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.
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?