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Healthcare Increase!

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Isgrimnur
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Isgrimnur »

Isgrimnur wrote:1/6th increase on premiums ($30 -> $35 /2 weeks).

As to the actual coverage levels, I'll have to compare materials when I get home.
Out of pockets go from $5/10k to $6/12k in-network, remain $15k out-of-network.

Short-term disability weekly benefit went up $100/week.

We don't do deductibles. Instead, it's a 25% coinsurance responsibility on anything outside of wellness visits, but that's not a change. FSAs are still available, but the whole use-it-or-lose-it thing doesn't exactly sound like fun, especially given no chronic medical problems for myself. Maybe once we get a family started.

Could be a lot worse, I suppose.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Isgrimnur wrote: FSAs are still available, but the whole use-it-or-lose-it thing doesn't exactly sound like fun, especially given no chronic medical problems for myself. Maybe once we get a family started.
I haven't done it in the past but I'm considering it this year. I figure glasses for the wife can do some serious damage so she can blow through whatever is left at the end of the year.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Kraken »

No changes to premiums or benefits for medical insurance this year. Thanks, Obama!

Dental is going up by $3 per month but coverage for crowns is improving. Wonderful timing since the estimate for Wife's impending dental work went up from $14,000 to $22,000. Insurance barely touches that (coverage was capped at $1750/yr), but every little bit helps. Eagerly awaiting details about this alleged improved coverage.

I think we're going to do the FSA thing since we know that we're facing huge bills for the next couple of years.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by coopasonic »

New provider (that overlaps 98% {including all of mine} of the old providers... providers) , same cost, same coverage. I'll take it.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by ImLawBoy »

Lots of changes this year. We went from a two tiered system (cleverly titled "Option 1" and "Option 2") to a Bronze/Silver/Gold trifecta. (There is also an HMO option and some other weird Illinois based option that seems to be for those in a rural area, but I'm ignoring those.) I signed up for the "Gold" package, as that seems to give me the lowest annual cost (using the estimated cost calculator provided during annual enrollment). I have to take some time to look back and see what the actual differences are to me, though.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LawBeefaroni »

ImLawBoy wrote:Lots of changes this year. We went from a two tiered system (cleverly titled "Option 1" and "Option 2") to a Bronze/Silver/Gold trifecta.
Are those State Exchange plans? Because that's an annoyingly exchange sounding slate of plans for an employer group product.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

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LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:Lots of changes this year. We went from a two tiered system (cleverly titled "Option 1" and "Option 2") to a Bronze/Silver/Gold trifecta.
Are those State Exchange plans? Because that's an annoyingly exchange sounding slate of plans for an employer group product.
I doubt it. I don't know much about these things, but we're self-insured and these plans (other than the Illinois-centric one) are offered nationally within the company. I think they're just latching onto those names.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LawBeefaroni »

ImLawBoy wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:Lots of changes this year. We went from a two tiered system (cleverly titled "Option 1" and "Option 2") to a Bronze/Silver/Gold trifecta.
Are those State Exchange plans? Because that's an annoyingly exchange sounding slate of plans for an employer group product.
I doubt it. I don't know much about these things, but we're self-insured and these plans (other than the Illinois-centric one) are offered nationally within the company. I think they're just latching onto those names.
That's what I figured. Great. More confusion.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by RMC »

Still waiting for the plan to come out at work here, but we switched to my wife's plan, as hers is better than mine is currently, and my plan might stay the same, but will not get any better. :)
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

Just got my packet in the mail.

Premium - up 40% :x
Deductible - up 16% :x :x
Out-of-pocket max - up 26% :x :x :x

That's just for the medical, I haven't checked dental, life and vision.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by hitbyambulance »

"It is an important time for [company name] as we work together to transform our Company. Success requires each of us—including the Benefits team—to think critically about making [company name] the best choice for our employees and our customers."

why does that sound so ominous...

health premiums are to raised by 6%

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

hitbyambulance wrote:health premiums are to raised by 6%
Wow, good deal! Only 6%!
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

Our company also notified us that in case we were planning to be jobless next year, the company has eliminated COBRA subsidies. Great news for those who may be affected by the company splitting into 3.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LawBeefaroni »

LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote:
ImLawBoy wrote:Lots of changes this year. We went from a two tiered system (cleverly titled "Option 1" and "Option 2") to a Bronze/Silver/Gold trifecta.
Are those State Exchange plans? Because that's an annoyingly exchange sounding slate of plans for an employer group product.
I doubt it. I don't know much about these things, but we're self-insured and these plans (other than the Illinois-centric one) are offered nationally within the company. I think they're just latching onto those names.
That's what I figured. Great. More confusion.
I'm just a bit touchy right now, we're all hands on deck as BCBSIL moves their individual PPOs to the exchange (and are naming their off-exchange products the same thing as their exchange products). 173,000 patients. Probably around 20K for us. All scrambling. Clusterf.
Big changes are coming next year for Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois individual health plans, causing stress among some consumers before open enrollment on the state's health insurance exchange begins Nov. 1.

The state's largest health insurer is eliminating its most popular individual plan, called Blue PPO, which has the largest network of doctors and hospitals of any plan the company offers, because it was too costly for the company. The plan will still be available for employer groups next year.

Tony Schor, of Highland Park, who bought Blue Cross insurance for his family of four through a broker, said he was startled when he got a letter from the company a few weeks ago telling him his plan was being discontinued at the end of the year.

"I'll be honest with you, I'm concerned," said Schor, a small-business owner. "I'm truly at the edge of my seat because I don't know what the new plan will look like."

...

Blue Cross said it will automatically switch members enrolled in the broad PPO to the Blue Choice plan. The company said Blue Choice is similar to the broad PPO. The company even refers to Blue Choice as a PPO. But there is one big difference. The broad PPO included every hospital in Illinois — all 209. Blue Choice's network had 78 hospitals this year.

Blue Choice didn't include some prominent Chicago-area hospitals, like Northwestern Memorial, University of Chicago Medicine, Rush University Medical Center, the Advocate Health Care system and the North Shore University HealthSystem.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by gilraen »

Just spent an hour trying to make sense of the new healthcare offerings at our company (enrollment starts next week, and the last couple of years I barely glanced over it because all the options sucked). They still do, I just need to figure out if I really care about an HRA account vs. HSA account.

- HRA = company contributes to the account, I don't own the money; after I spend their contribution, I spend a very considerable chunk of $$$ out of pocket before I fulfill the deductible and hit the coinsurance threshold. It's almost identical to my current CDHP plan but the deductible goes up $125 (I think).
- HSA (or rather HSA+) version = company contributes the exact same amount but I have an option of contributing tax-free dollars as well; I own the money and can invest it, possibly with tax-free earnings; all other numbers are the same.

There's a pure HSA plan that I'm not even considering, with lower monthly premiums but the deductible is way higher and the company contributes nothing. Guess which plan they're pushing in their informational video...

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by RunningMn9 »

gilraen wrote:- HSA (or rather HSA+) version = company contributes the exact same amount but I have an option of contributing tax-free dollars as well; I own the money and can invest it, possibly with tax-free earnings; all other numbers are the same.
Aren't these typically paired with high-deductible insurance?

Anyway - how old are you? Married and/or kids? Dealing with any chronic issues?

HSA+ plans (from what I remember) are *excellent* options for the young, single and healthy. Hopefully you have enough years in them when you are young, single and healthy that it makes it much easier to insulate yourself against being old, married and chronically unhealthy. You are basically self-insuring, and that takes time so you can build up an adequate balance.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by gilraen »

RunningMn9 wrote:
gilraen wrote:- HSA (or rather HSA+) version = company contributes the exact same amount but I have an option of contributing tax-free dollars as well; I own the money and can invest it, possibly with tax-free earnings; all other numbers are the same.
Aren't these typically paired with high-deductible insurance?

Anyway - how old are you? Married and/or kids? Dealing with any chronic issues?

