Monday, November 21, 2011


You know that saying about Social Security  being the third rail of politics?  Well, the untouchable rail for Kaiser - my HMO provider - is asking how much their services cost!  I can get all kinds of advice on choosing a plan and comparing plans until I ask what the actual costs of the services and prescriptions is,  then they want to transfer me to numbers that don't work and departments that don't exist.

In the past I have always had plans with no deductible.  Now I am considering  plans with a $1000. to $2700. deductible.  I would think asking how much actual care one gets for that much money would be an obvious question.  I am not asking for a  guarantee of costs - just a ballpark.  I'll need a mammogram, let's say 2 office visits per person and a few prescriptions between all of us on the plan. 

I've been on the phone and internet most of the morning trying to dig up this information.  Then I enlisted the benefits advisor for our company.  It took her a while and she seemed very surprised at how hard it was to find someone to give this information, too, but someone was found who was willing to spill the beans.

So now I am crunching the numbers and hoping that, even with the big increases in the premiums for 2012, that I can reduce the cost of my benefits and take home a bit more money each month.  I admit it just kills me to be concerned with out-of-pocket costs on top of paying over $1200.00 a month.

Anybody made the change to a high deductible plan and have advice to share?


hokgardner said...

We're with Humana and have a $1500 deductible. And it's fairly rotten. Fortunately, they do cover routine check-ups and mammograms and the like.

My sister, who lives in Los Angeles, has Kaiser and loves the coverage she's gotten.

Tricia said...

I just have to shake my head over the amount of time, money and anxiety that is wasted over this so called better health care process. Who is it better for? The insurance companies keep making money for themselves. I watched a show where the journalist went to 4 or 5 different countries to see how they did health care. The thing that stuck with me was that Switzerland recently voted to change from private to one payer and so many people were against it but it passed. Now, the majority say the one payer system is so much better. I think that is what the insurance companies are really worried about. There is a better way to deliver care and they don't want the American public to experience it.

michiganme said...

We have a $1,500 deductible for our family and it works out well since we'll be covered for a health crisis. We rarely meet the deductible (fortunately) and we also try to fund an HSA. We also get a couple of preventative visits covered.

I think the biggest consideration is whether your family has any chronic health problems which require frequent visits to Dr.