Last year we were able to save a little bit on our health insurance by moving Erin to the group policy Luther Seminary offers. The premium for our little one and me to remain on our individual policy thus came down to $565.05 per quarter.
Letter comes yesterday from the bastards (and I struggle to restrict myself to that one curse) at Assurant saying our quarterly premium is increasing to $695.01. That's a 23% increase. Not as bad as the 39% increase Anthem would like to foist on Robert Reich and other Californians... but still a hard hit to a family living on a single South Dakota income.
$520 more. That's the summer family trip. That's twenty relatively cheap dates with my wife (and she's already lucky if she gets that many a year from cheapskate me). That's a regular cell phone plan (which we don't have) or cable (which we don't have) or two repaired windshields (which we've put off for over a year).
That's a decent contribution to a real Democrat who would stand up to challenge John Thune this fall and fight for real health care reform.
But surely I'm getting something for this exorbitant rate hike?
- Quality health care? No. We haven't made a claim on Assurant yet.
- Financial peace of mind? No. Living on $35K/year, we can't afford much beyond this policy. It carries a $7500 family deductible. If we get really sick, we're still in a big financial hole.
- Freedom of choice? No. I can't really choose a doctor, because I can't afford a regular visit in the first place. I can't really choose to shop around, because other insurers are jacking their rates the same. I can't really choose not to eat the rate hike, because I can't afford to let myself or daughter lose continuous coverage. The only choice I have is to change my family deductible to $10,000. That would make my premium rise only 8%. Yay: I can pay more to make my crappy policy even crappier.
If I want to pay money just to help my neighbors, I'll do it through charity and taxes, not a for-profit gaggle of shysters whom I can't trust to provide the benefits I'm paying for. Give me that public option! (And holy cow—Harry Reid might get the Senate back on that horse!)
Stephanie, drop by some time and explain to me how a 23% rate hike for bupkis is really better than the bill you voted against?