Right around now is when we typically get information about our benefits for open enrollment on our health care plan.
I'm getting a little nervous for two reasons:
- We haven't heard anything yet
- The ‘promise of same' could come to an end
- Others working for different companies have reported changes due to ‘Obabmacare'
Let me explain:
The first point is pretty obvious. The longer you wait on something where the costs and coverage are unknown and can be so variable, the more you start thinking that ‘No News Is Definitely NOT Good News'.
The second point has to do with our company. Our unit was spun off into a separate company in 2008, at which point we were told that the benefits would remain largely transparent for the foreseeable future. In 2009, they actually hadn't finished the spin-off so we still got the exact same plan and beneifts. In 2010 they lived up to the promise and kept the benefit levels the same (though they did switch providers). Now that they're over two years out from that, there is always the chance that the benefits get whacked changed.
The third point is that the new health care reform could definitely change things. Just reading people's reactions on Facebook and such as their companies announce benefits has alerted me that the possibility exists for change because of the new legislation. To what degree this does/could impact us, I have no idea.
Of course, anything could change, but the areas that I'm most nervous about are:
- Higher employee contributions – We're probably not getting raises again this year so every time they deduct more from our paycheck , it hurts a little more
- Preventative care changes – Our plan is nice because it covers 100% of preventative care, most notably immunizations and well visits, which are both frequent and expensive for toddlers
- Removal of the ‘no deductible' option – Our company offers a plan where you don't have a deductible if you use exclusively in-network providers (with the offset being that you get soaked if you use an out-of-network provider). Since they have a very comprehensive provider list, we've never had an issue with this, and it's saved us the $500 or $1000 that is fairly common with other plans. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that they don't decide to remove this offering.
All I know is that each passing day with no news makes me more and more nervous…..