Monday, September 26, 2005

Health Insurance Rant

It's time for my rant on the evils of the insurance industry. Does everyone really know how much it costs, and how many people get the shaft? The rich can afford it, no matter how unreasonable. The poor get free service in the ER, courtesy of the rest of us. But the middle class . . . . Our health insurance premiums are going up to about $600 a month. That does not include dental. We're young, healthy, nonsmokers, etc. My husband's work pays for his share, so if they didn't do that it would be over $800. The plan we are in does not exactly cover everything, either. We still have a deductible, copays, and 20% coinsurance. Last year we paid about $2000 out of pocket for K.'s birth. So why are the premiums so stinking high? He works for a small business, and Anthem gives better rates to larger companies! I can hardly believe that such a thing is legal! What if Anthem wanted to give better rates to white people? That would never be allowed, of course. Seems like almost the same thing to me. We're paying more just because he doesn't work for a big corporation.

I ask J. what other people at his office think about this. Most don't care too much, because all of their spouses have their own jobs with their own insurance paid by their employers.

Anyway, several months ago, knowing that open enrollment was coming (another peeve of mine), I researched my other options. I thought J. could keep his insurance since the office pays for it, but the girls and I could get our own plan, maybe even an HSA. So I go to the Anthem website. It looks all nice and welcoming. I get some quotes that are hundreds of dollars lower than our current Anthem plan. I was so excited! But I had a nagging feeling that it was too good to be true. I call them, and sure enough, they will not enroll me, because I can get it through my husband's work! Aarrgghhh. The lady on the phone got defensive on the phone when I asked her why not. "We do not allow competition between our group and individual plans" was all she would say. Of course they don't!! They wouldn't make as much money!!

So why stick with Anthem? Well, they are the biggest in VA, and most all doctors are participating. But when this much money is involved, it is not the time to be thinking of convenience. So I go to Golden Rule's website. Nice, cheaper, friendly lady on the phone, but they do not offer maternity coverage in VA. Not that I am about to get pregnant, but you never know. In the end, we decided to stay with Anthem. I couldn't find any other insurers in VA who offer individual or family plans. If you know of any, let me know.

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