As I picked up the mail one day this week at the Post Office, I recoiled at the sight of the dreaded Blue Cross Blue Shield emblem on a large envelope. I thought, "This is never good news!" Sure enough, they were notifying me that they "continually strive to provide me with the health care coverage I need and expect at a reasonable cost." Furthermore, they wanted me to know that in order to do so, they "regularly evaluate our rates in relation to the costs of providing benefits for our members." I could feel my blood pressure rising. "Here it comes," I said to myself. And sure enough .... "Therefore, we must make adjustments accordingly. Your premium is being adjusted 12.2%".
Short and sweet. My health insurance provider is making sure they get out ahead of the additional premium rate increases that will most certainly accompany the unveiling of ObamaCare. Was I just one of the lucky ones? I asked around among my other self-employed friends and found that, nope, everyone seemed to have experienced a rate hike; they ranged from 5% to nearly 20%. What's more, I discovered that small businesses and those self-employed with individual policies were first in line to see the increases.
So let me get this straight! It's not really about evaluating Blue Cross's rates in relation to the cost of providing benefits for ME, the MEMBER .... but it's about offsetting their costs of the millions they are going to be forced to carry as members.
ObamaCare will mandate that everyone must have health insurance. But in their great concern for those who haven't been able to afford insurance to date, the Government will somehow offer "subsidies" to help these poor unfortunates get coverage. HOWEVER, these subsidies won't cover the full cost of insurance, so somehow the balance will have to be absorbed by the insurance companies. Yeah, right! My 12.2% increase is not really going to cover the increased cost of my health care, but to help Blue Cross decrease their losses incurred by the masses who aren't sufficiently covered, and can't afford their own insurance. So, now I not only have to be able to afford the increases to my personal coverage that are inevitable under ObamaCare, but I'm going to be the fall guy that helps the insurance industry stay afloat and diminishes their deficit. WHAT ABOUT MY BOTTOM LINE?!?!
My insurance broker told me I got the picture loud and clear. But she said, "It gets even crazier than that!" How could it? She went on to explain that the Insurance Exchanges that will be put into place to accommodate all these newly insured Americans are supposed to be up and running by January, 2014. She said, unequivocally, "No way!" She said they don't even know what is in the legislation and therefore don't know how they are to be set up. She then lowered her voice to a near whisper .... "I shouldn't talk conspiracy or politics with you; but I'm going to. This is all a plot to institute a single-payer program through the Federal Government."
Well, now, are any of us surprised? When you bankrupt the individuals, the small businesses, and ultimately, Big Insurance; who else is left to become the provider of health insurance? But how the heck is the Federal Government going to be able to afford to care for the millions of Americans waiting for their turn at the health care turnstile? Oh, wait! That's right! We know about the "panels" that will be in place to determine the level of care due all sickly newborns and the frail and weak seniors who have long outlived their usefulness. Neither of them can be taxed more, so let's just encourage them to "give up the ghost", so to speak.
In the end, my insurance broker and I determined that, for the time being, there is nothing else to do but continue to absorb the cost for as long as I can, or at least until we know what we're dealing with when ObamaCare comes on the scene. When it comes to budgeting for my health insurance premiums, I'm just faced with a big, fat question mark. But one thing I'm pretty sure of ... at some point, it is going to become unaffordable and I, like millions of others, will not be happy with any of the options that are laid out before us. We will long for the days of personalized and individualized care, only to be given a number and a place in line. Pardon me, if I don't buy into the state propaganda that this Affordable Care Act will "improve healthcare outcomes and streamline the delivery of health care." If my letter from Blue Cross is any indication, I have a feeling that the "most significant regulatory overhaul of the U.S. healthcare system" is going to cost me more than it's worth.
Isaiah 10:1-2 "Woe to those who enact evil statutes and to those who constantly record unjust decisions, So as to deprive the needy of justice and rob the poor of My people of their rights..."