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I remember a few years ago I had to buy my own health insurance. I had moved up to Camera Operator and work wasn't, as plentiful as, it had been when I was a Camera Assistant. My Cobra with Motion Picture had run out, and I was looking to buy a personal healthplan for myself.

Luckily, I had put in a day's work for a company that was payrolled by Entertainment Partners. EP, as it's called, had an insurance plan that was offered to anyone working, at least one day, under the payroll company. The health plan was by far, the best and cheapest of the healthplans I had researched. The company offered three levels, PPC, HMO 1 and HMO 2. Since I've always been a very healthy guy, I picked the HMO 1 plan, at a monthly cost of $187. A great price.

The next year, the plan choices changed. HMO plan 1 was no longer available and HMO 2, was well over $200 per month. Not only had my level of coverage worsened, it now cost me considerable more. By year three, my monthly price for the lesser plan had grown to well over $300.

So, not only had my coverage lessened, but my monthly cost had almost doubled.

It wasn't long after that, that I had again worked enough work to regain my Motion Picture Health coverage. Coverage I believe to be the best union healthplan in America.

But with the constant pressures and cost increases from the health and pharmaceutical industries, even my Motion Picture Health Plan is loosing ground. For the first time, we now have a copay at our own clinics, along with greatly increased costs for prescriptions.

The handwritting is on the wall. In time, even with the best healthplans, we will all be paying far more then most of us can afford.

My questions to all of you...... In the next 5 to 10 years, will you be able to afford to pay for your healthplan?

Will you be able to afford to stay healthy?

Originally posted to nickm11 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:12 AM PDT.


Are You Paying More For Health Insurance and Getting Less?

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (5+ / 0-)

    I would hope my Diaries would give the reader a Reality Check

    by nickm11 on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:12:04 AM PDT

  •  Yes, we all are. (5+ / 0-)

       Even if you have employer provided insurance. The true cost of insurance is often hidden. Your premiums are only the "tip of the iceberg". The part of the premium paid by your employer is likely greater and although this part may be hidden from you it is considered by your employer as part of your wages. The skyrocketing cost of insurance over the last decade is at least part of the reason for the stagnation of wages over the same period. You don't have the money in your wallet because the cost of your insuerance has in all liklihood doubled in the last ten years.      

    That's America, buddy! So wake up -- to your only logical choice: Me. George Tirebiter

    by irate on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:20:56 AM PDT

  •  We too purchase our own. Policy pretty (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miss SPED, nickm11

    much stays the same, but we're constantly paying more.  BCBS sometimes offers lesser plans or higher deductables (but who can use insurance with a $5000/yr/person deductable?) and we ignore those.
    We will soon be unable to continue this farce.  Rates go up no matter what.  With $2500/yr/person deductable we haven't acutally used the insurance in over a decade.  Been paying and increasing premiums regularly, tho.  

    It took me three hours to figure out FU meant Felix Unger! -O. Madison In honor of kos' Saturday hate mail-a-palooza

    by Meggie on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:28:21 AM PDT

  •  Uh, yes? (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WV Democrat, miss SPED, nickm11

    My health insurance was provided by my employers with no co-pay or anything else for over 30 years. It covered everything in the beginning. In 1971, for example, I changed jobs at a time when my wife was obviously pregnant. I expected to pay out-of-pocket. No big deal, actually. I expected it to cost about $1000. It actually cost about $900. Really. But my new insurance plan picked up everything, to my surprise and delight.

    Fast forward to today. My wife's group plan covered me. Polio at age 6 is my pre-existing condition. This has never affected my overall health. Otherwise, I am generally healthy and haven't been sick or hospitalized for decades.

    MY wife's plan had a cop-pay of about $100/mo. She lost her job. COBRA was about $700/mo. When that ran out, private insurance went to $1800/mo and required a huge deductable with a cap on annual and lifetime claims. We're classified as high risk even though most of our claims have been for annual physicals and preventive care (colonoscopies, mammograms, and the like).

    The very same insurance company provided all of the above coverage. No change in medical condition from beginning to end.

    If I had the courage to drop them, I would. They've been so greedy, I'm getting close to needing to drop coverage just so I can afford to retire.

    Medicare in 4 years; public plan in 4 years. Go figure.

  •  I had good insurance through (3+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WV Democrat, miss SPED, nickm11

    my employer/union.  I was laid off a few years ago.  I now have (since February) insurance through my wife's employer for about $500/month.  I've been to a GP a couple of times and 2 specialists, and gone through several diagnostics (blood tests, xrays, etc).  So far, insurance has paid almost nothing.  I'm not sure why we're even bothering to have it.

    I'd rather have a bottle in front of me than a frontal lobotomy.

    by beemerr90s on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:52:41 AM PDT

  •  Sure am! (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    miss SPED, nickm11

    My co-pays have gone up, etc, so coverage is less than it was. Working spouses were kicked off the policy if they could have insurance with their employer (so we are paying for 2 single policies instead of one family policy).

    And due to increases in the premiums, there were no raises this year. A couple years ago, the increase in our portion of the premiums was more than the raises.

    If the fetus you save is gay, will you still fight for its rights?

    by WV Democrat on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 08:56:12 AM PDT

  •  Supposed to be the best (2+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    WV Democrat, nickm11

    I work for a school system, you know the people who work for and are all about CHILDREN>  When I first started the insurance for a family was $300 a month.
    The it crept up until now it is >$700 a month.  Not affordable - 95% of the increase was for the FAMILY policy.  Who constitutes a family - anyone other than yourself.  This is true if is just you and your spouse or you and your spouse and six kids.
    So the cost of the increase was 95% of the time borne by FAMILIES with children.  It makes no sense.  Seems the burden of covering children should be on the communities or spread across the populations and the coverage for FAMILIES WITH CHILDREN should have been insulated from the increases not burdened with the bulk of them.

    The individual plan has gone from zero to $100 a month
    Not bad....except my spouse is uninsured and the coverage is way down and the deductible is way way up and the copays have doubled at least.

    Right now I don't use it - not only does it not cover anything I use (alternative medicine) - the last time I went for even the most routine of exams the bill was well over $1000 including tests and not including the doctor bill.  What did the insurance cover ?  the $149 of lab tests.  Not the mammogram, not the xray, not the stress test  not the sonogram not the doctor's office visit.

    Great insurance HUH

    Especially since any doctor I would actually go to doesn't take my insurance.

  •  yes (0+ / 0-)

    isn't everybody?

    Politics is like driving. To go backward put it in R. To go forward put it in D.
    I'll have a Markos Marxist Maoist Muslim Moulitsas Mulatto Mojito, please!

    by TrueBlueMajority on Thu Sep 10, 2009 at 09:29:32 AM PDT

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