Another example of corporate America sticking it to the self employed...

Discussion in 'Politics' started by OPTIONAL777, Feb 17, 2010.

  1. Anthem Blue Cross dramatically raising rates for Californians with individual health policies

    Policyholders are incensed over rate hikes of as much as 39%, which they say come on top of similar increases last year. State insurance regulators say they'll investigate.

    February 04, 2010|By Duke Helfand

    California's largest for-profit health insurer is moving to dramatically raise rates for customers with individual policies, setting off a furor among policyholders and prompting state insurance regulators to investigate.

    Anthem Blue Cross is telling many of its approximately 800,000 customers who buy individual coverage -- people not covered by group rates -- that its prices will go up March 1 and may be adjusted "more frequently" than its typical yearly increases.

    The insurer declined to say how high it is increasing rates. But brokers who sell these policies say they are fielding numerous calls from customers incensed over premium increases of 30% to 39%, saying they come on the heels of similar jumps last year.

    Many policyholders say the rate hikes are the largest they can remember, and they fear that subsequent premium growth will narrow their options -- leaving them to buy policies with higher deductibles and less coverage or putting health insurance out of reach altogether.

    "I've never seen anything like this," said Mark Weiss, 63, a Century City podiatrist whose Anthem policy for himself and his wife will rise 35%. The couple's annual insurance bill will jump to $27,336 from $20,184.

    "I think it's just unconscionable," said Weiss, a member of Blue Cross for 30 years.

    Woodland Hills-based Anthem declined to say how many individual policyholders will be affected or what a typical increase will be under the new pricing, which will vary from one individual to another. But the company defended its premiums, even as it tried to strike a sympathetic tone.

    "We understand and strongly share our members' concerns over the rising cost of healthcare services and the corresponding adverse impact on insurance premiums," the company said in a statement.

    "Unfortunately, the individual market premiums are merely the symptoms of a larger underlying problem in California's individual market -- rising healthcare costs."

    About 2.5 million Californians have individual insurance policies, accounting for a small portion of the state's overall insurance market. By contrast, nearly 21 million people in California are covered by health maintenance organizations.

    Individual policies are often the only option for those who are uninsured, self-employed or do not receive health coverage through employers.

    Story continued here:
  2. Ricter


    That really sucks. Here in Alberta, the residents used to pay $43 a month for health care. Now even that is paid by the government. But, let's face it, the government will not necessarily always be able to pay for a growing aged population, and possibly they'll have to start paying that $43 again.

    Even so, the system here today, even though subsidized to $0, is not perfect. One acquaintance tore an ACL asunder while snowshoeing and had to wait just over 8 months to get a free knee replacement. Another friend blew out her meniscuses (?) dancing (I told her again and again, dancing sucks) and was also faced with an 8 month wait. But, she got on an alternate list and was able to get 'em done in 6. Still, can you imagine having to wait 6 months for two free knees??
  3. Self employed pay double the SS insurance too.

    That's the trade off, you get to work for yourself, pay higher taxes, no employer subsidized healthcare and no paid vacations.

  4. You still don't get it.

    The corporations punish the self employed by making health insurance and other costs prohibitive from staying in business...

    The goal of the right wing is to return to a ruling and serf class, this is just another example of it.

    Insurance companies are monopolistic, and exempt from anti trust legislation...not to mention paying off most of the politicians on the federal, state, and local level...

    A non profit pool could accomplish the same thing as what the insurance companies do...

  5. The podiatrist in the article is 63 years old. Isn't medicaid actually mandatory at some age?

    Even if it isn't mandatory, what age is he eligible for gov't health care?
  6. That really sucks for self employed people like me. Additional burden... :mad:
  7. Urock


    So as an Albertan you pay $0 for health care.....

    That may be true for you (if you do not pay taxes); Albertans will pay an estimated $14.9 billion dollars for healthcare in 2010, 44% of the provincial government.

    So it cost's the average taxpaying Albertan (3.5 million citizens) $4,250/year.

    I hate it when people in Canada say Healthcare is free.
  8. Probably orchestrated to make people WANT health care reform. Obama is in on it somewhere... :)
  9. Health care reform is needed.The Republicans plan of tort reform and begging for charity health care wont make access to health care available to those who want to buy health insurance but cant