Group Health Insurance Premiums

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I would like to get some help on a really bad thing that is happening to me (and I suspect many other people).

Since 9-11-01 my employers health insurance premiums jumped significantly. This is understandable I guess since there must have been lots of claims. HMO premiums were expensive before the attacks, but now they are outrageous and I doubt if anyone with significant debt can afford it.

I have been quoted my new monthly cost would be $511.00 to cover myself and my wife. When my child is born in November I have to register her under the plan and that will make my monthly premiums $768.00!!! :eek:

Is this the norm for everyone else? This is almost my morgage payment! There is no way this could be affordable to most middle-income families with normal obligations.

My question is: is there any bargaining with them (don't know if I shouldn't name the insurance company) to get something a little more reasonable? I have as much been told by a couple people that you have to just "bend over" because there is nothing you can do about it.

If all group insurance is going to be this high, what about MSA's? Do you know if that would be a better choice? I have heard some info on Clark Howard (syndicated talk show) but don't know if it would benefit my family to break away from the HMO hell we are in already. Any insights or advice is welcome! :p
Unfortunately, everyone I know is going through the same hell. This is something to complain to President Bush about since this matter is probably the most troubling issue to come to light since 9/11 forced all of us to pay more to deal with the risks associated with the fundamentalist terrorists. Do I think insurance companies are passing a cost on to us that doesn't truly correspond to the true cost of health insurance? Yes....

This is an issue we will be interested in resolving as well.
getting out of the mess

So then there is little to do but pay then?
Personally, I don't think pleading with Bush will really solve the problem. If he signs a law to provide relief for insurance holders or carriers (as an incentive to lower premiums) then he will have to raise taxes. So either way, the money is going to be taken from our incomes. We are either paying the HMO or paying more tax.

I see this gouging by insurance carriers as the precursor to financially forcing citizens to rely on government for everything. We become a welfare case for our basic needs. What are those who can't afford insurance to do? Apply for medicaid?

Do you have any information on MSA accounts? I have heard they are a tax-sheltered account that you can deposit funds to accrue for your personal health needs. You don't pay premiums that will never get redeemed. If you don't get sick, you can cash it out when you want (paying tax) and spend it how you want.

Insurance carriers base business on the fact that 90% of their clients don't get sick and their premiums more than pay for their claims in accounts payable. Those 90% are paying for nothing but a shade of security that they can pin their health costs on the insurance co. Most insurances want to drop you at the first sign of mental or hereditary illness. You could have paid your premiums for 20 years faithfully and never made a claim. You get diagnosed with liver cancer and they ditch you like a bad date.

Would like to know more about MSA's and how to give HMO's the shaft. More people should look into it and find a way out. What are your opinions?
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