That's just ridiculous

atodd's picture

Dear Editor,
I am writing to complain and to call for action.
My husband and I renewed our individual health insurance for 2018 and it was
a simple, if painful, process. After researching online and consulting with
our insurance broker, we went with the same plan as last year, Anthem Bronze
Pathway X HMO 5400, as it is the least expensive plan that best fits our
needs. This is not a great plan, definitely not a “Cadillac” health
insurance plan. It has a $5400 per person deductible and $7350 per person
max out of pocket.
I’m 59 and my husband is 60.
Our income is greater than $64,960 – we do not qualify for subsidies.
Our monthly premium will increase $770.02 per month in 2018.
We will pay $2931.64 per month / $35,179.68 this year on health insurance.
That’s just ridiculous.
The exact same Anthem plan, with our specifics (age and income), purchased by
Boulder residents costs $1463.72 per month / $17,564.64 per year.
Boulder residents will pay $17,615.04 less than what we will be paying.
That’s just ridiculous.
Colorado has nine health insurance “regions” that allow health insurance
companies to opt in or out of the market, and to charge different rates in
each region. Boulder County is in the least expensive region with many
providers and a wide array of plans. Ouray County is in the most expensive
region and has only one health insurance provider, Anthem.
Insurance companies are making tons of money. According to a report in
Forbes in April of 2017, “Anthem’s profits soared 44 percent to $1 billion in
the first quarter of 2017.” In November 2017, Axios reported “Blue Cross
Blue Shield health insurance companies have more than quintupled their net
profits in the first half of this year compared with the same six months of
2016, according to an analysis of financial records by Fitch Ratings.”
I am in favor of non-profit health insurance. Unfortunately, the Colorado
single payer plan did not pass the vote in 2016 and my dream that the State
of Colorado would purchase Rocky Mountain Health Care and offer a state co-op
plan did not materialize. Maybe it’s not too late…
I’m sending this letter to my Colorado State Senator, my Colorado State
Representative and Marguerite Salazar, Colorado State Insurance
Commissioner, at 1560 Broadway, Suite 850, Denver CO 80202.
If you feel as I do and would like to see positive change resulting in more
affordable health insurance across the state of Colorado, please contact your
senator, representative and the insurance commissioner. Tell them your
story. Ask what they are going to do for the residents of Colorado,
especially those in the most expensive health insurance regions.

Thank you,
Dana McCullam
Ridgway