Our first blow was that our health care provider (the one we have for our company) sent us a letter saying they would keep the company insured, if instead of continuing in our current policy, we renewed “early” at only a 4.76% increase in premium.
Our current policy won’t be renewed when it expires next year (because it likely doesn’t comply with the government minimum requirements) and they wanted us to be on a calendar year, instead of a fiscal one. They also stated everyone would lose all the dollars they have spent towards their deductibles this year and would have to start over at zero. To their credit, I do believe that the increase was to cover the government mandated minimums my current plan didn’t already contain.
At first I thought the letter was a “you do this by 12/1/13″ or you have no insurance, a non-negotiable statement of fact. However after talking with my insurance agent, I was advised they had to keep us till the expiration date of our contract, but at that time did not need to offer our company another years plan or services – and of course, the premium could go up more than the 4.76%.
So after approximately 29 years of providing 100% free health care for myself and my employees – we are now going to have to all fend for ourselves after our policy end date next year. As a small business the cost of providing this care – in these economic times -has become a hardship to the business…. and while it was never cheap, it was a benefit I proudly gave every single employee. That ends early in 2014 when we all will have to sign up with a government sponsored plan.
Blow two – came when my doctors office informed us that they have signed up with what is called a “concierge” program and in order to be a patient of theirs you have to pay $1800.00 per person per year. Yes, you read that right. That’s not fees for services – it’s just to be their patient. You will still have to pay for visits, pay your deductibles and every other fee that you had previously — this is in addition to those fees.
Obviously, this is a way to insure they have a certain amount of dollars coming in at all times. There could be a lot of patients who sign up — they say you will get more time with the Dr. and more care, but I don’t think that’s really going to happen. And quite honestly I was never happy with their care but it’s so darn hard to find a doctor who is even taking new patients that we “settled” with them. We have been with that practice 8-10 years, but I am not signing up because “they” as doctors decided they needed to pad their pockets with $1800 from each and every patient who wants to stay with them.
Since we usually only go to the doctor once a year, for our “previously” free physical and medicine renewals - my husband and I would in essence be paying $1800/each for that one visit. Surely you can see how for us, it’s not even close to worth it. I feel bad for some who are so connected with serious illnesses or problems that they feel they have to pay – but we don’t and won’t. So as of January 1, 2014 – we have no providing physician either!
Could this be a trend to the future? It might be. I guess we all will just have to wait and see.
How have you been affected by the new healtcare regulations? Are you losing your coverage?