My company’s quarterly meeting was today. Aside from the usual stuff about our overall financial condition (just fine, thank you) we brought up the topic of health insurance. The new rates take effect on June 1st.
Our health insurance premiums are going up 17 percent this year. Since 2000 they have increased 260 percent, while inflation over the same period has gone up just 20 percent. I almost got sick during the presentation. My premiums will hit $10,000 for the year, and I’m responsible for half of them. That’s $200 out of every bi-weekly paycheck.
Now I would probably be relieved if at least once in my life my family had actually spent ten grand in hospital and doctor bills and the insurance coverage had saved us, but we’ve never been close. Perhaps when my boys were born, the care during their birth and the 2-day hospital stay may have been a decent fraction of that amount; but each year we spend only a tiny amount on well visits and the occasional blood test. I tasted vomit in my throat while wondering if the hyper-inflation of insurance premiums is ever going to end.
As a business we cannot absorb this. The meeting focused on letting everyone know that they are about to witness the passing of the bulk of these increases from our company directly to them. Health insurance now amounts to one-fifth of all of our business’s non-labor expenses.
I’m asking anyone who actually reads this blog to call your congressman. Our system of medical coverage is broken and I, for one, must try to do something about getting it fixed.