HSA+ plans (from what I remember) are *excellent* options for the young, single and healthy. Hopefully you have enough years in them when you are young, single and healthy that it makes it much easier to insulate yourself against being old, married and chronically unhealthy. You are basically self-insuring, and that takes time so you can build up an adequate balance.
They are all high-deductible plans, there are *no* options for any "traditional" insurance (other than Kaiser HMO). I'm 36 and pretty healthy, no kids (yet), married but I'm only insuring myself. So none of this breaks the bank but I'm just really disgusted with the fact that I can't get any decent health insurance options when I work for a healthcare company.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

RunningMn9 wrote: HSA+ plans (from what I remember) are *excellent* options for the young, single and healthy.
It's also the *only* practical option for the old, married, and un-wealthy. The HSA+ family plan costs me 6.7% of my gross salary. The non-value plan would cost 18% of my gross salary. The deductible on the HSA+ is $12,000. The cost difference between the two options on an annual basis is $11,400. So the low-deductible plan only pays off if my expenses >$11,400, with a maximum savings of $600. It's better to gamble on remaining healthy unless I'm damn sure me or someone in my family is not going to be.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by RunningMn9 »

Jeff V wrote:It's also the *only* practical option for the old, married, and un-wealthy.
That depends on your employer (for the moment). A big part of the reason that I happily would give my life for my current employer is that one of his benefits is that he foots the bill for a Platinum plan for me and mine. Not having to fork over $350 per paycheck for health insurance like I was doing for my previous employer is kind of a huge deal.

My main point on the HSA+ plan is that it puts all of the financial risk on you. Which sucks mightily unless you don't need to engage it long enough to build up the value of the HSA to insulate yourself against disaster (again - putting the financial risk all on you).
Jeff V wrote:So the low-deductible plan only pays off if my expenses >$11,400, with a maximum savings of $600. It's better to gamble on remaining healthy unless I'm damn sure me or someone in my family is not going to be.
Which is why I asked about chronic health issues. :)

On the HDCP products, is that deductible a hard cap? Or does that switch things to a co-insurance split? How do those plans do in terms of networks (in order to avoid the dreaded out-of-network black hole)? Is it just the same network as a normal plan?
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LawBeefaroni »

Jeff V wrote:
RunningMn9 wrote: HSA+ plans (from what I remember) are *excellent* options for the young, single and healthy.
It's also the *only* practical option for the old, married, and un-wealthy. The HSA+ family plan costs me 6.7% of my gross salary. The non-value plan would cost 18% of my gross salary. The deductible on the HSA+ is $12,000. The cost difference between the two options on an annual basis is $11,400. So the low-deductible plan only pays off if my expenses >$11,400, with a maximum savings of $600. It's better to gamble on remaining healthy unless I'm damn sure me or someone in my family is not going to be.
The non-value plan is $950 more per month? :shock:




Clusterf continues in the marketplace. Exchange open enrollment is now my least favorite time of the year. Well that and sometime around February when people start to find out exactly what "out-of-network" means.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LordMortis »

Our meeting is next week so dun, dun, dun and I got dinged for dental this year, which I didn't see coming. Our annual max went down and I didn't even pay attention. My periodontal maintenance now exceeds my copay coverage. I'm sure that will only get worse in 2016.

I may switch from PPO to HMO this coming year to save a few bucks against inflation. Not sure. We'll see what plans are offered.

Does the ACA look at optometry/ophthalmology/dentistry/orthodontics? I've always wondered why these are traditionally excluded from health care.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

Both plan options are BCBS, and out-of-network is rarely an issue. The co-pays are similar, but out-of-pocket maximums are different ($6000 in the high cost, low deductible plan, and I think $15,000 in the value plan). I've not done any further analysis because quite frankly I simply cannot afford the low-deductible plan. If out-of-pocket expenses did exceed $11,600 (like they did when we had a baby, but only because my wife wound up in the ER for a few hours the day after she was released...that alone was a $4000 hit to our pocketbook); the payment plan we'd negotiate with the hospital would be less than the monthly premiums on the expensive policy.

I really can't fathom living with the chronic health issues my parents had for the last few decades of their lives. My dad alone racked up more than $1M in total healthcare bills in the last 10 years of his life (half of that during an episode where he spent 10 days on a ventilator). I don't really know how much my mom racked up, but until dad died, it seemed for a while both of them were tag-teaming stints in the hospital for various reasons. This was all post-retirement for both of them, however. My wife plans to haul me off to the Philippines once I'm no longer earning a paycheck here. While healthcare there is far less expensive, there's really no insurance. It's pretty much cash now, or die. Show up to the emergency room with a bursting appendix, and if you don't have a pocket full of pesos, they WILL ask you to kindly not die on their front stairs.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

LawBeefaroni wrote: The non-value plan is $950 more per month? :shock:
Yep. That doesn't include HSA contributions, which I reduced by $1000 annually for next year to help make up for the 40% increase in premium. But still, the price difference really is comical.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by gilraen »

So we've just been told that our premiums will vary based on our salary. Employees in higher salary brackets pay higher premiums. I've never in my entire professional life seen anything like this. What the hell does my salary have to do with it?

