Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Speaking of monkeys and unicorns...

Bob's post yesterday on the travails of a couple trying to find affordable health insurance in an Obamaworld proved once again that there are no coincidences:

I have spent the past few days working with a couple of very long-term clients. They've trusted me with their health insurance needs for several years (at least 5 that I can recall off-hand). Both of them have HSA-compliant plans with moderately high family deductibles ($6,000 for one, $10,000 for the other), and both are insured with Medical Mutual (MMO). Both of them renew September 1st.

MMO has elected to participate in the Obamastration's offer to extend existing policies another year or so (so-called "grandmothering")..

"Don and Sharon" got a 28% rate increase from last year, when their rate was $442 a month (or $5,300 a year). Their plan has a $10,000 family deductible, then pays 100% of covered charges after that (most preventive care items are paid on a first-dollar basis, no deductible necessary). So their maximum non-preventive-care related out-of-pocket exposure was about $15,000.

Their new rate is about $560/month, or about $6,700 a year. Add that to the $10,000 deductible, and for most non-preventive health care they'll shell out almost $17,000 before any insurance payments are made on their behalf.

But as Igor says, "could be worse:"

In shopping alternate plans for them, all of which would be required to be fully ObamaTax-compliant, the "best" (least expensive) plan I could find for them had a $12,000 deductible (20% higher than their current plan) and a rate of $900 a month (almost $11,000 a year). That translates to $23,000 out-of-pocket before the insurance would kick in (again, for most non-preventive items).

"Ronnie and Laurie" also have an HSA plan with MMO, albeit with a slightly lower deductible ($6,000 for the family). They've also been "grandmothered" in, so could keep their plan, for which they currently pay $570 per month (or about $6,800 per year, for a total out of pocket exposure of about $12,800). They can keep it by agreeing to a 30% rate hike, which would increase their premiums to $740 per month ($8,000) per year. That would mean $14,000 out-of-pocket for non-preventive care before the plan would pay a red cent.

Shopping around for them, we find the following alternatives:

Company A, with a $12,000 family deductible and a monthly price tag of $872. That's $22,000 out of pocket before the plan kicks in.

Company H offered a plan a little closer to what they currently enjoy: a $7,300 family deductible at the bargain price of $1,020 per month. For those paying along at home, that's about $19,000 up-front.

Or they could stay with Medical Mutual and elect a fully-compliant ObamaTax plan, complete with $12,000 family deductible and low, low monthly payments of just $900. That's also $23,000 out the door.

Choices, choices.
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