Jump on Twitter to get reactions to President Obama’s press conference yesterday. Almost immediately, folks started tweeted out things about the cost of care, the fact that they don’t want to pay for poor people to be covered, etc, etc.
Here is MY take on the whole thing.
I buy my own health care coverage for me and my family because my corporation does not provide health insurance benefits. Because I own more than 3% stock in the corporation, all of my health insurance costs get slapped onto my W2 as taxable income at the end of the year. I am covering two dependents, and we are both in the 45+ category. My BMI is not ideal because I can afford steak and I eat it. I don’t know a whole lot of others 45+ year olds who are in the BMI range the insurance company wants me to be in, so I think that might be a scam to quote low and then sneak in the rate increase.
My premiums come to $6,200 per year. My deductible per year is $5,000 (I gotta pay this before insurance pays a dime!) and my lifetime cap is $7,000,000. I pay 20% co-pay (doesn’t contribute toward the deductible. I read the fine print) for doctor visits and $10/prescriptions.
Hospitalization, the first $5,000 is mine to cover, with the plan paying 80% after I then pay the first 20%. So, an average heart attack at $50,000 will cost me roughly $15,000 if my insurance company actually pays any of the bills. Then, they will drop me or raise my premiums over 100% for the following year.
And, next year, the premiums will go up about 14-18% and they will take some benefit — like mental health — away, not that I need it for anything because I have my Twitter followers, blog audience and my daily walks. You people are therapy and no, I am not paying your invoices so don’t send them.
I could get better coverage, but the next plan up steps to about $14,000 a year and the benefits are not all that much better. Since I can manage the risk, the insurance plan is ok, but not great. But, I can only afford one heart attack, but probably not cancer. I’m gambling, but since I have a lot of life insurance, while I might be dead from something I can’t afford to treat, my family will be taken care of financially. In a few years (ok, maybe a few months or weeks) they will cash the checks, move on and I will have become a memory. Or not, I dunno. I won’t care; I’ll be dead.)
I told you all that because you should know all these details about your own plan. You do know all this, right?
Now, here’s my deal: I am willing to engage anyone on the health care issue in America but you have to come armed with some information. You have to know how much YOUR insurance is costing YOU, how much the TOTAL COST of your insurance is, what your risk is and how vulnerable you are for cost increases and/or cancellation by your insurance company. If you don’t know these things and you still insist on talking about the cost of health care, I will dismiss you and assume you are blowing talking points out your butt.