I’m just on the verge of reaching my annual max.
$1500 for the year.
That’s the same maximum prescription drug benefit I had back in 1999 when my health insurance plan with CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield first began. $1500.
Of course, I was only paying $150 or so for my coverage back then, and now I’m paying three times as much – because, silly, you have to take inflation into account!
Except that CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield doesn’t take inflation into account when determining my annual prescription drug coverage – it was and always will be $1500.
So how is it that CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield can justify increasing my premium every year if my benefits stay the same?
It’s a sleazy move by CareFirst Blue Cross Blue Shield.
If I keep this plan until the day I die – let’s say, hopefully, when I’m 95 or so – my prescription drug benefit will still be only $1500, which won’t be squat at that point (it’s not quite squat at this point, since my asthma drugs cost $200 to $300 a month per drug, and my eye drops for my cataract surgery are $130 or so a pop (and that was for the generic), for just 14 droplets that last me only two weeks).
The answer? In principle, ObamaCare, which I’m told will wipe out annual limits.
But there’s a catch. Some annual limits will be grandfathered, so they’re permitted to remain. Which? I have no idea.
The second catch is the Supreme Court. We they strike down health care reform as unconstitutional, and if so, will any provisions survive?
Health care is a mess in this country. Most people don’t realize it because they have insurance through their employer, and haven’t gotten sick enough to realize that they won’t be able to afford a serious illness even with insurance, either because they’ll reach their annual or lifetime limit (that they didn’t even know they had), or they won’t be able to afford the co-pay or the deductible.
Remember kids, a simple appendectomy is $25,000 in America. Even with “good” insurance, you might pay 20% of that as a co-pay, or $5,000. Or take my cataract surgery – one eye cost nearly $15,000 – 20% copay would be $3,000 (and that’s for just one eye). Anybody got that cash on hand? And without insurance or who loses their job, God help you.