Nope -- right here in Chattanooga, Tennessee -- policy is through BC/BS of Tennessee.
...And I sell insurance for a living, as well (life insurance and Medicare Supplemental, not <65 health coverage).
The carriers are allowed to offer different plans, and to play with deductibles, co-pays, out-of-pocket maxes, etc.
I have the rate increase letter sitting on my desk; for a $5500 per person deductible, $11000 family deductible, with co-pays, I have been paying $825 a month without a subsidy, and the premium will increase effective 1/1/15 to $999.70 or so.
The reason we chose BC/BS is because of their reputation, network access, plus for the particular type of insurance product, they were the most competitive apples-for-apples at the time of open enrollment last year.
Do you receive a subsidy? I do not.
Perhaps the difference is that I am insured along with my wife and my 3 kids.
30, 29, 5, 1, 1 are our ages.
And yes -- that's for an $11,000 out of pocket max family deductible -- now $1000 a month starting 1/1/15.
If you read the news, BC/BS publicly stated they under-priced premium levels and have had 15%-25% increases across the board.
Either way, premium increases will only continue to go up long-term.
Fairmon, of course. The whole thing is a Trojan Horse with the ultimate goal of Universal Healthcare.
If one has a modicum of intelligence, it is easily understandable that premium increases are on slate for everyone, due to the market manipulation.
Really, the solution to controlling premium escalation is removing state-regulated intervention.
Prior to Obamacare implementation, I think the market reaction to increasing healthcare premiums was heading in the right direction by segmenting categories of risk (smokers, obesity) and charging them higher premiums if they do not take advantage of programs to cease smoking or over-eating.
There are a few huge drivers to illness, namely smoking and obesity -- much like a tax, by charging higher premiums on those risk categories, it would motivate positive health change and discourage those activities which cause greater expense to the group healthcare plan.
This forum is full of a bunch of talk, but I found it interesting to share substance for a change.
The Democrat Progressives are incredibly savvy and have a multi-year horizon to enact their political objectives, versus the Republicans' political incoherency, who were only elected because their distaste was worse than Democrats.
The worst is yet to come!
With the Obama Administration illegally delaying the implementation of Obamacare beyond the Midterms on small business last year, wait to you see that huge disaster unfold.
Just got my Affordable Health Care Act policy renewal letter in the mail.
My $11,000 deductible BC-BS plan is going up from $825 a month to $1000 a month.
I can't express my gratitude enough that my wife with her health history is covered, as well as my children, so while I complain about the premium increase, I will pay it without hesitation.
With that said, I can't recall the last time I have seen premiums increase on any of my private health care plans in the past, or any of my wife's high risk pool plans she was in in the past that were of this magnitude.
The emotionalism on full tilt regarding verifying identity is beyond belief.
Does anyone think the "honor" system still exists in this world?
Trust, but verify.
Six months for 95% of people to get their sh*t together enough to head down and verify themselves is HARDLY a challenge, much less anything to attempt political leverage with.
I'd even work in special exceptions in circumstances where that cannot be done.
Al -- what changed your mind and why?
You understand you are in the category of us "bigoted" and "racist" Republicans, now.
Sounds like you are agreeing with me on some marginal level.
All human life, inconvenient or not, has value, and shouldn't be terminated due to circumstances out of its control.
...And this is coming from an Atheist.
I am posing the question because as evidenced in this thread concerning the matter of abortion, very few people can answer a simple question regarding the value of human life.
Clearly rape and incest is an abomination and a horror.
My point is that "the means do not justify the ends." A human life spawned in horror does not make it any less of a human life.
And I, nor anyone else who thinks deeply about this manner, has the moral certitude to terminate life without a clearly rational, probable threat to the host.
Which is why I leave the only exception for abortion to occur when the mother is exposed to high levels of risk of death.
Not including the threat of death to the mother, is an innocent, human life ever so inconvenient that it should be terminated?
In response to Al:
"I can see that argument during the starting up phase of a business establishment. But what about after the business has been operating for five years, profitably all the way?
There are businesses with stiff competition that have slimmer profit margins than others, but fast food is not one with slim margins at all. Profits are quite extensive."
That's what you don't understand; profits are the net result of the risk taken by the investor -- the profits are HIS proceeds for putting his assets and personal name on the line.
Now what HE decides to do to pay his employees is HIS business. Not yours.
Remember, his employees can walk away with zero risk and financial responsibility from problems the company is having anytime.
"Whatever happened to loyalty in this nation. Everyone has this attitude that if you don't like it, leave. &^% that. It's time for loyalty to be restored in this country. Loyalty is what built this nation."
With a personal sales force of two dozen in a highly-competitive market, I personally agree with you regarding loyalty, and agree that I run my business with the idea of paying a premium for quality.
...But the difference between me and you is that I will not FORCE another to pay a premium if their business does not allow for it, as that is not my call to make (nor yours).
"Apparently, minimum wage workers are not valued and they are not paid what the market will bear."
Bad reading comprehension again -- An employee's economic value is equal to the wage he is paid. If the wage demand is greater than the economic limit to that job, then the job is eliminated, outsourced, or mechanized.
Sorry facts suck, but they are what they are.
"Yes...I am aware that this statement is in every Republican handbook. It's horse squeeze topped with B.S."
No, it's Economics 101. To demonstrate this fact, I would like you to tell me what the effects of a $50 minimum wage would be. Obviously it is an absurd notion, but that's not the point.
All businesses have costs to sell goods, and an increase in any of those costs will effect in some way how profitably the business operates.
"Not too many people will take a pay cut from an income that requires them to do nothing for it, to one that pays less for having to do who knows what to earn it.
Your hopes are too high for most people on welfare."
Right. But it is not the burden of the business community to provide a higher wage to folks who have the capability but lack the motivation to provide for themselves -- that's my point.
Who defines fair?
The employer? He's intrinsically at personal financial risk if his business fails.
The employee? The employee with a work ethic has options if he is unsatisfied with his current position, whether that's working elsewhere or getting another job.
Additionally, supply and demand (read facts, not fiction or subjective concepts like "fair") dictate positive wage increases where the supply of open positions is greater than the jobs, or where high-paying industry lifts the average wage for all (Subway and Walmart workers are paying $15-$20 an hour in North Dakota due to the Fracking Boom).
Bottom line -- You are paid on a combination of the value of your work and what the market will bare, nothing more.
Artificial means to increase the minimum wages causes distortions in the economy, which ends up hurting both small businesses and entry-level workers without any marketable skill-sets.
You mis-read my point -- Employers take financial risks on hiring, especially if things go south.
It is well documented the cost of mis-hires to the business.
My point is this -- increasing wages increases the risk on hiring new people without minimal or no skills. Which in return causes employers to seek alternative ways to operate the business to reduce or eliminate the cost.
Your last point avoids the problem; it is not an employer's responsibility to compete with welfare. It is the welfare recipient's responsibility to motivate themselves at the long-term benefit of work to rise out of welfare.