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

gilraen wrote:So we've just been told that our premiums will vary based on our salary. Employees in higher salary brackets pay higher premiums. I've never in my entire professional life seen anything like this. What the hell does my salary have to do with it?
That's how it's been since I've been with my current company. I'm in the middle of 5 cost brackets.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LawBeefaroni »

That BCBS thing I mentioned earlier, they have informed patients (and doctors) that there is no transition of care. That means the usual exceptions for continuity don't apply. Pregnant in the 2nd/3rd trimester, on dialysis, in chemo, etc, you're screwed. Find a new doctor. No idea how they're getting around this but they have assured people that they have.


Jeff V wrote:
LawBeefaroni wrote: The non-value plan is $950 more per month? :shock:
Yep. That doesn't include HSA contributions, which I reduced by $1000 annually for next year to help make up for the 40% increase in premium. But still, the price difference really is comical.
I mean that means it's at least $1,400/month, right? After employer contribution? For $300/month you can get a $2,800 family deductible/$9K family OOP max plan on the exchange. That's a full network Coventry gold plan with no subsidies or tax credits and $15 copays.

Your premiums don't make any sense.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

I suspect our employer contributes very little to the plan. It's about $1350 per month (for my bracket), the HSA+ value plan is much, much less. Unless you're already saddled with massive annual healthcare costs, it doesn't make sense to go with the low-deductible plan whatsoever.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by RunningMn9 »

gilraen wrote:So we've just been told that our premiums will vary based on our salary. Employees in higher salary brackets pay higher premiums. I've never in my entire professional life seen anything like this. What the hell does my salary have to do with it?
I think the federal govt scales a number of things based on your GS grade, but I don't know if health insurance premiums fall under that umbrella.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by paulbaxter »

We had a silver plan from Blue Cross the last two years. We're pretty much in the max category for premium tax credits due to being poor and having kids. The first year our monthly premium out of pocket about about $36. Last year it went up to around $100. To keep the same plan for next year it will cost of $207 per month.

Can't see us shelling out an extra hundred per month. I'm thinking we may be shooting for one of the bronze plans.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Scuzz »

I was informed about a month ago that our plan would be discontinued and that we would be looking at something new. We have used Blue Shield. I suspect we will see a price increase with larger deductibles. It was already $250 and $4k.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by malchior »

Color me surprised - just got the new rate card and premium/deductible are unchanged. Only major change is additional offering of VSP and changed the prescription provider which is a positive in my book. The company is also offering to kick in extra HSA money if we (primary plus spouse) get a health evaluation.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Smoove_B »

The wife was just given paperwork on Friday regarding upcoming changes to her (our) healthcare plan for 2017. Last year she needed to jump through various hoops to be given the best plan (i.e. lowest cost). Now I will need to jump through similar hoops in order for her to qualify. The hoops are basically submitting to a checkup and blood work if I understand the paperwork correctly. Regardless, I'm guessing each year they're going to keep tightening the exclusions so that eventually only Greek Gods (and their Greek God spouses) are able qualify for the cheapest plans through her job and little by little, everyone else will be paying more. It's certainly going to be interesting.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by LordMortis »

Smoove_B wrote:The wife was just given paperwork on Friday regarding upcoming changes to her (our) healthcare plan for 2017. Last year she needed to jump through various hoops to be given the best plan (i.e. lowest cost). Now I will need to jump through similar hoops in order for her to qualify. The hoops are basically submitting to a checkup and blood work if I understand the paperwork correctly. Regardless, I'm guessing each year they're going to keep tightening the exclusions so that eventually only Greek Gods (and their Greek God spouses) are able qualify for the cheapest plans through her job and little by little, everyone else will be paying more. It's certainly going to be interesting.
I've always gone PPO over HMO, due to the need for less hoop jumping. I've been willing to a higher annual cost to reduce having to deal with the insurance company. I discovered this year that my BCBSM PPO now requires approval to get things like an EEG. What's the point of not having to get referrals and not needing to declare a PCP if you need approval from a general practitioner to do anything outside of a general practioner's purview anyway?

