My 8 Year, Pent-up Rant

imageThis is clearly an opinion piece, read at your own risk.

It’s been about 8 years since the window in my living room fogged up and my view of the world was a blur. I finally gathered up my pennies and had a new one recently installed. Ah, that’s better. A clear view. The dogs don’t even have to jump up to see out. No more damaged sills. =-)

The window broke about the same time Obama took office. I was devastated. Not feeling much different that the Hillary followers do now. Did anyone remember the Canadian Citizenship site crashed for many that faithful day also, just like when Trump was voted in? Nah, ‘Mericans’ memories are short. I remember I slumped into a slight depression, however hoped that the next 4 years would fly by uneventfully. Maybe the Democratic congress won’t totally screw the middle class… Ha. I’m still sore from the experience.

Gas prices went up to $5.00, my house’s worth dropped $100,000, jobs were no where to be found, foreclosures rose to new levels…. Ugh! Now you’re going to tell me you’re going to make me pay for insurance I don’t need (maternity, ect)? Good god, what is happening to this country??? Have we gone socialist???

The inauguration of Trump yesterday couldn’t have come fast enough in my opinion. It didn’t happen fast enough for folks signing up for healthcare for 2017. Sadly, we still had to conform to the healthcare plan where if you make more than $46,700.00, you’re part of the 1%!! Remember, that is gross salary, the take home there is only about $35,000. 00.

Last year, I had a silver plan with Land of Lincoln insurance, which cost me $330.00 a month ($3,960.00 for the year). It was the only health plan that was accepted at the 2 closest hospitals to me. Go figure, LOL insurance had to liquidate as of last October. I got on a crappy temporary plan for the last three months, and hoped I wouldn’t need medical attention.

When the market opened in November, I started searching for my next plan. I was utterly dumbfounded. There were no longer any companies accepted by the 2 closest hospitals to me, one 8 minutes away, the other 12 minutes. I will now need to travel 40 minutes to the closest hospital. What if I’m unconscious? I have added my request to my ICE in my phone, however I’m not about to wear a medical bracelet or tattoo my chest with, “BRING ME TO AN IN-NETWORK HOSPITAL!”.

So, not only am I forced to drive to another county to go to the hospital, a comparable silver plan to 2016 was now going to cost me $890.00 per month! That is nearly an additional $560 a month, totaling $10, 680.00 per year for insurance. That’s a helluva inflation rate! And I am stuck in a monopoly situation. There is only 1 insurance carrier for my county, BCBS. How the hell did that happen? Usually, here in ‘Merica, free trade and competition keeps prices down… However, not here in northern Illinois!

In the end, I went down to a bronze plan for $520.00 a month ($6,240.00 a year), so I didn’t loose all my income. It’s still near double what I had to pay last year.

My congressman, Randy Hultgren, had this to say in a recent email:

This year, three of the seven counties in the 14th Congressional District are left with one insurance issuer, leaving residents of McHenry, Lake and Kendall Counties with a true insurance monopoly. Kane, Will and DeKalb Counties will be left with only two insurance issuers. Individuals with these exchange plans could face proposed rate increases for 2017 of up to 77.3 percent.

In addition, Illinois exchange plans have removed some of the best hospitals and doctors in the state from both their HMO and PPO provider networks, such as Northwestern Medicine and Lurie Children’s Hospital, leaving the most vulnerable people with the most significant medical needs without the options or the care they need.

Here’s a last bit of irony for ya…. While I was still looking for insurance, I called a broker who told me about a plan that was $295 a month ($3,540.00 per year), $15. office visit copays to all types of doctors (specialist included), all emergency room visits $100., all CT/MRI/x-rays $100, all generic RX free or $5 name brand… The awesomeness of the plan when on and on… My doctor and both nearest hospitals were in network also! Tears of joy streamed down my face as I continued to listen to his smooth selling voice. Chiropractic visits included, mental health visits, dietary counsel, drug rehab were all included in this plan. I was nearly lulled into the dark side by then. Suddenly, I came to my senses and asked, “What’s the catch?” It was temporary insurance (stop-gap), and only lasted 11 months and was NOT Obamacare compliant.

They say… Only about 10% of folks get caught doing something like this, and its a flat $695. or 2.5% of your salary, whichever is higher (mines higher). You can also skirt this whole situation by playing around with your deductions so you are even with the government come tax time. (You don’t owe the gov and the gov doesn’t owe you.) Why? Because how the law is written now, the gov is only allowed to remove the fee from your tax refund, and no other way. If you have no refund coming, they have no way to take it away from you!!

In the end, even if I had been caught, the $3,540. + the fee would have been less that the silver plan insurance at $10,680.00 AND the insurance would have been better.

The shitty part about this, is that for the most part, I am a law-abiding citizen. Thus, I will endanger my health to obey the law and I bought the compliant insurance.

