Affordable Health Care

It has been awhile since I’ve made any comments about health care, but things are getting interesting.

Interesting as in the infamous Chinese curse, “May you live in interesting times.”  I just received our group health insurance proposal for the next 12 months.  A 53% increase will get your attention and make things interesting.

Granted we are a small group of “older” individuals, but we are not alone.  In talking to our insurance broker, they have been seeing 25-30% increases with many of their clients – who tend to be employers with less than 25 ee.

It seems that insurance underwriters and actuaries are adjusting rates for what is being required by The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act.  There’s also a growing concern in the insurance community that many of the “uninsured” which PPACA was written to protect, are going to opt out and just pay the IRS penalty.  This means the rest of us will need to pay for the “lost” premiums.

I for one would love to have coverage that has a lower deductible and co-insurance that means very little out of my back pocket, but I’m also the guy who has to make decisions regarding our organization’s fiscal viability.  Thus, as with many employers, I will continue to make decisions many have made for the past 10-12 years – How much of the cost do we pass along to our employees and/or what can we do to limit coverages so we can afford to provide insurance.

Yes, supposedly in January 2014 when the Exchanges are up and running we will have “affordable” insurance for groups like ours.  Although I hope that might be the case, I have a funny feeling that because of the mandated expansion of coverages, our premiums in 2014 may not be that affordable, and I’ll still be making ugly decisions regarding cost sharing.

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