in fact I would argue that corporate power is often gained through gov't. As you said Patrick follow the money. There is a lot of money from corporate lobbies.

270   Moderate Infidel     2012 Dec 30, 1:53am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

I'm 48 and have no health insurance. I spent all the money I've saved over the years on preventative medicine - marijuana and beer.

271   Patrick   1803/1803 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 30, 2:10am  ↑ like (1)   ↓ dislike   quote    

Peter P says

Patrick, have you consider going for a group policy?

http://www.ehealthinsurance.com/small-business-health-insurance

Individual policies worry me because they are not guarantee issues.

I'd like to be part of some group policy, but Patrick.net is just me.

What if I belong to some other group? Are there policies for non-employee groups? Maybe if enough Patrick.net forum users were interested, we could all get a discount and be independent of our employers' plans.

Meccos says

Totally agree.... in fact I would argue that corporate power is often gained through gov't. As you said Patrick follow the money. There is a lot of money from corporate lobbies.

Maybe I misunderstood you. OK, we agree that corporate power is often gained through government, or at least the restraint on corporate power is removed via corporate lobbying.

But I hear this same "government is the problem" line of bullshit almost every day.

Peter P says

The best counterweight to both corporate power and government power is INDIVIDUAL POWER.

There is no individual power, ever. Power comes only from being part of a group, corporate, government, or union (though that option is fading).

272   Peter P   78/78 = 100% civil   2012 Dec 30, 3:08am  ↑ like   ↓ dislike   quote    


I'd like to be part of some group policy, but Patrick.net is just me.

I believe a spouse can be included if he/she is involved with the business.

Check if groups like ACM/IEEE provide group policies.

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