Archive for Friday, March 19, 2010

Middle class feels health insurance pain

March 19, 2010

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Middle-class workers are shouldering the brunt of the health insurance crisis, according to a new report released Wednesday by the nonpartisan Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

The report “Barely Hanging On: Middle-Class and Uninsured” chronicles state-by-state health coverage trends, comparing 2008 and 2000.

Nationally, it found:

• $12,298 — the cost of a family insurance policy, up 56 percent.

• $4,386 — the cost of a single insurance policy, up 43 percent.

• $3,394 — the average employee contribution for family coverage when covered by employer, up 81 percent.

• $51,233 — the median household income, down 2.5 percent.

• 12 percent of private-sector employees work in businesses that do NOT offer health insurance, up 1.6 percent.

• 22 percent of employees were ineligible to participate in a company’s insurance plan, up 0.6 percent. Ineligibility includes length of time with company, hours worked and status.

• 13 million — the number of uninsured in the middle-class, up 2.4 percent.

• 43 million — the number of uninsured, up 1.7 percent.

In Kansas:

• $11,662 — the cost of a family insurance policy, up 56 percent.

• $4,197 — the cost of a single insurance policy, up 42 percent.

• $2,954 — the average employee contribution for family coverage when covered by employer, up 47 percent.

• $49,119 — the median household income, down 1.4 percent.

• 16 percent of private-sector employees work in businesses that do NOT offer health insurance, up 5 percent.

• 23 percent of employees were ineligible to participate in company’s insurance plan, up 0.5 percent.

• 77,000 — the number of uninsured in middle class, up 2.4 percent.

• 319,000 — the number of uninsured, up 1.8 percent.

The report was released as part of “Cover the Uninsured Week,” which is this week, March 14-20. It considers middle-income as those earning between 200 and 399 percent of the federal poverty level. That’s between $44,000 and $85,000 for a family of four.

In Douglas County:

• 14,000 people do not have health insurance.

• 3 — safety net clinics that serve low-income, uninsured residents:

Douglas County Dental Clinic — 1,296 clients in 2009, up 42 percent since 2004.

Health Care Access — 1,431 clients, up 58 percent.

Heartland Medical Clinic — 1,102 clients, up 26 percent.

Comments

chocolateplease 5 years, 1 month ago

Not only are insurance premiums way up, but actual out-of-pocket costs for those insured are way up as well. The policies terms have changed. If you add together all the various co-pays, coinsurance, and deductibles, it's easy for an insured family to spend thousands more in a year than what they've already paid in insurance premiums for healthcare.

gert891 5 years, 1 month ago

my son had 4 stitches at the ER in January -that is it no xray absolutely nothing else- total cost before insurance- almost $1200.00. My share after insurance almost $500.00 But that did include free removal of the stitches- how kind. The most expensive ice skating trip ever. As an added bonus..as of March 1 my plan offers no emergency room coverage at all.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

If you think they feel the pain now, wait until the government forces them to stuff the coffers of the insurance corporations just because they are American.

tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

Healthcare_Moocher (anonymous) says… It is all well and good, but just who is going to pay for it? No matter what they decide to do, there is no money to pay for it. The root of the problem is the entitlement programs all over the place. Make people go to work, then there is more money in the system for things like this.

Yeah, and how can we expect the insurance companies to pay for it? They need to make a profit. So the rich can't give up their 4th vacation house, and poor and disabled are just busy mooching off everyone, so it falls on the middle class to carry the load. Problem is the rich are making sure the middle class keep shrinking. Then what will happen? The rich think that they will just go on being rich, but they don't know how angry people get when they are getting ripped off. They aren't going to be satisfied watching the lifestyle of the rich and famous when they can't afford the basic needs. Celebrity worship won't protect the rich then.

Liberty275 5 years, 1 month ago

"My share after insurance almost $500.00"

I spent 6 hours in the ER because of a high temperature caused by a viral infection. My cost after insurance - $50. If we'd had the secondary we recently bought, I'd have made about $200 for going in.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 5 years, 1 month ago

It'd be pretty easy to pay for if we weren't forced to pay double what other comparable societies pay, and cover everybody to boot.

