Anthem has a lot of nerve…and I’m furious

I’ve been advised, that as of October 1, 2010, my health insurance plan premiums are going up.  Not the 40% originally planned by Anthem Blue Cross, but a whopping 17%, meaning that my monthly payment for me and my daughter will go from $439 to $527. Annually that means an additional $1020 out of my pocket (for a total of $6324 per annum) on top of my $40 copay per visit and my annual deductible.

The letter from Anthem talks in circles about health care reform and how these changes may or may not have affected my policy and that my age and that of my daughter (10) may have something to do with the increase (a basic bunch of crap to tell us that any excuse is allowable for raising rates) and again in circles about how they realize how tough the economy is:

At Anthem, we understand that raising premiums creates many challenges and is hard on individuals and families, especially in these tough economic times.  We know that we can do better — and we will — but we can’t do it alone.  We’re all in this together.  We’re working with doctors, insurers, regulators and you to improve the health care enviornment. And we are investing in many initiatives to reduce the cost of care, including:

  • pushing harder for higher quality health care from our partners
  • negotiating for the best rates for health care products and services on your behalf
  • making more tools available to help you better manage your health and out-of-pocket costs
  • continuing to provide significant discounts through access to our large nationwide provider networks

…blah…blah…blah…

This past year I turned 50, which meant it was time for me to have a preventative colonoscopy.  Considered an out-patient surgery by my plan, my cost, plus co-pay would have meant close to $1000 for me.  I was not able to take care of it last year and it is unlikely I’ll be able to afford $1000 for that procedure this year.  Interestingly, the new health care reform bill will be phasing in the cost of colonoscopy to be part of the included wellness health program that insurance companies will have to cover.  I guess I’m being charged that amount anyway.  Not only am I furious, I’m disgusted.  The spirit of health insurance reform is to help Americans have affordable health care coverage and actually be able to take preventative steps to stay healthy.

As of Monday, I’m exploring my options with Kaiser (an HMO organization) and we’ll see if I can do better there.  Disgusting.  Shame on Anthem, the state of California’s LARGEST health benefits company.  They say they are

“committed to help transform health care in California and make sure we meet your needs.”

If anyone from Anthem leadership is a Gen Plus reader, let me assure you…you are definitely NOT meeting my needs.  Where is a 17% increase warranted in ANY company right now? Auggghhh!

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