Obamacare will increase premiums

December 23, 2010

My son has a small company in Maryland (a one person operation) and is working hard every day to make ends meet. Two years ago, due to increasing health care costs, we changed his health plan from a traditional major medical plan to a high deductible ($1,200 ) health savings account HMO for a significant savings. His monthly premium was reduced from about $350 a month to about $90 a month. The two yearly increases he has received since the origination of the plan has taken the current premium to $ 128 per month.

Recently, while estimating what it would cost for a new member to duplicate the exact same current plan my son has with CareFirst, I was told the cost would be $204 — a 59.3 percent increase. When contacting CareFirst, we were told that the new price was due to all the requirements and regulations in the recent health care reform initiatives passed this year, such as preventive care, pre-existing conditions and the elimination of lifetime limits, just to name a few. We were also told that his price would not be increased to this new higher level now because his plan was being "grandfathered" until such time that the changes are mandated for everyone.

The reason the high deductible account was selected in the first place was to minimize the monthly premium and to utilize health insurance as a catastrophic insurance plan where you have good coverage in the event of a serious illness or injury. The thought was the insured party — my son, should not nickel and dime the insurance carrier where you expect some kind of reimbursement or entitlement for every little health claim cost.

Now due to the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act signed into law in March of 2010, his health care premiums will eventually increase 59.3 percent or more depending on when the "grandfathered" status is lost. I thought this plan was supposed to save everyone money, or at least that was how it was sold to the public.

Tom McNamee

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