Tuesday, October 19, 2004

I'm Confused About Health Insurance?

Maybe it's because I work for a large company or maybe Kerry's just full of it again, I don't know. Maybe a little bit of both. I got my yearly benefits package in the mail a couple of days ago and if I retain the benefits plan I'm currently on I'll be paying 7.43$ less bi-weekly than I did last year. That comes out to 193.18$ less this year total. Okay, so where's the big health cost hike Kerry promised me? I feel let down. Shame on him, he mislead (see lied to) me.

Let me break this down a bit better. I have big healthcare. There are a lot of options within my grasp for healthcare and I've chosen a lot of them. I normally don't brag about this but my company does right by it's people when it comes to benefits. The best way I can explain this is in chart form:

(My apologies for poor formatting.)

Benefit Credits - This is the amount of money my company is willing to shell out per-family for all benefits


Okay, my free money went down by 236 dollars. That stinks but it's not too bad. They adjusted proportionately for the cost reductions. Cost reductions? Just wait, you'll see.

Medical - Just what it says and then some. If you have medical through our company you automatically get free vision. Vision covers one eye exam per family member per year plus half off their prescriptions every two years. It's not perfect vision but it's free. Now the medical:


That's better, my medical dropped 331.92$. So where's the doom and gloom Kerry is touting with a Bush healthcare plan? Sure, it's only a 3% price drop but wasn't it supposed to go up? I was sort of looking forward to feeling the pinch.

To be fair, I should include some of my other benefits since it's a total package:



Basic Life Insurance: 1x my base pay (52,000) or 50,000 as a minimum.

Employee Optional Life Insurance: 4x annual base pay (207,000) This year is more than last year. Last year was 199,000 for 4x.


Spouse Life Insurance: 50,000


Child Life Insurance: 20,000

21.60_______21.60_______No Change

AD&D: Not Dungeons and Dragons. Accidental Death & Dismemberment - 2x base pay. Again, since my salary went up, so shall the coverage and the costs.


STD: No, I didn't need a shot. Short Term Disability (STD) increased from 75% to 85% base pay coverage.

322.18______123.70_____-198.48 (not a typo, decreased 62%)

LTD: Long Term Disability. I'm a computer geek. Anything short of losing both my eyes or both my hands I'll be back at work before this would ever kick in. I did not take any.

Since I've put all the data in we may as well do the simple math to calculate how much everything went down total:

2004 Costs

11,254.66 total benefit costs for 2004
937.89$ per month total for 2004
432.87$ bi-weekly total for 2004

2,066.66 total benefit costs for 2004 after 9,188.00 company share.
172.22$ per month personal for 2004
79.49$ per month personal for 2004

2005 Costs

10,825.58 total benefit costs for 2005
902.13$ per month total for 2004
416.37$ bi-weekly total for 2004

1,873.58 total benefit costs for 2004 after 8,952.00 company share.
156.08$ per month personal for 2004
72.06$ per month personal for 2004

Now for the difference comparisons any way you'd like to look at it:

11,254.66 - 10825.58 = 429.08 total benefit savings
937.89 - 902.13 = 35.76 per month total savings
432.87 - 416.37 = 16.50 bi-weekly total savings

2,066.66 - 1,873.58 = 193.08 total benefit savings after company share.
172.22 - 156.08 = 16.14 per month personal savings,
79.49 - 72.06 = 7.43 per month personal savings

Saving money on your life and health insurance = priceless
If you ran the numbers on any one of the above figures you would notice that there is a 4% total benefit savings and a 9% personal benefit savings. I'm sure to many of you these numbers are pretty boring but they tell a story, my story. Numbers like these are what inclines me to go with the incumbent president, Bush. It was under his administration that this strange event, saving on health insurance, took place. Is this a representative of all companies and all insurances everywhere? No. This is what has happened with my health and welfare benefits. It may not be representative of even the people sitting next to me. Then again, it could be happening all over the country. We don't have the demographics in yet.

I'm going to ask again because I'm still confused: where's the big health cost hike Kerry promised me?

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