Better Health: Smart Health Commentary Better Health (TM): smart health commentary

Article Comments (1)

Health Insurance Goes Up For Doctors, Too

Physicians aren’t exempt from the struggles with personal health insurance coverage, affordability, denied coverage, etc.  

When I finished my medical training and opened my practice 20 years ago, I had to buy individual coverage. All options included a rider that excluded coverage on my uterus and ovaries due to fibroid surgery during my training, so when I had my TAH & BSO a few years later, the entire cost came out of my pocket. Fortunately I knew how to ask for cost reductions, but still.

My husband and I are both small business individuals. I have always carried our health insurance under my name (office). Over the years we have gone to a health savings account with a high deductible to keep the cost reasonable. Fortunately, we have been mostly healthy. Last month we received a letter from Assurant Health.

The letter told us of a policy change that includes a $75 ER visit charge. I thought this might be their way of avoiding a policy increase, but no. Last week I received the notice regarding an increase to our policy. Currently, our premium is $619.76 per month plus a mandatory $100 deposit into the HSA each month. 

The notice included this good news:

“Congratulations! You’re a Healthy Discount candidate. To determine your eligibility for the Healthy Discount, answer all 6 questions below. Please consider the last 12 month when answering these questions:

  • Been recommended or scheduled for surgery that has not been complete?
  • Been recommended to have or is anyone contemplating infertility treatment or been treated for infertility?
  • Received or been recommended to have any treatment for alcoholism, alcohol or drug abuse or addiction or mental or nervous conditions?
  • Been cited for operating a moving vehicle under the influence of alcohol or drugs?
  • Received a diagnosis for any serious medical condition such as heart disease, stroke, cancer, diabetes, HIV, AIDS, or any other progressive disabling condition?
  • Been incapacitated or hospitalized due to an accident or illness?”

The “good news” is that since we can answer “no” to all 6 questions, our new premium will be $761.71 per month rather than $842.87 per month. The mandatory $100 deposit into our HSA remains the same. A simple 23% increase rather than a 36% increase. 

Earlier this year, policy increases of up to 39% in California, Indiana, etc. led the House Committee on Energy and Commerce to summon the chiefs of WellPoint, UnitedHealth Group, Humana and Aetna to the Hill to answer questions.  Policy increases by other companies seem to be flying under the radar. 

If you missed them, check out the posts by Shadowfax here and here on Assurant Health.

*This blog post was originally published at Suture for a Living*

You may also like these posts

    None Found

Read comments »

One Response to “Health Insurance Goes Up For Doctors, Too”

  1. Nancy Pelosi said the yes vote for heath reform was a vote for the people vs. a vote for the insurers. All you have to do is read this post to be outraged yet again at what health insurers have been allowed to do. The CEO of WellPoint got a raise to $13.6M in 2009…the same year they were raising premiums up to 40%.Why did they do it? Because they can!!!

    Health reform is a tiny step in the right direction. Now we need to continue voting for the public rights.

Return to article »

Latest Interviews

IDEA Labs: Medical Students Take The Lead In Healthcare Innovation

It’s no secret that doctors are disappointed with the way that the U.S. healthcare system is evolving. Most feel helpless about improving their work conditions or solving technical problems in patient care. Fortunately one young medical student was undeterred by the mountain of disappointment carried by his senior clinician mentors…

Read more »

How To Be A Successful Patient: Young Doctors Offer Some Advice

I am proud to be a part of the American Resident Project an initiative that promotes the writing of medical students residents and new physicians as they explore ideas for transforming American health care delivery. I recently had the opportunity to interview three of the writing fellows about how to…

Read more »

See all interviews »

Latest Cartoon

See all cartoons »

Latest Book Reviews

Book Review: Is Empathy Learned By Faking It Till It’s Real?

I m often asked to do book reviews on my blog and I rarely agree to them. This is because it takes me a long time to read a book and then if I don t enjoy it I figure the author would rather me remain silent than publish my…

Read more »

The Spirit Of The Place: Samuel Shem’s New Book May Depress You

When I was in medical school I read Samuel Shem s House Of God as a right of passage. At the time I found it to be a cynical yet eerily accurate portrayal of the underbelly of academic medicine. I gained comfort from its gallows humor and it made me…

Read more »

Eat To Save Your Life: Another Half-True Diet Book

I am hesitant to review diet books because they are so often a tangled mess of fact and fiction. Teasing out their truth from falsehood is about as exhausting as delousing a long-haired elementary school student. However after being approached by the authors’ PR agency with the promise of a…

Read more »

See all book reviews »