It's not rocket science folks-- we're getting ripped off.

cowboy 5 years, 1 month ago

Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period.

The source said it also extends Medicare's solvency by at least nine years and reduces the rate of its growth by 1.4 percent, while closing the doughnut hole for seniors, meaning there will no longer be a gap in coverage of medication. The CBO also estimated it would extend coverage to 32 million additional people.

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

ABOUT MEDICAL INSURANCE GIANTS

Do Insurance giants provide health care? NO!

Do insurance giants provide very large CEO retirement bonus packages? Yes! Does anyone consider a $73 million retirement bonus large? I do. Does anyone approve of using health care dollars this way?

What do the cost of premiums promote? Corruption by way of political campaign money!

Over rated and expensive medical insurance giants OVER CHARGE their customers over and above their greedy size premiums THEN do not provide any medical care whatsoever : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

THEY do interfere with doctors and appropriate health care = UNETHICAL/MAYBE ILLEGAL

THEY do spend tons of potential health care dollars on politicians out of the health care dollar pie = CORRUPTION : http://www.pbs.org/moyers/journal/blog/2009/10/bill_moyers_michael_winship_in.html#more

THEY do spend tons on share holders out of the health care dollar pie = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

THEY are spending tons on teabaggers to interfere with health insurance reform = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL

THEY do spend tons on CEO's = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL

THEY are spending $1.4 million per day to interfere with medical insurance reform = profits at the expense of others misfortune = UNETHICAL

THEY are spending $1.4 million per day to interfere with medical insurance reform while canceling long term ill patients who have reached their spending cap thinking they had insurance = UNETHICAL

THEY are laundering their insurance anti reform money through the US Chamber of Commerce = UNETHICAL

THEY are charging consumers more while providing less and less ALL IN THE NAME OF PROFITS : http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

THEY are the source for the misinformation campaign against insurance reform = UNETHICAL

CANCEL YOUR MEDICAL INSURANCE TODAY UNTIL SUBSTANTIAL REFORM MATERIALIZES! set up your own money making medical expense account consumers will be money ahead * nothing will change dramatically until consumers take matters into their own hands!

ralphralph 5 years, 1 month ago

People who get up and go to work in the morning tend to get screwed in most things, lately. If you're rich, you can pay for whatever you want, so it doesn't matter much what they do. If you sit on your butt, Uncle Sam will take care of you. If you work, you get screwed. The incentives are misaligned.

Flap Doodle 5 years, 1 month ago

Brace yourselves, the Grand Mess being railroaded thru Congress will make everything much more expensive. Hopenchange!

LoveThsLife 5 years, 1 month ago

Atlas I agree with you. Independent analyses have shown that the numbers the government is projecting are wrong. In fact, I was reading the other day that premiums will go up with Obamacare and not down.

On another note, with the Social Security Administration cashing in on bonds (IOU's from our dear Government) why on earth are we looking to spend more money (that we don't have) and expand the power of an already dysfunctional Washington?

a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 1 month ago

Healthcare_Moocher (anonymous) says…

"It is all well and good, but just who is going to pay for it? No matter what they decide to do, there is no money to pay for it."

Here's a newsflash for you: you're already paying for it.

a_flock_of_jayhawks 5 years, 1 month ago

snap_pop_no_crackle (anonymous) says…

"Brace yourselves, the Grand Mess being railroaded thru Congress will make everything much more expensive. Hopenchange!"

Yeah, and the world ended in November 2008 just like you predicted.

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

tomatogrower (anonymous) says…

"Yeah, and how can we expect the insurance companies to pay for it? They need to make a profit."

And, um, how do you expect the government is going to pay for it, with tax revenues falling off? Yes, the economy is showing signs of receovery, but another recession/depression could happen at any time. What happens when you turn the whole deal over to the feds to pay for, and the feds don't have the money? Oh, that's right, raise taxes - as long as it's on someone else's income, right, tomato?