This year, they're suggesting I have heart problems (though I believe it's lung problems and that this is going to be a long time for a diagnosis). I've started the process of trying to find out what is wrong with me over a month ago. My out of pocket will eventually be nuts and I still haven't even to the cardiologist due to the process and the communication of all departments with the insurance company that must take place to move forward. In the meantime, they tell me "if you have any problems go straight to emergency room." I have problems nearly every day. I don't have the time and money to visit the emergency room every day.

My philosophy is that if they can't find the time to see me and figure out what's up, then the problem can't be that bad. Still, I sit here afraid to mow the lawn (which I have to do today) because 30 minutes of mild labor will totally kick my ass and I'm not looking forward to having my ass kicked once a week for the next six months while the lawn goes to shit anyway.

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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Montag »

Just had healthcare plans changed mid year. The PPO plan has been sabotaged. The deductible has doubled and max out of pocket has increased by a lot as well - with a 13% increase in premium. The high deductible plan has increased by more than 25%. It's getting ugly.
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by stessier »

Our company is asking us to provide information on all of our covered dependents. We have to provide marriage licenses, birth certificates, and the top page of our 1040 form. And we have 1 month to comply. I'm not even sure if I can get all that since my kids have been born in various states. We had better get a report at the end with how much fraud they found. :evil:
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Jeff V
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Jeff V »

stessier wrote:Our company is asking us to provide information on all of our covered dependents. We have to provide marriage licenses, birth certificates, and the top page of our 1040 form. And we have 1 month to comply. I'm not even sure if I can get all that since my kids have been born in various states. We had better get a report at the end with how much fraud they found. :evil:
You don't have birth certificates for all of your kids? I ordered like 10 of them when my son was born and will do the same when #2 arrives. Hell, when I was a kid and birth certificates were etched in slate, it was still the most common form of ID requested, I remember having to bring it in for something a few times every year it seemed.

And marriage certificates...as in plural? How many wives are you claiming anyway? :D
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stessier
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by stessier »

We have copies of one kid's certificate. The other - we had 7 to start with and through normal attrition are down to 0. We were planning to get more anyway - this just moved up the urgency.
I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities. - Vaarsuvius
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Isgrimnur
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Isgrimnur »

Isgrimnur, 2015 wrote:
Isgrimnur wrote:1/6th increase on premiums ($30 -> $35 /2 weeks).

As to the actual coverage levels, I'll have to compare materials when I get home.
Out of pockets go from $5/10k to $6/12k in-network, remain $15k out-of-network.

Short-term disability weekly benefit went up $100/week.

We don't do deductibles. Instead, it's a 25% coinsurance responsibility on anything outside of wellness visits, but that's not a change. FSAs are still available, but the whole use-it-or-lose-it thing doesn't exactly sound like fun, especially given no chronic medical problems for myself. Maybe once we get a family started.
No premium increase, no OOP max increase this year. Disability benefits are 2/3 income for the coverage periods.

Company provides 300% life insurance, I'll pay the <$10/pay period for another ~200%. Have to send in the medical questionnaire to get certified, however. Last year, there was a level up to which no medical info was required. This year, that level is $0.

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Isgrimnur
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by Isgrimnur »

And for cross reference purposes (pay periods are 2 weeks):

Self $35/period (my selection)
+ kids $177.74
+ spouse $225.83
+ spouse and kids $356.18

And again, spouse coverage is not available if coverage is available through my wife's work, which it is.

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stessier
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Re: Healthcare Increase!

Post by stessier »

We find out about ours in late October.

For the coverages you listed, what are the deductibles? Ours are less, but I'm in the High Deductible plan. Does your company contribute anything to an HSA (if the plans qualify)?

Edit: Never mind - didn't read your quote.
I require a reminder as to why raining arcane destruction is not an appropriate response to all of life's indignities. - Vaarsuvius
Global Steam Wishmaslist Tracking
Running____2014: 1300.55 miles____2015: 2036.13 miles____2016: 1012.75 miles____2017: 1105.82 miles____2018: 1318.91 miles__2019: 2000.00 miles

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