Picking up Nickels

Monday, October 17, 2011

My modest (yes, really!) health insurance premium increase

Documenting large annual health insurance premium increases has been a rite of passage for me since I've started this blog. But lo and behold, I actually had a modest 2.1% price increase to maintain the current HMO coverage that I currently have with no plan downgrades or reduced benefits. In fact, this was the smallest price increase that I've endured without downgrading my healthcare plan (four times) since I started tracking this data in 2001.

Since 2001, my health insurance premiums have increased by 148% while the rate of inflation during that time is a much lower 28% (so says usinflationcalculator.com):



While I'm very pleased to have kept this profit eating monster at bay for a year, one thing I'm confused about is the reason behind this uncharacteristically low price increase. While I mentioned last year that I don't believe that President Obama's healthcare reform was the cause of large premium increases since costs started getting out of control long before he took office, I also don't believe that it caused this dramatic change in the typical price increases I've become accustomed to. And while this trend would greatly help our businesses and local/state/federal governments if it continues, I think the inevitable return to greater-than-inflation healthcare price increases will only hinder job growth, increase budget deficits, and add to the growing ranks of people without health insurance. Bah, humbug!

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