"Problem is the rich are making sure the middle class keep shrinking. Then what will happen?"

For one thing, we'll have more rich people. When you get done with your class-jealous rant, take a look at what income brackets are shrinking and which are growing - there are fewer people in the middle class because the so-called upper-class is growing.


cowboy (anonymous) says…

"Comprehensive health care reform will cost the federal government $940 billion over a ten-year period, but will increase revenue and cut other costs by a greater amount, leading to a reduction of $138 billion in the federal deficit over the same period, according to an analysis by the Congressional Budget Office, a Democratic source tells HuffPost. It will cut the deficit by $1.2 trillion over the second ten year period."

1) Even the White House has pretty much stopped trying to label this 'health care reform' and is now mostly calling it 'health insurance reform', since it does nothing to reform health CARE in any way, shape, or form.

2) Those deficit reductions were announced before Pelosio announced her latest round of 'pot sweeteners' - which is typical, as the CBO only takes into account statutory expenditures, and doesn't consider discretionary expenses Congress tacks on later.

3) The CBO has also said that the cost of health insurance premiums will continue to rise. The out-of-pocket premiums for some people will go down because of the subsidies, but a) not everyone will get the subsidies, b) one of the ways they kept the cost of the 'reforms' down was to slow the rate of inflation-driven increases in the subsidies, and c) the continuing-to-increase premiums will be paid for through higher taxes; so while the government might save money, WE will continue to pay more and more.

"The source said it also extends Medicare's solvency by at least nine years ..."

Probably longer. The estimates on the savings due to Medicare cuts are probably too low. Why? Because fewer and fewer providers are accepting Medicare anyway, and that will get worse as they cut their reimbursements further. So we'll save a lot of money on Medicare because no providers will be accepting Medicare. Unfortunately, that means the additional costs will be born by those patients - but scr*w 'em, they're old, right?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

Nothing much changes until 2014 - 2015 on this vote.

WE could change a lot for the better between now and then. This is ongoing no matter what. Health Care NOW is not in the mood for giving up...no way jose'!

Maintaining the status quo = grab your wallets the medical insurance industry is getting paid back like a busted slot machine that cannot be stopped. The repub plan!

No Medical Insurance Company Left Behind http://www.healthcare-now.org/no-insurance-company-left-behind/comment-page-1/#comment-7429

Cancel your medical insurance today until substantial reform materializes! set up your own money making medical expense account consumers will be money ahead nothing will change dramatically until consumers take matters into their own hands! insurance premium money at the moment supports a ton of corruption!

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

merrill (anonymous) says…

"Maintaining the status quo ... The repub plan!"

Keep retelling the same old cut-and-paste lies, merrill, maybe someday you'll find someone mindless enough to believe you know what you're talking about.

Ann Hamil 5 years, 1 month ago

If you truly want to dialogue and not just name call and strawman this or any other political debate, here is a suggested reading and/or watching list for those who just don't understand crazy progressives (like me). Some are more provocative than others. I would welcome a similar list from those with opposing points of view. Please Note: the only reason the listings are from amazon was for convenience---I am not in anyway suggesting you buy or don't buy any of these from amazon or any other vendor--you could always check them out at a totally free "socialist" library.

http://www.amazon.com/Manda-Bala-Jader-Barbalho/dp/B0012OSGV8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1269029643&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Predator-State-Conservatives-Abandoned-Liberals/dp/1416576215/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269029571&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Free-Lunch-Wealthiest-Themselves-Government/dp/1591841917

http://www.amazon.com/Conservative-Nanny-State-Wealthy-Government/dp/1411693957/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269030601&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Corporation-Jane-Akre/dp/B0007DBJM8/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1269030727&sr=8-1

http://www.amazon.com/Food-Inc-Eric-Schlosser/dp/B0027BOL4G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1269030759&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Capitalism-Love-Story-Michael-Moore/dp/B0030Y11XS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=dvd&qid=1269030796&sr=1-1

http://www.amazon.com/Blues-History-Cross-Shield-System/dp/0875802249/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1269030993&sr=8-1

halloweenjack81 5 years, 1 month ago

Ya I'm sure the Europeans are also uncomfortable with the fact that they live longer than us too.

tomatogrower 5 years, 1 month ago

Healthcare_Moocher (anonymous) says… Tomatogrower...

