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Article
1/23/2012
By Mark Reback
As a self-employed single mother with two sons, I have struggled for more than a decade to balance the cost of health care and health insurance with the need to seek medical help. Our high-deductible health insurance policy with Blue Cross meant wrenching days of weighing a child’s spiking fever or sports injury against the out-of-pocket...
Article
1/16/2012
By Mark Reback
(Updated January 2013) We’ve just been notified that the Blue Shield policy covering me and my wife is rising 11% from $1090.00 a month to $1219.00 a month as of March 1, 2013, with $5500 deductibles and 30% copays for both my wife and me. In September I get to apply for Medicare, three months prior to my turning 65 years of age. Most...
Article
1/13/2012
By Mark Reback
Blue Shield raised our rates 73% in one year—check out the chart below. We have a very high deductible plan because I'm trying to be self-employed and that's all I could afford on my own. Our deductible is $8000 per person so it covers basically nothing but catastrophic care. The premium was $447 per month a year ago. Now it’...
Article
1/5/2012
By Mark Reback
Our Blue Shield policy covers three people: me, my husband and our four-year-old son. When we bought our high-deductible policy in 2008 it was $242 per month. With our latest rate increase it is $625 a month, up about 15% from last year and double what it was even three years ago. The policy has a $10,000 yearly family deductible and a $20,000...
Article
10/5/2011
By Mark Reback
Seven years ago, at age 54, I was self-employed and of modest means, but completely debt-free. I had health insurance, but rarely made a claim. Today I am a 62-year old uninsured cancer survivor on the verge of bankruptcy from medical debt. I am too young for Medicare, too early for the Affordable Care Act and I have a pre-existing condition...
Article
10/5/2011
By Mark Reback
Blue Cross rate hikes My family has a Blue Cross individual family PPO. This year the premium alone is $2222 a month—that’s $26,664 a year. The policy cost only $495 a month in 2002. As recently as 2009 the premium was just over $1500 a month. So in two years the annual cost is up $8400 a year and my deductible is up during the same...
Article
10/5/2011
By Mark Reback
I have a Blue Cross PPO Share 2500 individual plan and just got my premium invoice for May 1st. My premium increases by 17.3%, on top of a 19% increase last fall. That means my premium, which was $526 per month last October (prior to the fall increase), will now be $736.  In October of 2008, my premium was only $441. In addition, only four...
Article
10/5/2011
By Mark Reback
Blue Cross Rate Hikes I’m a freelance entertainment writer and my husband is an international urban development consultant. So, we don’t have employer health insurance. We’ve have had an individual Blue Cross family policy since 1992.  When we first signed on, the cost was $203 a month for our family of three.  In...
News Release
10/8/2010
CONTACT CONTACT: Carmen Balber, 202-629-3043; or Jamie Court, 310-392-0522, ext 327
Woman Left With $450K in Medical Bills Joins Call for President to Enforce New Consumer Protections Washington, DC -- Consumer Watchdog called on President Obama to reject waivers requested by junk health insurance plans, including one that left Dana Christensen with $450,000 in medical debt, that would allow them to evade minimum benefit...
Blog Post
1/19/2010
Posted by Judy Dugan
The Washington Post today has an eye-opening story today on how a family ended up in crushing debt at an "in-network" hospital apparently jammed with out-of-network doctors. Tens of thousands of dollars later, their little boy's rare and deadly heart defect is at least semi-fixed, but the family finances are in ruins. It's a problem that...