Thursday, August 5, 2010

Insurance Increases

Today I received my annual doom letter from the health insurance company announcing the premium increase for the coming year.  In recent years the increase has been substantial, as much as a 31% last year alone.  This year the increase is only 8%.

Earlier in the summer, I received a survey letter from my insurance company which basically wanted to know if I had any other health coverage from any other sources.  Sorry, nope.

Within the letter below, you may notice that CareFirst offers to discuss other product options which may better fit my financial needs.  Not too tempted.

Although premiums will now cost me $5604 for the coming year, CareFirst is finally covering my medical needs.  I'm not ready to rock the boat just now.  I'm a financial loss for them with Rituxan infusions alone costing $45,000.  Office visit, MRIs, etc on top of that add up.  My apologies.

My out-of-pocket limit is $2500 of which the drug company is covering a large portion.  My deductible is negligible.  Office visit copays are $25 for primary care and specialists.  My coinsurance is only 10%.  Major medical coverage is good.

So after I have become an expensive client and premiums continue to rise, CareFirst offers to discuss other options.  Since none of these other options available carry more than $1500 annual coverage for prescription drugs, I'm satisfied to stay with what I have.  I don't need any surprises.

Like I said - I'm not ready to rock the boat just now.  I've finally experienced what it is like to have health insurance coverage which covers.  I want to enjoy it for a bit longer, even if it costs me.

Dear Member,

The purpose of this letter is to inform you of your premium rate for the upcoming year.  Please take a moment to review this important information.

Your current monthly premium is $431.00.  Beginning 10-01-2010, your monthly premium will change to $467.00.

As a non-profit organization, we seek to provide you coverage at the lowest possible cost and with the least profit margin.  CareFirst expects to earn less than one penny from each dollar of premium revenue we generate in 2010 and this goes into our reserve for your protection.

We value your membership and recognize the financial challenges health insurance premiums pose to you and other subscribers.  Should you be interested, we welcome the opportunity to explore with you other CareFirst products and options that may help reduce your annual premium and better fit within your budget.




  1. Hey - I'm glad it's working for you. I hope to be so lucky. My COBRA is scheduled to run out in January, and I have no clue what to do about insurance. I looked into CareFirst and the $1500 prescription max was a stopper. Rebif injections will take care of that in one month. Still searching......

    Take Care,


  2. Hi Michel,

    Oh dear, sorry to hear that you will be on your own as soon as January. Sounds like we live in the same area. To the best of my knowledge, CareFirst does not have any plans for individuals which offer sufficient drug coverage.

    It seems that Kaiser Permanente does now offer some plans without drug coverage maximums. I don't know if there are any limitations on coverage for self-injected medications, but at least there are some options. That is if you would be happy with Kaiser.

    I'm so glad I don't have to go shopping right now. I don't envy you in that. Is there any chance you might find a new job with benefits? Or are you out on disability and awaiting SSDI determination?

    Good luck. And I'm glad to be in touch with a local MSer.

  3. Your insurance premiums had the same runup that the real estate market was experiencing at the same time. Too bad the premiums haven't cratered like real estate prices have.