Healthcare costs are shooting through the roof for a few reasons

Healthcare costs are shooting through the roof for a few reasons
January 05 01:00 2016

Last week I wrote about my recent IRS audit (which went well).

What I did not dwell on was one of the topics they wanted to cover – my health insurance premiums.

The tax year in question was 2013. I dutifully obtained copies of my insurance premium payments and presented them to the agent. For half the year I paid $654 per month, then my premium increased to $748.

That’s a 14.5% jump in one year. It annoyed me at the time, but nothing like the anger I felt when I saw those numbers during my audit.

In the scant two years since 2013, my premium has increased from $748 to $1456, a 95% increase in two years.

To be sure, I don’t have the same coverage.

Today, I have less. In two weeks, it will get worse.

My health insurance provider wrote to me with the “good news” that I could continue my coverage for only $2,008 per month, a mere 38% increase in one year.

This would put my premium change from 2013 to 2016 at 207%.

That seemed a bit much to me, so I spent some time on the website, doing my personal duty of “shopping” for healthcare.

I found a plan that provides even less coverage (which means more expensive to use), but costs “only” $1,393 per month. While less than last year, it’s still more than double the cost from three years ago.

The kicker is, I’’ve never had claims that rose above my premiums, so every year the insurance company is making a profit on me.

I understand how insurance works. I’m not angling to get into a car accident or contract a disease just so that I can make claims. I’m happy paying for this and not using it to the extent of my premiums. But I would be happier if the rates weren’t shooting to the moon each year even though my claims aren’t.

Which brings me to the Affordable Care Act, a piece of legislation with an Orwellian name (it’s not affordable and it provides less care).

As written the law calls for everyone to get insurance, and those unable to afford it will get a subsidy. At first glance, it might seem logical that the subsidy would go to those below the middle in terms of income and cost of insurance. But that’s not the case.

It’s the bottom 90% that get financial assistance, which comes from the other 10%. Since about 30% of us get health insurance through the individual markets, that means 3% of Americans are propping up the system…

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