Tis that time of year again. Every October 1st. That’s the day when our companies (my day job‘s) health care plan is renewed or switched if they can find a better rate. The rate aways goes up, often many times the rate of inflation. Several years ago the company decided it could no longer shoulder the increases themselves which were in the 15-26% range for several years. So now the employees pay a portion of the bill. Plus typically co-pay’s and deductibles go up, which effectively is another pay cut (unless no one in a family of 5 gets stick all year, which isn’t likely).
In reality I am pretty lucky.Â We still do have insurance and the company does pick up most of it.Â Far more than the average.Â However, every time I receive a statement from the health company summarizing a claim it reminds me how big a rip-off many health care services are.Â I know the health care industry tells us that they need to charge such large fees for services, but when I receive the statement and the insurance company has settled for pennies on the dollar I can’t believe such claims.Â They’ve paid such things as $15 allergy shots for $0.75, x-rays for 30% of the billed amount, etc.Â Then there the medications where the insurance companies co-pay is actually higher than the cost of the medication if you payed cash.
Of course the people this all really hurts are the uninsured.Â They get to pay the full bill with no discounts because they can’t afford the $10,000 for a typical family plan up front.