No Rise In Health Care Premiums Next Year

Next year will see a first for me.  My out of pocket health care premiums will not rise next year!  Well, technically, we’ve had a couple of years where they went down, but it was because we chose a plan that had less coverage.  But never before have we kept coverage the same and had costs not rise.

So this is great news.

How did it happen?

Well, I work for a health system herein Detroit.  The insurance company we use is affiliated with our health system, and the plan that we have is somewhat restrictive in that we can only go to doctors that work for the health system.  You can get plans where you can choose outside doctors as your in-network doctors, but they’re a lot more expensive.

So, in order to encourage our employees to use our own doctors, they’re keeping the costs for that plan the same, and raising the rest.

Kind of makes sense that they’d want their own employees to support their business.

It’s really no different than when you work for a car company and get a discount for buying one of their automobiles.

I’m pretty mb-2015-11-insuranceexcited.

Other Costs

Looking through the initial documentation, it looks like we will have some slight increases in some of the other areas of coverage, like dental and long-term insurance, but it looks like it won’t be more than $5 or $6 higher across the board.

Which is unprecedented.

Two Items To Check

I just have a couple of items that I need to clarify before we sign up for our 2016 coverage.

  1. Looking at all of our doctors. I know that our primary doctors are in the plan.  The office is in one of our nearby medical buildings.  Other physicians that we use (e.g. pediatricians, OB/GYN, etc.) are not directly employed but have, through 2015, maintained the affiliation with our plan and accepted the rates and such.  I just need to verify that they are going to stay in-network, and see what options might exist otherwise.
  2. Go to the doctor. The plan we have is a consumer driven health plan, where we pay the first $2,600 or so of our out of pocket costs, with the advantage that our employer will deposit $1,000 per year into our Health Savings Cost, making the effective out of pocket $1,600.  In order to get the full $1,000, you have to complete a checkup every two years if you’re healthy or every year if you’re not (it’s based on a score that takes account things like whether you smoke, your cholestorol and other variables).  My wife and I both passed and were exempt last year, but have to re-qualify this year.

That’s it.  I had been a little nervous about what was coming.  Health care costs are something that have caught us by surprise.  History shows that you really never know from one year to the next how things will look.  I was very pleasantly surprised this year!

Readers, how are your health care costs for 2016 looking?

7 thoughts on “No Rise In Health Care Premiums Next Year”

  1. Congrats on the news….no small feat in today’s environment. I pay for my own health insurance and just got my renewal notification….sadly not as pleasant as yours. Our premium increased by 25%….and we had little or no claims…and one can get no real answer why such a large increase took place. Our plan is a “grandfathered” POP that we have kept until we see how the ACA “shakes out”. Well it appears I will be “tipping my toe” into the ACA market. I began “shopping” yesterday on the ACA site and it appears there are several plans better…maybe a lot better than mine and appears at first glance that I may even be eligible for a bit of a “subsidy”. But this process is “mind numbing” and very scary at the same time. It will also require quite a bit of research. Challenging times in healthcare!

    • My sister-in-law is facing a similar scenario. In fact she got a letter (not sure from whom) that tells her that she could probably find a cheaper plan rather than renew the current one. It’s hit or miss!

  2. That’s good news about static healthcare costs, when everything these days seems to be becoming more expensive. I say its very important to determine whether the doctors on your panel have a good reputation because some doctors are known to order unnecessary tests and prescribe expensive medicines just because they know your insurance policy covers them.

    I was also intrigued to read about the general health checks that the policy prescribes. I have noticed that the healthcare industry is leaning more towards preventative care and that’s good news for the general public because it keeps us motivated to stay healthy and save money on medical bills in the long run. Although, I feel that the insurance companies will use this as a reason to quickly jack up your premiums if they feel you’re becoming a high-risk patient.

    • Yes, more and more employers are moving toward that. The rationale, of course, is why should someone who engages in knowingly poor behavior pay the same as someone who goes out of their way to be healthy?

  3. That’s great news! I was really lucky that for about eight years my employer covered all costs of our health insurance so all I had to pay was co-pays and 10% of procedures. It was a fantastic benefit. Then they started charging us a few years ago, but the monthly payments were pretty reasonable. I’m a contractor for that employer now and not an employee anymore, so I do miss having those benefits.

  4. You’re very fortunate….that’s never a happened for me. For keeping the same coverage, my cost would be going up (big surprise), but it’s not nearly the kind of jump we’ve seen in previous years. I hate going through this process…..every year we see how much more it’s going to cost to keep what we already have.

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