By: Revanche

Health Care: Rising costs for 2014

September 27, 2013

I’ve always used my own health insurance/other benefits through my own employer, but when PiC and I got married, it made more sense to go and add myself to his instead. His (health/dental/vision) insurance was more comprehensive and “premium” for either the same or less money.

We never went with the really premium PPOs, the HMO was good enough for the past few years, but we kept an eye on that as a cost we’d accept later on if we could find a really good chronic pain specialist elsewhere or if we started a family and they had better coverage or better healthcare providers.

We’ve both been using his employer’s health benefits this past year while I worked a new job at a smaller company without healthcare; I’d negotiated an increase in salary contingent on my continuing to use PiC’s benefits which would go away if I started using the company benefits (when we had them).

The company’s notified us that they’re now going to start charging for us dead-weight partners. We’ll be charged $600-900/year for my previous free ride and while their explanation sort of makes sense on the surface, that rankles a little bit when I look at my budget.

*grump*

It does make sense I suppose. I’ve worked for a few other employers who actually paid us back a nominal amount for using our spouse’s insurance, or for not using theirs, basically. I didn’t take advantage of PiC’s insurance until recently so I didn’t benefit from that until recently either.

The amount that I negotiated was multiple times more than the amount that we’ll be charged so it’s covered, in principle, but I’d been looking forward to saving more than just 25% of our salaries plus retirement next year. Between this, and the reduced FSA limits, health care just keeps getting more expensive.

With my chronic stuff, with Mom’s health history and horrible experiences with healthcare as an uninsured cash-only patient, I’ve always pushed myself to work a full time job with solid employers in order to stay covered by an employer plan. Despite the increases that I resent, I’m grateful that we’re still in a position to have relatively affordable health care, all things considered.

Does anyone else expect a hike in costs and know what they are?

10 Responses to “Health Care: Rising costs for 2014”

  1. Linda says:

    Yes, I expect an increase in health care costs, but I won’t know how much until at least next month when open enrollment may start. I think it increased last year, too. As you note, the decrease in FSA has had quite an impact on me this year, too. I used the entire $5K that was allotted in previous years, even with my health insurance picking up at least 70% of expenses. This year I know I’ve already technically used up the $,2500 amount if I submitted all my receipts. For now, I don’t so I can use the convenient debit card for prescriptions and co-pays.

    • Revanche says:

      Actually, you make a good point, we will probably see the premiums or copays increase some amount too this year. I just haven’t seen those numbers yet.
      I wish we’d get that FSA limit increased again, we’re going to have to do some fancy footwork on any major costs in upcoming years.

  2. moom says:

    We just recently got private health insurance for the first time which costs almost the same as the reduced taxes we get as a result. Costs us $A3,000 a year. But the private health system here piggybacks on the government system reducing its cost. We get a small discount on the private insurance by doing the deal my employer has made with the insurer but we don’t have employer health care coverage in the same way here as exists in the US.

  3. Jenny B. says:

    This is going to sound so bad but I never really looked at my healthcare cost and this post made me realize that I really should start. Horrible thinking though. I figured I’m single with no family and no one can put me on their plan so I don’t really have a choice. We just got our package for options package in preparation of open enrollment so I will start there.

    You know if I get headaches over dealing with insurance and healthcare, I imagine being an uninsured cash patient is 10x worse. Kudos on getting through that!

  4. Will you be able to get coverage through Obamacare?

    I understand that subsidies will be pretty generous for the middle class. The cost may be less than paying through his insurer and being soaked for a surcharge.

  5. Thank goodness I’m on Medicare, which has its own surprisingly high costs…but the worst insurance industry rapaciousness is suppressed to some degree by government regulation.

    Astonishingly, the hated Part D, the worst rip I’ve EVER seen in the health insurance department, is actually dropping in price. My carrier, which has covered exactly none of the meds I’ve needed over the past year, has dropped its cost almost in half and is also cutting copays significantly. I was going to switch this fall, but so dread the hassle factor involved in dealing with these outfits that I may just float along with WellCare. The lowered rate will be so affordable that it won’t much matter that the “coverage” covers NOTHING, and it will keep me out of trouble with the government.

    • Revanche says:

      I can’t believe Part D is getting lowered, are they cutting what they cover too? I remember the amazing headaches they caused when it first rolled out, I’m wary that any change is for the worse.

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