How much did your health insurance premium go up? Mine’s up 22%. Share here

My premiums went up, and my coverage went down. Yours too, I’m sure.

It’s the letter more Americans are dreading this fall: How much will your health insurance premiums go up for next year? The frightening renewal notice. Most consumers will get the bad news on or around Nov. 1. After more than a year of political maneuvering, posturing, name-calling, finger-pointing, misleading, and general ill-will, I think the rubber will hit the road this Nov. 1 when sticker shock sets in.  We’ve all heard the dire predictions: 10…20….30 percent increases. CareFirst in Maryland asked for a 50 percent increase.

So I guess I should feel lucky.  I just learned my premiums will go up 22 percent next year, to $524 per month.  And, to be expected, my modest silver plan was degraded, too.  My in-network deductible went up fully 75%.

I posted a note about this on my Facebook page late Friday night (when the notice came) and was greeted by an avalanche of comments/complaints.,

You’re lucky! We just found out ours will go up 80% from ridiculously unreasonable to WTF,” wrote Suzi Pomerantz.

“Haven’t received it yet. But here in Pennsylvania we are told increases will be 30.2% making my $1000 a month premium up to $1300. That is just for me as an individual,” said Evelyn Clarke Inoue.

Some notes are heartbreaking.

I’m terrified,” wrote Katherine D’Orazio. “I have 3 kids whose healthcare is provided through the CHIP program. And the rural county I live in has had all but one insurer pull out this year so I will have no choice on plans. … We can’t buy a house with all this limbo because if we’re suddenly on the hook for $800/month premiums a mortgage will be too much.”

I’d expect to hear 1,000 comments like this in your life very soon.  In fact, I hope you do. I think the only way out of this situation is for people to really share just how absurd their personal situations have become.  It’s the only way for America, collectively, to really feel the enormity of the size of the problem, a bit like how #MeToo revealed just how widespread sexual harassment is.  Let’s put this in each other’s faces. I know these things can sometimes feel very personal, but this is not a time to be bashful. It’s time to be bold.

Naturally, the anger and sticker shock will lead to blaming and shaming.  I’d hope we all realize that strategy hasn’t really gotten us anywhere.  Not this year, not for the past decade.  Call it whatever you want – TrumpCare, ObamaCare, Single-Payer, Free Market.  All these terms are pretty much meaningless in the incredibly complex problem we now all live in.  People throwing these words around are just trying to manipulate you; and if you believe them, you’re a sucker.  Adults have to get together and make serious steps to bring costs down while maintaining the humanity of our country.

So, I ask: How Much Did Your Premium Go Up?  Please post your story below. Or, if you prefer, you can join the robust Facebook discussion I have going on over there.

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About Bob Sullivan 1332 Articles
BOB SULLIVAN is a veteran journalist and the author of four books, including the 2008 New York Times Best-Seller, Gotcha Capitalism, and the 2010 New York Times Best Seller, Stop Getting Ripped Off! His latest, The Plateau Effect, was published in 2013, and as a paperback, called Getting Unstuck in 2014. He has won the Society of Professional Journalists prestigious Public Service award, a Peabody award, and The Consumer Federation of America Betty Furness award, and been given Consumer Action’s Consumer Excellence Award.

6 Comments

  1. Not having socialized medicine (a poor phrase, considering all the emotional connotations affixed to political/economic schemes) makes the U.S. preeminent in two things; armament and military (which isn’t static and is forcing warlike stances on the part of all)–and the highest medical costs, for all “non-Third-World*” countries. *The phrase that has caused unending trouble since it was used to denote countries with lesser technologies who could easily be ‘swayed’. Persuasiveness is much easier when you hold a handgun to the head of the one who wants to argue… Fortunately, I’m a Vietnam vet with 100% disability, so the majority of my medical concerns and costs are paid for; however, that disability is a very, very high price. And as for Trump disparaging McCain over being captured and surviving, no one should hold even a vestige of respect for the…male. I can’t bring myself to call him a man.

  2. Of course rates keep rising.For some reason,everyone thinks they need health insurance for every event.Maybe start taking better care of yourself,so you don’t need to see doctors.Maybe save some money,so you can afford to pay for your care.Maybe so much money being thrown at healthcare,is the reason these providers can charge so much.I haven’t had any health care insurance since 1979.Have spent less than $10K on health expenses since then.Have eaten tons of fruits and vegetables and ridden my bike over 100K miles since then.We have to encourage better health habits,not more insurance.

    • Taking care of yourself is wonderful obviously but we don’t have control over illness or disease and injuries (not caused by stupidity). I know someone who had a healthy lifestyle yet was diagnosed with cancer twice. Received treatment then surgery. Years later has bowel obstruction caused by surgery scars. Without insurance they would have been bankrupted.

      • Maybe just carry some type of catastrophic care policy.Not an inclusive policy,that covers every minor need.Of course,Obamacare doesn’t allow that,forcing people to just ignore this forced legislation.

  3. Taking care of yourself is wonderful obviously but we don’t have control over illness or disease and injuries (not caused by stupidity). I know someone who had a healthy lifestyle yet was diagnosed with cancer twice. Received treatment then surgery. Years later has bowel obstruction caused by surgery scars. Without insurance they would have been bankrupted.

    • i’ve read that over 2/3 of health problems are self caused,by people eating junk and not exercising.More incentives should be given to encourage healthy behavior,not to reward poor behavior by handing out expensive insurance.If everyone never changed their auto oil or did any maintenance and cars were breaking down everywhere,Obama would decide we need more auto repair insurance.

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