Wednesday, August 31, 2011

So Where's That Health Care Reform?

It's been a while since I've blogged as I've been busy tying up some loose ends at work. This post qualifies in the "random stuff" category, but it's still a post ;)

It was a little over a year ago that my employer shut down our group and laid off most of the hardware engineers. I ended up trying out contracting for a year, having never done it before in my career. One of the big issues for contractors is health insurance - actually obtaining it and then paying for it. We didn't have any issues getting coverage - other than one of our grade school children having mild asthma. That one minor condition triggers all sorts of warning bells at health insurance companies. Our son had to be listed on his own separate policy, which means he couldn't be under our family plan and we had to pay additional premiums for a 2nd policy. It also meant he would have his own deductible, and since we opted for a high deductible plan ($5000 family, $2500 individual - anything else would have completely unreasonable premium), we were unable to pool our expenses together to meet one family deductible. What a joke.

Over the course of the year, our insurance premiums went from reasonable to ridiculous. The family premium for myself, my wife and daughter started at $244/month, jumped to $373 the next month and in January it spiked to $509. Just 4 months later, it rose to $516. In July, we received notice of yet another increase in rates to $593 effective October 1st. We did also have to pay for our son's policy, which started around $40/month, gapped up to $70/month then to over $100/month in January. It too, will be having a rate increase in October, jumping to $115/month.

In the course of 15 months, our family plan premiums would have risen 243%!!! The two policies combined started off around $300 in July of last year and in October will run $708!!! Our son's mild asthma ended up being a 20% rate increase from our family plan rate every month.

Fortunately, I've returned back to a full time position with employer provided healthcare. Healthcare insurance is a scam. Nothing justifies a 243% increase in the course of 15 months. Health Net you suck.