Avoiding illness; is the American healthcare system making us sick?

rising healthcare costs

Avoiding illness; is the American healthcare system making us sick?

Well, I just got my renewal for my non deluxe Oxford Health Plans plan and it was ugly, really ugly. Under the new rules, the plan issued me a refund last year of about $700 for excess profits. With a premium just over $1700 for my family, it was no bargain, but now, they are clearly trying to push us out of the plan by pricing it over $2300 per year for the same plan.

Considering the fact that I got a refund last year and that healthcare inflation is clearly very low now, they are obviously pushing us out into their newer plans as they forcefully shrink their existing networks with prices that are obscene.

On the upside, I have a list of plans I can choose from in the realm of Obamacare for small business. After looking at the plans I had as options, their prices and their cost sharing limitations, I am assuming my cost of coverage is up about 25% from last year, when considering the cost sharing initiatives. This is assuming what I saw from my list of plans available through my agent is correct.

The plans I had a choice of included Horizon, Aetna and Amerihealth. Each had larger amounts of cost sharing for more than I am paying now. So, where is the good deal and cost effectiveness of the Obamacare or Affordable healthcare act plans?

If you are a consumer, you would be appalled. If you make under 90K which in NJ makes you lower middle class based on the cost of living here, you will be subsidized by the government. If you are not careful, you may find yourself under insured, or perhaps insured only in your state, and not in others. That means, if you choose a plan which does not have doctors in the state your child attends school in, or you travel, you have very limited insurance.

Can it be good for the economy to have a plan that forces us to buy overpriced insurance products while protecting the industry that is apparently fleecing us? Sorry Mr. President, the math does not work. Perhaps, we will all contract overpriced medical coverage disease which will of course increase our premiums.

I wonder how our congressional leaders are dealing with this? Oh, that’s right, they are fully covered for their lives and have a wonderful basket of plans that the government negotiates for them. For the rest of us, good luck.

By the way, I decided to go on Healthcare.gov to see if there were other options that were not presented to me. I could not log on and thought I had the password wrong. The site then told me I was locked out. I called the 800 number and was told there was a systemic problem and nobody was getting in.

Medicare for all; anyone? anyone?

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May 29, 2014, 6:00 a.m. EDT

Rising health-care costs are enough to make you sick

Opinion: Even the insured aren’t financially prepared for serious illness

One of my best friends, going back to 6th grade, died in April.

He worked as a heavy-equipment mechanic, even as he soldiered through many rounds of exhausting chemotherapy treatments. He remained incredibly strong and fit, mentally and physically. Throughout most of this ordeal, he looked and sounded like he would beat the odds, but he didn’t.

His wife and three school-aged children started packing after his funeral. A long battle with cancer had eaten away their savings. Their home had been foreclosed. They would soon be evicted.

They had medical insurance. They had worked hard all their lives. Friends, family, and co-workers sent them checks and put on a fundraiser, raising tens of thousands of dollars. It would never be enough to keep pace with the mounting medical bills that were not covered by insurance.

Everyone either knows someone who died like this, or they will soon enough. The American Dream often comes to an abrupt end as soon as someone in the family gets cancer or has a heart attack. Obamacare may have put more Americans on the insurance rolls, but it has not changed this:

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