After being on hold for about 20 minutes, I finally got through and talked with this young woman (who put me on hold for about ten minutes after I asked her why my rates had gone up) who informed me that my rates went up because I was renewing my enrollment on the plan. But the main reason for the increase, according to this woman, is the rising cost of health care. She went through a list of things like perscription medications, doctors visits, and medical tests that increased over the past year.
After a quick Google search and selecting the first item about health care costs in 2011, I came up with this article from CNN stating that health care was expected to rise 9% in the next year. I get the fact that things increase in cost. I don't get the fact that there is over 20% of that cost that has nothing to do with the increasing costs of health care.
This is why I don't like dealing with insurance. You pay a premium religiously every month, and when you really need it, they fight you all the way to pay for what you contracted them to pay for. The lack of transparency is appalling. I tried to go find the financial report (which is more like a marketing brochure) from our company's web site from 2010 to get a rough estimate on what they might have made over the course of the last year. The report for 2010 was not available, so I went with the 2009 numbers instead. I guess the public isn't allowed to see their profits though. Here were a few interesting graphics which were side by side in the 2009 Annual Report:
|2009 membership numbers|
|2009 total reserves|
I understand that businesses need to make money in order to survive. I also understand that if you bleed everyone dry, they won't have the funds to pay for your services. I also have a sneaking suspicion that the people who are on the right end of the graph on this page are the ones who are increasing my rates an additional 23% because they didn't get the opportunity to go on a week-long paid vacation with each of their friends this past year because they had to tighten their belt.