Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Health Care

This post is going to be a bit different for me.  Typically things are a bit more personal but today I wanted to talk about something that has been in my head as of late.

Health care.  Yep, I'm about to go there.  Let me start by saying that I am NOT POLITICAL at all.  I don't follow a certain party, I am not for or against a person in office.  Why?  Well because I've always kind of thought you can't believe what you hear, so unless I know you..I'm not going to take your words for fact or truth.

Anyway, I do however work in health insurance and feel like I can speak from a place on the inside...not just the outside looking in.  I've been managing health insurance products for small groups for over 5 years now.  In those 5 years I have seen rates change DRAMATICALLY.  There was a year that every group I had saw a 25% or more increase in their premium...in ONE YEAR.  If you had asked me I would have told you that something needed to give, something needed to change.  So when Obama Care came about I was not for or against it.  I needed to see how it played out.  I did see some good in it though.  Did we need to get rid of pre-existing conditions?  Yes.  Why?  Well, because why have insurance at all if the sick can't even be covered?  Did we need to get rid of lifetime maximums?  Yes.  Why?  Well, very similar to the above.  There are people out there that were running out of health insurance for using it so much....but I'm pretty sure they were using it so much because THEY NEEDED IT!  Did we need to cover kids till 26 on their parents plans?  Nope, not really.  Get them on their own, get them to be more independent.  Sorry, I went off my parents plan at 18 and I TOTALLY survived.  Ultimately though I agreed that we needed to find a way for more people to be able to get health insurance and hopefully do so at an expense that wouldn't kill them.

Speaking from a business standpoint though I do not see how this is going to work out.  The way the rules are right now a small business of 50 or more people MUST provide health insurance and must pay for 50% of it.  Problem is, part timers count towards that number.  I have a business that now must provide health insurance because he has enough part timers to reach that 50 mark.  This is going to cost him over $66,000 a year!  For many companies, this is going to break their back and make them go under.  Or, it's going to cause small business to fire people so they stay under 50 and only hire young because they are cheaper to insure.  Also, for all of you out there with employers who are paying for your plan and complaining about how they do nothing for you and your medical insurance sucks...SHUT UP.  It is NOT your employers fault.  Truth of the matter is you probably have no idea how much insurance even costs in the first place and don't even know how your plan works.  I didn't.  Six years ago I was in your shoes complaining and I have learned that you shouldn't complain when you don't know the facts.  I hear people all the time who have to go on COBRA and bitch that it is so expensive.  Actually, it's just the full cost of your insurance.  You are now just paying your part AND what your employer paid.  Health Insurance is expensive and it's not getting any better.  For SOME prices will go down.  For those that are eligible for subsidy, well it will definitely go down.

I'm not one to say I want to mooch off the government, but damn the subsidy doesn't make sense either.  Let me give you an example.  If I go look on Covered California and plug in my family and what we make...we qualify for subsidy.  Thing is though, we can't get it.  Why?  Well, my husband's employer allows dependents to be on the health plan.  Only...they pay nothing for dependents.  That is typical.  There are very few employers out there (I know of none) that pay for dependents and good lord if your employer does then NEVER LEAVE.  So, what that says to me is the government or state thinks I don't make enough to pay for my health insurance but won't help me out for it because I'm eligible for something else...even though I have to pay for that 100% out of my own pocket.  It just doesn't quite make sense to me how this is going to help families that ARE working.

Needless to say, there are benefits and there are drawbacks.  I'm in it and I see it and I'm here to say...it's not all fair.  No matter who you support, this is not going to help everyone.  Did we need change?  Yes.  Do I think that this is the answer?  Nope.  I just don't honestly see how it's going to work out.  We live in a world of supporting small business and yet this is going to do the exact opposite.

That is my political rant for the day.  It probably will never happen again.  Oh, and if your employer offers health insurance...please go thank them and quit bashing them because chances are....it has nothing to do with them and everything to do with the cost of health insurance.

2 comments:

  1. Hey Stacey - great blog post! This is Brett Zugnoni here by the way. As a person 'on the inside' let me ask you this - what are the key factors that have caused health insurance to increase so dramatically over the years? And I'm not asking this to challenge you, I actually want to know. And perhaps the better question is - what has caused the cost of health CARE to increase so dramatically over the years? I can only assume that healthy INSURANCE is expensive, because the cost of CARE is so expensive. I'd love to hear your thoughts.....

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    Replies
    1. Hey Brett, I posted a reply to this on Facebook :o)

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