© Ilex – Midwestern Plant Girl

43 thoughts on “My 8 Year, Pent-up Rant

  1. I hope that our future will be a better one now… in case we have one… and all paws are crossed for you and the peeps of the US… I hope it will happen that america is great again…. my insurance raised the price last year… because I have no children, so my nursing care insurance will be more eggs-pensive when there are no childrens who will pay once in many moons to this insurance too… but they were very generous, in case I can show some kids within the next 3 months they set in back in the old state… I’m sadly no guinea pig and can’t produce 87 kids within 3 months… :o(

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My husband has several maintenance drugs he has to take in order to keep breathing. A few years back, he found he could buy about half of the very same drugs from CN, pay it out of pocket, and still save an unbelievable amount of money. The medical system in the US has been broken for years. If someone can fix it, I don’t care what sex or race they are nor what their name is because currently the entire Country is being held hostage by a variety of issues under the heading of ‘medical.’

    Liked by 1 person

    • Being held hostage is right! 😣
      Just like your hubby, I’m paying a bunch for RX’s that should be covered. I have a skin disease that (for me) has responded well to using a retin-a cream. We-e-ell! If you’re over 40, insurance companies think you’re using it cosmetically and won’t cover it. Notes from doctors helped with last insurance, but not BCBS. No coverage. I’m going to look to Canada, as now a .5 oz tube is $250 and would last me a month.
      This is why I vote for Trump.
      I know he has no governmental experience, but that’s again why I voted for him. We need a shake up of our gov. (Like Reagan!) I do feel we need to be run more like a company, not feeling sorry for everyone and punishing success! If anything, why not push the $46,700 minimum to $70,000? That would help many in the middle class. Who thinks a person bringing home $46,700 could take a $10m hit to their income?!? Gaaa!

      Liked by 2 people

  3. I feel for you and all of us. I have so many problems with Medicare, AARP and all of it. I can’t even begin to list the problems. Bottom line is I can’t afford my treatments so I will remain sick.

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    • You are another prime example of the nasty situation that is going on here. I wonder if the plan that my broker dangled in front of me would have covered your treatments? If I remember correctly, the issue you have is that ‘Chronic Lyme’s’ wasn’t classified as a disease, correct? I find that just crazy. Just because it’s rare, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist. Still, if there is a medical treatment for it, which was most likely approved by the FDA, and if the FDA thinks of it as a medical treatment, then the insurance companies should consider it a medical problem and cover it!!! I didn’t do well in logic class, however that one seems pretty no brainer to me.

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  4. Ilex, I’m looking for get out of my liberal bubble here in Chicago and talk to some folks who hold other well-reasoned opinions. Would you be interested in getting coffee sometime so that I can get to hear your whole perspective?

    Full disclosure: I was an obama staffer in ’08 and found myself disappointed with much of the last 8 years.

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    • I can feel your pain of living in a liberal city. This whole state is effected by Chicago’s liberal pull. Many of us ‘outlanders’ aren’t Democrat, however we don’t have much pull against the city.
      No problem on the disclosure 😉 I’m really a Libertarian. I’m basically forced to vote Republican as my party has little pull.
      As for a perspective from me, you should read my Libertarian post =-)
      Otherwise, I’m actually not that political. I only address this stuff when things get so bad, I have to! I’d rather chat about nature and plants during a walk in the forest 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. For my 20s and most of my 30s, I had catastrophic health insurance and paid for the rest out-of-pocket. It never stopped me from going in to get the care I needed, and I figured I came out ahead in the end (even when I got to take a very expensive visit to a Canadian emergency room – where I discovered Canadian health care isn’t free to everyone, and despite what I paid, got the most abysmal treatment I have ever had and ever hope to have in a hospital/clinic. If ever you’re in Whitehorse, try not to get injured). Thankfully, Paul has insurance through work, because I don’t even want to think how much it would cost us to get insurance that we don’t need and certainly don’t want now.

    Also? That reminder of the old gas prices…just awful. Ugh. I have to remember to be more thankful when I complain about gas going up four cents.

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    • I had to start buying it myself at 28, and it was about $50 (wo maternity) I wasn’t sick and didn’t use it much.
      At 36, my insurance was $130 and I had my hysterectomy. I did have a private room, but didn’t pay more than $300 ish out of pocket.
      I haven’t needed to visit an out of country Hospital yet and of course hope not to!
      All I have to say, is that I hope we can just go back to the unregulated plans. I clearly do not need to pay for maternity!
      And just like the gas prices… I won’t bitch that they doubled from the $150 I paid in 2011 b4 the healthcare reform… and be glad that it hadn’t upped 6x! 😃

      Liked by 1 person

  6. The health insurance issue was definitely awful and has been. The strange thing is this was the Republicans original plan long ago, and it didn’t work, so now they can blame the Democrats upon it’s failure.

