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Thursday, May 20, 2010

Wellmark SD Raises Health Premiums 18.5%

From the Madville Times inbox: Wellmark of South Dakota is raising medical insurance rates 18.5%.

From the Bad Timing department, this announcement comes the day after news that core inflation over the last 12 months was 0.9%, the lowest rate since the 1960s.

Rate increases coming July 1 for active contracts:
  • Blue Select 18.5%
  • Blue Select Plus 18.5%
  • Blue Select Basics 18.5%
  • Blue Priority HSA 11.0%
  • Blue Transitions 18.3%
  • Basic and Standard 18.3%
That's not as bad as the 23% hike Assurant hit my family with this year... but that's cold comfort for those of you adding digits to your checks to Wellmark this summer.

Wellmark hit Iowans with similar "appropriate" rate increases on May 1. I guess Wellmark has to pay for its computer glitches somehow.

No word yet on whether Wellmark will ascribe the increases here, as they did in Iowa, to folks sitting around and eating junk food. Also no word yet on whether Senator John Thune will follow the route of his colleague Senator Grassley and demand that Wellmark justify the rate hikes... or whether he'll just blame Democrats.


  1. Ugh. That just makes me cringe. I am very, very fortunate to have coverage through my employer who covers the cost, but my family and friends are not that fortunate. How do they expect people to survive? I guess they must choose between buying groceries and going to the doctor, and believe me, that is a VERY real decision families all across South Dakota are making, regardless of political affiliation. This issue affects a lot of very good, very hard working people that I have had the opportunity to meet with on multiple occasions, and medical debt is tearing their families apart. Is that a state we want our friends and neighbors and family and co-workers to be in? I think not.

    Shame on you Wellmark, shame on you.

  2. So, I just did some quick calculations and our premiums will go from $5100 a year to $6000 a year for very basic high deductible health insurance. We're healthy and don't have maternity coverage and we do not go to the doctor at all. I thought we were told health insurance would go down (not that I believed them) but this is ridiculous. In only 2 years the cost of our health insurance will go from $4300 to over $6000.

    I'm not sure what we will do. Thanks alot Wellmark!

  3. Imagine seniors in this mess...from a drop in Medicare coverage payments of 21 per cent to an increase in their Wellmark supplement plans. Wellmark and the Government: "Kill your parents or we will."

  4. So now how about repealing Obamacare, which is built on lies about costs decreasing etc, coercion and bribery and thuggery to get passed, and who knows what else in those unread 2000 to 3000 pages. And replace it with things that will work, like allowing competition across borders; BTW competition lowers prices and would help anyone complaining about higher premiums (me included as we also have Wellmark). We knew our prices were going up before Obamacare was even passed. Why do you think I oppose it so much? If you were for Obamacare and are now complaining, I don't have a lot of sympathy for you. His plan is all about gov't control and power and nothing about controlling prices or costs or improving health care.


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