It is not my problem that YOU cant pay for your basic needs. Why should I take money from my family and pay for yours? I have a good idea... you need my money... I don't have a wife. You want to share with me? You are asking for me to share something that is mine with you. It is only fair, isn't it?

Number one, I have one of those cadillac plans they were talking about taxing. I have no deductible, and pay only a $15 copay, so you aren't paying anything for me. I wouldn't want to share my money with you, because I have a lot more than you do. I'm sorry you do not consider yourself a part of society, which is why you probably don't have a wife. You pay, whether or not you think so. But I would rather my money go to help someone make a less expensive office visit, than an expensive trip to the emergency room. That's what working poor people have to do. If they aren't working, they have a medical card. I'll bet you treat the clerk in a grocery store who probably has 2 jobs just to pay the bills like low lives. If you would learn to be human, then you might find a wife to share with.

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

tomatogrower (anonymous) says…

"But I would rather my money go to help someone make a less expensive office visit, than an expensive trip to the emergency room."

Regardless of whether that costs you more. Brilliant.

Personally, tomato, I don't want you paying for either one for me. As for your having more money, I believe the Journal World's TOS preclude me from telling you where you should 'invest' it.

budwhysir 5 years, 1 month ago

first off what middle class?? I think the middle class died off long time ago round bout the time that the political giants grew another inch or two. What is upper class?? Does one have to live in the senate or house of reps to qualify??

What does health insurance have to do with it??? What if they regulate the healthcare industry and make set costs for certain procedures. And for meds, make them a certain price. Make it so health care can be priced at what it wants

camper 5 years, 1 month ago

Medicare for all.

1) It spreads out the costs 2) It is more humane 3) It eases the burden of employers 4) It raise employment 5) It raises wages 6) It covers all

leedavid 5 years, 1 month ago

I think Maxine the cartoon has this health care bill about right

"Let me get this straight......we're trying to pass a health care plan written by a committee whose chairman says he doesn't understand it, passed by a Congress that hasn't read it but exempts themselves from it, to be signed by a president that also is exempt from it and hasn't read it, with funding administered by a treasury chief who didn't pay his taxes, all to be overseen by a surgeon general who is obese, and financed by a country that's broke.

What could possibly go wrong?"

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

beobachter (anonymous) says…

"nota, very obvious what you are invested in."

As if a whiny, entitled troll like BeO could understand the concepts of personal responsibility and paying one's own way.

BTW, BeO, did you manage to find the final version yet?

Richard Heckler 5 years, 1 month ago

What increases the cost of medical insurance?
• its massive bureaucracy of over 1500 companies • profits • high corporate salaries • advertising over charges • sales commissions • Shareholders CERTAINLY increases the cost of insurance • Special interest campaign dollars Golden parachutes * Politicians as shareholders: http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/12/AR2009061204075.html

How will IMPROVED Medicare Insurance for All reduce costs by $400 billion annually? Consolidation under one umbrella = greater efficiency • Eliminates industry high dollar bureaucracy • Eliminates obscene profits • Eliminates high corporate salaries • Eliminates advertising Eliminates billions in over charges • Eliminates sales commissions • Eliminates high dollar Shareholder dividends • Eliminates Special interest campaign dollars Eliminates Golden parachutes * Generally reduces corruption substantially and reckless spending of YOUR health care dollars

• Eliminates Insurers Wrongfully Charging Consumers Billions http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/24/AR2009062401636.html

*Eliminates Leading Cause Of Bankruptcy http://www.consumeraffairs.com/news04/2005/bankruptcy_study.html#ixzz0IQKZLHHh&C

notajayhawk 5 years, 1 month ago

"*Eliminates Leading Cause Of Bankruptcy"

Like I said, merrill, just keep repeating the same tired old lies, maybe someone will be stupid enough to believe you know what you're talking about.

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