Good Luck With That Employer-Provided Health Insurance

It sure seems like, oh, I don’t know, a public non-profit healthcare plan would be a good idea, huh?

Most big employers plan to shift a larger share of health-care costs to their workers next year, according to a survey released Thursday.

Many say they may charge more to cover spouses, tighten eligibility standards for their health plans and dispense financial rewards or penalties based on the results of certain lab tests. At some companies, overweight employees could be excluded from the most desirable plans.

Meanwhile, employees at many companies can expect significantly higher premiums, deductibles and co-payments, according to the annual survey by the National Business Group on Health, a coalition of big employers, and Towers Watson, a consulting firm that advises companies on employee benefits.

“This shows that the constant, unrelenting increases in health-care costs are going to cost employees and their families more and more,” said Helen Darling, president of the business group. Faced with rapidly rising medical expenses, “employers are going to have to do something,” she said.

People who work for large corporations have some of the most stable and comprehensive medical coverage in the nation. They are insulated from insurance industry practices at the heart of the Washington health-care debate, such as having their policies rescinded after getting sick or being denied coverage based on preexisting conditions. However, the new survey is a reminder that even people who are satisfied with their insurance plans cannot count on a continuation of the status quo.

10 thoughts on “Good Luck With That Employer-Provided Health Insurance

  1. This was happening at the company I worked for 5 years ago. Suddenly it was a hundred a month to cover your spouse. Smokers were an extra 50 a month – people who had to stay on just lied. I don’t know if they ever went for overweight people, but they were talking about it.

  2. Frankly, Susie, “satisfied” with your health insurance is an illusion jsut waiting for your ass to get REALLY sick. In ’05 my wife was REALLY satisfied with her United Healthcare policy, which she had through her former employer Delta Airlines (she’d been retired since 2000).

    So, she damn near died during a “routine” procedure which ended up costing over 600G’s, spent 36 days in the hospital. United paid 80% and we’re still—to this day—trying to pay the remaining 20%.

    So, hell no, we ain’t “satisfied” with the fucked up insurance plan that we USED to have. Medicare is a far better deal.

  3. I also stuck with 20% in a company I worked for for 26 years. 20% out of $100 is only $20, but out of $10,000 it’s $2000. A simple outpatient procedure is $2000 to $3000. The money leaks away from you very fast.

    When my sister, who lives in another country, goes for a procedure she pays nothing, a big nothing.

  4. I read on one of those find-a-bargain sites months ago that many more employees were being changed by their employers from a set co-pay amount to a percentage of…whatever was charged. It really throws any budgeting out the window, as it’s basically impossible to find out ahead of time what most procedures will really cost. Ask the insurance company, and patient will be told it’s up to the providers. Ask the providers, and they will be told it’s up to the insurance companies. Go back to the insurance company; get told the customer needs the correct codes. Over and over and over. Runaround. Bureaucratic roach motel.

    It’s meant to intimidate and force self-denial of care. Of course, when it’s an emergency, people go for help or suffer, get worse, maybe die. So, they go — and they’ll be shocked with their percentage of the cost.

    Shocked, maybe bankrupted. IIRC, the majority of bankruptices caused by medical expenses are filed by people (thought they) had insurance coverage.

    Best system in the world, my sweet a$$.

  5. Glenn Greenwald today writes about Dick Durbin whipping against the public option, now that it appears there might be enough votes to pass it on a reconciliation vote.

    Yes, you read that correctly: Durbin — whipping against public option. Which at one time Obama said he wanted, but, oh dear, it was just so…difficult…just weren’t the 60 votes needed….

    Now, we don’t know what this PO might be, and that has it’s own set of really bad problems. But since it’s Bernie Sanders who wants to bring it up for a vote, it might, just might, be worth something.

    Anyone up to date on this?

    Paul Krugman, on the other hand, seems to have been sipping some Kool-Aid….

  6. And here’s Jon Walker writing about Bernie Sanders.

    We recently learned that Harry Reid (D-NV) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) wereactually whipping against the public option and trying to deny the American people a real up-or-down vote on the issue in the Senate. It is good to see that Bernie Sanders (I-VT) is willing to defy them and instead go with the will of the American people. From Greg Sargent:

    “I think somebody should do that, and I’d certainly be prepared to do that,” Sanders told me when I asked him if he’d be willing to commit to introducing a public option amendment. This is, in effect, a commitment to introduce the amendment if no one else does.

    As I have explained earlier, if even one senator offers a public option amendment, and it is ruled germane, it would likely get an up-or-down vote as part of the reconciliation vote-a-rama. Designing a public option/public program buy-in that would be ruled germane and does not violate the Byrd rule should definitely be possible.

    More from the Greg Sargent link:

    The possiblity that a single Senator will introduce a public option amendment — which would get a straight majority vote — is actually worrying to Senate Dem leaders. Indeed, Dick Durbin, the number two Senate Dem, yesterday told reporters that this would create headaches and even conceded that the leadership might be forced to ask liberal Senators to vote against it to ensure smooth passage for the overall bill.

    Still, WHAT is the PO Sanders will offer? What does that definite article “the” mean in relation to “public option”?

    (Hope these tags are correct….)

  7. Yeah, I was reading this last night but I have a different take on it. I think this is a strategy to keep the Republicans from gumming up the works with amendments, not specifically an attack on the public option. I could be wrong, but it makes sense.

  8. The more I read about what both Obama and several leading Democrats in the Congress are doing about Healthcare in this country, the more dissapointed I am becoming in the whole lot of them. Since Senator Durbin is one of my Senators here in IL, I decided to write him to ask about what is really going on (not that I expec to get an answer, after all I am just one voter). But it is better than just sitting on my hands on this. I then thought that I would share the last bit of what I wrote to my Senator with more people here on this website.

    “I know that one single e-mail is not going to change your mind on your course of action on this issue, but I feel that I need to write it anyway, since I am hopeful that I represent more than just a single person who is considering voting for Republicans in the future, not in agreement with their beliefs, but for at least knowing what type of person you are voting for which is more that I am getting when voting for any of the Democrats anymore.”

Comments are closed.