Marti Conger - Solano County, CA
I’ve had an individual policy with Blue Shield since 1990. To contain constantly rising premium costs, I had to abandon my $1,000 deductible plan in 2005 for a $5,000 annual deductible for $191 per month (their highest deductible policy).
My premiums just went up yet again to $661 per month – a 346% increase since 2005 – with the same horrible $5k deductible, 30% co-pay, and $7k out-of-pocket limit for allowable services.
Why don’t I change? Now I have preexisting conditions. Even if I could buy another policy – which isn’t likely – I couldn’t afford the premiums and would most certainly have coverage exclusions.
I figured out that this last increase brings my premium cost alone to 19% of my available income. Add in the deductible and co-pays, and it’s actually far more.
This year my premium cost will be $7,932, plus the $5,000 deductible, plus $2,000 more out-of-pocket before Blue Shield covers 100% of just the allowable charges. That’s $14,932 and doesn’t include my prescriptions or anything they deny.
My income from self-employment has stayed nearly flat and less of it is expendable each year. I’m really struggling to keep this unaffordable insurance but I have no options. After food and housing and a few necessities my income basically goes to health insurance and health care. My husband is 78 but he still works full time, mostly to help support my health insurance costs and keep us afloat.
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