Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

Sick of high healthcare costs November 27, 2010

Filed under: Uncategorized — Audrey Kletscher Helbling @ 12:56 PM
Tags: , , , ,

MY HEALTH INSURANCE premium arrived in the mail yesterday. Happy holidays!


It’s due shortly before Christmas.

Bah! Humbug!

In mid-June, the premium increased from $801 to $813 for three months of coverage. Do the math. That’s $271 per month or $3,252 a year.

I am not happy.

Here’s the deal. I foolishly thought healthcare reform would mean lower premiums and lower costs for medical visits, in other words, more affordable healthcare for families like mine. We are not wealthy. We live in a modest home in a modest neighborhood. We have no debt. We spend carefully and wisely.

But when it comes to health insurance, I believe the word “affordable” cannot fit, cannot even be squeezed, into the same sentence.

I pay $271 a month for coverage with a $3,000 deductible. In other words, my coverage is basically major medical.

I’ve evaluated getting onto my husband’s plan at work. That would cost me even more than the individual policy I have as a self-employed writer. His employer pays only a small portion of his health insurance premium and my spouse, too, has a high deductible.

I haven’t crunched the numbers lately, but my family (which also includes one still-at-home 16-year-old) is forking out a lot of money every month for health insurance.

Yet, we rarely go to the doctor because of the high deductibles and the high cost of healthcare. Cost is a great deterrent for skipping routine exams. I’m just being honest here.

Another problem I face is past medical history. I had total hip replacement surgery in 2008. I will need a new, and very costly, hip in 15 – 20 years. Insurance companies have these policies about pre-existing conditions.  So, even if I was to look for different insurance, the hip would likely be excluded from coverage.

I have no answers to any of this. I just know that I am sick and tired of the high cost of health insurance and of healthcare.

WHAT ARE YOUR THOUGHTS on the topic and do you have any answers? What are you spending every month on health insurance premiums?

© Copyright 2010 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


6 Responses to “Sick of high healthcare costs”

  1. The Family Says:

    I think the same thing that you think. We only go to the doctor when we think we have something that requires an antibotic to get over, which we have been lucky that that has only occurred about twice in the last five years. Or we go for emergencies, such as a broken wrist and ankle. Our coverage doubled this year and our deductable went up. We were also warned that it will double again in each of the next three years because of high costs. The best part, my husband is a RN at a hospital. He works where we cannot afford to go.

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      Thanks for stopping by Minnesota Prairie Roots and sharing your family’s situation regarding healthcare costs. That last line about your husband working as an RN at a place you cannot afford to visit really got me. This is crazy!

      Readers, let’s hear how healthcare and high insurance costs are affecting you.

  2. bevalker Says:

    I also pay alot for my health insurance every month! My employer pays 50% and I pay $433.86 for health and 48.76 for dental with a $1500 deductible and a single plan. I don’t go to a doctor any more than I have to, but I do take some medications that I am paying out of pocket until I reach $1500. Thank God that I have a job!!

    • Audrey Kletscher Helbling Says:

      OK, then, I shouldn’t whine about my premiums compared to yours, should I? But I know a lower deductible always pushes up the premium.

      And, yes, having a job is something to be thankful for in today’s economy. Employers, especially at small businesses like where my husband works, have had to raise deductibles and eliminate benefits to continue to offer health insurance.

      I’m certain there are many more stories like ours out there. Readers?

  3. Tim Says:

    My total premium for a high deductible plan that includes a VEBA (voluntary employee benefit account) per month is over $1,200 for my family. Our deductible is $3000. About 1/3 of it is covered by my employer, leaving over $800 PER MONTH to be paid by me…out of my paycheck. The VEBA has about $250 per month put into it (from that premium amount) to be used toward covering medical expenses and the deductible. If I don’t use it, it carries over for future use. As a person with a pre-existing condition, I could go shopping around for a cheaper plan, but I feel I need to stay with what I have due to all of the uncertainty. Right now pre-existing conditions are covered, but who knows how long that will stick around.

    There’s my story. As a person who’s had to have brain surgery, I can’t complain too much about my insurance costs. I’ve used every bit that I’ve had to pay…and then some.

  4. fowlguy Says:

    thank god for the v.a. I also have Medicare age 73 here. my heart goes out to u guys

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