It has been reported nationally that there are predictions for dramatic increase of up to 30% for insurance deductibles in 2014. This type of reporting is often regarded as inflammatory. It’s kind of like assuming all dinner-for-two meal deals will be costing over $75 because lobster is off season at The Red Lobster.
It is not impossible for insurers to negotiate competitive lower rates with doctors and hospitals as is being illustrated, already, in many parts of the U.S. According to npr, a reliable reporting agency, there are major areas of the United States getting great bargains from our affordable health care law’s new insurance marketplaces.
Of course we are seeing less in our paychecks this time of year, taxes are deducted at a higher percentage the beginning of each year, we get used to large paychecks at the end of each year when our taxes are no longer deducted. With insurance deductibles, we have to adjust to the new year, as always, deductibles for medical and dental begin again. Not to panic, families with annual incomes below $94,000 have tax deductions coming to them next filing period for out-of-pocket medical deductibles and co-pays (you can apply the added tax refund to next years’ deductible), so if there are higher deductible costs, you’ll have a higher tax credit.
Some areas, where physicians are paid hourly instead of per-procedure, are more competitive and willing to negotiate with insurers more readily. As the voices of our government and communities, perhaps it is up to us to “help motivate the insurers” in our areas to negotiate harder. Here are some examples where people are paying less this year.
- Minneapolis, St. Paul, and seven surrounding counties, MN, $154.00
- The best coverage level “Silver Plan” is still available for $259 per month.
- Northwestern and Pittsburgh,PA, 15 surrounding counties $164
- Minnesota according to various counties ranges from $166 – $171 – $180
- Arizona – $167
- Salt Lake City – $173
- Hawaii – $176
- Tennessee – $18
The rankings are the same for everyone no matter what age group or size of family insured. Perhaps people in other areas of the country can take note of these rates and shop carefully and encourage insurers to negotiate more effectively for their clients. It seems people everywhere get sick with the same illnesses and it shouldn’t cost some Americans more to be treated for the same thing as others. If the Affordable Care Act is working in many other places perhaps we must spend some energy working out similar solutions for the rest of the country.
Rankings for Areas of the Country that need “Better Insurer Negotiators:”
- Colorado Ski Resort Towns: $383
- Connecticut – $383
- Alaska – $381
- Vermont – $395 (Same cost to all age groups)
- Georgia – $423
- Wyoming – $405
- Rural Nevada – $456
Again, only regions of each state have higher rates of deductibles, other regions are lower. This appears to add to the case that lower deductibles could and should be negotiated. These counties have acknowledged, however, that in fact, the people in these areas will be receiving government subsidies due to the higher costs. The evidence of these events point out that the government is making every effort to drive down medical prices through-out the country, but somewhere in the middle, the process is being corrupted or disrupted.