    I didn’t vote for Obama either time either. Socialist is not a dirty word though, I looked up the literal definition of it. My UK husband is appalled that we have to whip out our credit card to even see a Doctor. It really is ridiculous.

    We should have universal health care imo, no one should be able to profit off our health or lack thereof. There are many ways governments are stupid, but healthcare isn’t one of them to me. We can easily mirror another country’s system that works even a little better than ours.

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    • Thanks for your opinion!
      Yes! I feel it’s appalling that money is made via sick folks. I also think many presidents had a healthcare plan on their docket that didn’t get passed or even looked at. President Bill Clinton almost got his passed. ..
      I am not for a socialist society per se, however, yes I agree, there are parts of it, like for healthcare, that a socialist view would work.
      It really comes down to who and how is going to get paid.
      Currently, through my high rates, I am paying for the folks that can’t afford it. Instead of a tax, our rates went up.
      On top of that, my state has the highest rates (a monopoly situation), highest malpractice insurance rates and least amount of hospitals available to us. How is that reform?
      I wonder how and where the money comes from for healthcare in England, Australia, Canada and other countries? Maybe it is a high tax that has been around forever and no one feels the bite of it?

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  7. Your story rings true here in South Africa as well. Quality, private healthcare is unaffordable if you don’t have a medical aid membership, which costs an arm, leg an liver in itself and can only be afforded by a small percentage of the country’s people. The alternative is to make use of government clinics and hospitals where the facilities are often lacking, staff are often uncaring, demoralised and / or incompetent and the queues so long that you often have to return the following day as there just isn’t enough time in a day to see every patient…

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    • So SA doesn’t really have a plan like Australia, England or Canada… you’re like us?
      We have “County hospitals” that are geared toward the poor or folks with no coverage.
      I’ve been to one & I assumed it could be worse. It was clean and the staff was nice, however the place was packed. I didn’t have much choice of where I went, because it was an emergency, but I got through fairly quickly.
      I feel there is a better way, using sales tax, income tax… something. Don’t make me sacrifice my health by making me buy a lesser plan because I can’t afford better.

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  8. I don’t blame you for ranting! It’s a lot of money every month for very little in return. And as for travelling so far to get to the Right hospital – that’s nuts.
    If it’s any consolation, we also pay very high Medical Aid rates every month – similar to your insurance. Not everything is covered and there is usually a co-payment, which is very high in some cases. There are also free government hospitals for those without medical aid, but they are very crowded with long waits.
    So we pay it – just in case! – but hope we don’t need to go to hospital.

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  9. Why go to Canada when you can go to the British Isles? 😀
    (No offense to Canada, I’ve just got a huge crush on Scotland and the others.)

    As an income tax preprarer, I can’t say I’ve had any love for the new healthcare system. Aside from the frustrations of having a completely unrelated system sloppily thrown into taxes, only ONE of the people I look after has benefited since the penalty has been in effect, and only because for whatever ridiculous reason it wasn’t already law that a person couldn’t be turned away due to pre-existing conditions or medical history. Everybody else suffered from loss of coverage, increased premiums, that cursed penalty, and the usual stuff that’s become pretty commonplace now. And that’s just the ones who made enough to have to deal with insurance. For little po’ folks like me, we’re still bumping along with whatever patient assistance charity the clinics and pharmacies are kind enough to grant. Too rich for Medicaid, too broke for Obamacare. It has sucked for everybody from one end of the income range to the other. :/

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    • Oh! You’re thinking now! Why go to cold, snowy Canada, when a warm, sunny beach is waiting for us? Duh! That’s a no brainer! 🤗
      You’ve got a great job that is economy proof 😉 Taxes will never go away!
      So, would you have gone for the awesome 11 month plan?
      I figured The Trump would attack this stupid insurance thing ASAP… and was guessing the tax penalty dealio would be the easiest to ditch.
      How hard would it be to owe 0 on your taxes? I bet you could! 😉
      I’m just hoping things change soon. I just paid for February and my pocketbook was very light after it. 😣

      Since the law is

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      • I leave the beaches and tropics to the ocean lovers. I would rather bury up in the mountains somewhere! A good chunk of Europe is just as much on my list as the UK. Although at this rate I’d be lucky to ever do so much as a 3-day vacation.

        I don’t think there is any insurance plan currently available that wouldn’t make me grumble. They’re all about as satisfying as the current interest rates on CDs and savings accounts. Although I’d much rather deal with 0.05% savings interest than see the blasted penalty in effect. I do hope Trump gets rid of that at the very least!

        From what I’ve seen, the only way to legally get zero on your taxes is to either dip down below your status’ filing threshold, or have so many expenses in your business that it eats up all your profit, or become disabled so the only income you have is non-taxable benefits..

        Like

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