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03-19-2011by Colleen King
This past week, after much controversy, Blue Shield of California canceled it’s rate increase set for May. It was supposed to be in March, they were asked to delay it 60 days by the insurance commissioner, which they did. So after already having two rate increases since October of last year, Blue Shield canceled this current rate increase and has said no more ‘rate actions’ through the end of the year. Click here for the details.
Basically, it appears that one reason this was able to happen was expenditures for health care services late 2010 were less than anticipated. SO, does that mean everything’s okay?
Not sure; what if expenditures exceed what is expected? Conventional thinking is that when times are tough, people skip care that is not essential. This is either because they have no insurance or their insurance puts more of the initial costs on the member. That’s how you keep insurance premiums down, especially when you hear about rate increases like these.
I’m concerned about what happens next year, wondering if rates will fly up to a ridiculous level. Carriers are being expected to do things and cover services in ways not previously experienced, and don’t know how to price for it, so they shoot rates up. And it’s not just Blue Shield, it’s happening with all the carriers.
So to all of you who said to me ‘hey, I thought health care reform was supposed to drop rates,’ I told you it wasn’t going to happen any time soon. Believe me, I’m sorry I was right!...read more
03-01-2011by Colleen King
Okay, so it’s one reason that insurance premiums are so high, but it’s a big one.
On AOL today there was an article about several drugs that will be coming off patent–big name drugs like Lipitor. Drug companies, in order to recoup their ‘research and development’ costs have exclusive rights to a drug they develop for several years. Read here for more. And check out the BILLIONS in sales each of these generates!
Is your drug on this list? Well, if you take Lipitor, Protonix, Zyprexa, Concerta or several others, over the next 2-3 years you’ll see a drop in costs. If you don’t have health insurance, one thing that I’ve told my clients to do is check at Costco. You don’t have to be a member for prescription purchases necessarily. They have a ‘price checker’ on their site that I refer to often. Prices can vary by location, and the pricing here is based on buying from Costco.com. Check your local Costco to see what the cost actually is. The one in Northridge near me is usually pretty close.
Point is, to bring down the cost of health care in general and insurance too, you have to be a saavy consumer. Many studies show that people spend more time researching an auto or TV purchase that things related to their health care. Enough of ‘buyer beware,’ time make smart choices. You can start with your drug purchases....read more
01-24-2011by Colleen King
01-14-2011by Colleen King
01-01-2011by Colleen King