Monday, October 12, 2009

Reform?

OK, not sure how to address this here, because honestly I haven't payed THAT much attention to the issue and I'm not as educated as I'd like to be.  Why?  Because we have good health care coverage.  Yes, I am worried about the cost of this health care reform bill and the cost to our children, but I guess I didn't figure it would really affect me that directly, right away.  But I scanned an article today that talks about concerns that premiums for all health insurance plans could rise by THOUSANDS of dollars each year.  Thousands of dollars a year translates to hundreds of dollars a month.  Right now Joey's employer (SUU) covers most of our health care premiums.  HOWEVER, I have seen a steady rise over the past 8 years that he and I have been working for people that provide good insurance in our costs.  For example...when I started working for the State of Utah almost 8 years ago I don't think my insurance cost me anything.  If it did it was less that $10 a month.  Kelley's OB care and delivery cost us NOTHING.  Two years later Tyler cost us about $250 I think (same insurance, coverage amounts had changed).  When I quit working for them two years ago my premiums were less than $40 a month still.  Currently we pay I think about $100 a month (which I am not complaining...I know that's better than what a lot of people have...).  BUT...Tyler's overnight stay in the hospital earlier this year cost us out of pocket almost $700!  When I had Kelley I was there for 3 days and it cost us...yeah...nothing!  

The problem is that I know that Utah is not going to be have the ability/willingness to pay for the type of increase in premiums they are discussing.  I went without a pay raise from them for 2 or 3 years because they didn't have/wouldn't find the funds for that.  Joey didn't get a pay raise this year and probably will not for the foreseeable future.  I am charging the same for daycare now as I was paying 6 years ago, so basically no pay raise for me unless I want to go from working 60 hours a week to 80 or something insane.  In this economy that's just how the cookie crumbles.  For the most part it's fine, as long as our insurance doesn't go up $200 a month!

But what are employers going to do about it?  I certainly can't afford to offer coverage to my one employee.  I couldn't afford it for myself if Joey didn't have it.  Imagine the cost to any employer, especially one that employs as many as the state of Utah.  One article I found said they employ 23,000 people.  The article on insurance premiums rise said that it could be $1700 a year for families by 2013.  That is a potential of nearly $40 million dollars a year cost of increase, in health insurance premiums alone.  This year the state is already facing a shortfall of $850 million.  So who do you think is going to have to pay the brunt of that increase?  Probably those of us "lucky" enough to have health care coverage.  That's not the end of it.  By 2019 cost increase is estimated at $4000 more than it would otherwise be.

Somebody please help me with the answer!  Believe me I am GRATEFUL we have the coverage that we do, but oh it's frustrating that I have to pay $750 for my kids to get their flipping tonsils out.  I'm quite nervous about how much THIS baby will cost us.  There's got to be a better way...somehow...anyone have a brilliant plan?  I'd vote for you if you can come up with something!

4 comments:

carol said...

We need a public option! However, the insurance lobbyist are so powerful that the politicians are not about to let that happen. You are right. People with insurance are not concerned, why should they be? I volunteer as a nurse at the homeless clinic. One day I was talking to a guy who was living at the shelter and he said "only a job and a paycheck away". I said "you're right we're only a job and a paycheck away from being homeless." and he said no, from having a home. It's all a matter of which side of the fence you’re sitting on. BTW, I'm Jaclyn's aunt if you are going, who the heck is this woman. When I saw the word reform I had to look at your blog.

Jed said...

I agree with Carol...absolutely. Many people talk about the cost of a public option, but what is the cost to our society without it? Just in the last few years your health care costs have skyrocketed...and they will continue to until we start to take some of the power away from insurance companies and take care of everyone in our society, not just the fortunate ones with employer sponsored plans...

Audrey said...

That's what happens when the governments steps in and makes something mandatory, the price of it skyrockets because the companies providing it know that we have no other choice now. It's what happened when auto insurance became mandatory too. I personally think that the government has no business telling me how and from whom I get health care. I prefer a free market approach to health care paying out of pocket rather than going through an insurance company and if this health care plan passes that will become illegal...

Heather said...

well for heaven's sake don't turn it over to the government! What do they ever do right? lol. we pay a high premium for our minimal coverage because we have a private plan. And we have a huge deductible, so I pay for each visit when I go - about $80 or so just for a checkup! I'd rather pay out of pocket for good health care than get crappy health care for free.