Having been covered by my employer for my working life, it was a shock to start paying for it myself back in early 2015, but it was part of my retiring early calculation. To start with I opted for COBRA to maintain the same coverage that we had. The cost for that was $1,954 per month and was probably equivalent to a platinum+ policy.
Summary of Costs
- Up to the end of 2014 – Paid by employer
- Jan 2015 – Dec 2015 – COBRA $1,954
- Jan 2016 – Present – Blue Shield $1,580
- Jan 2017 – Future – Blue Shield $2,041
When COBRA expired, I found out that United Health Care no longer covered California. As a result I started shopping around using Aloha Insurance. In trying to calculate what I thought would be the best plan for cost, I opted for the Blue Shield Gold plan at $1,580 per month. I was quite pleased at the time because it cut my costs per month by $370.
Once I started claiming, I realized that the coverage for out of network was not as good as I expected, therefore I recently started looking around again and I am planning to switch to a Silver plan for $1,300 per year, another $200 saving. However, I just received the automatic reminder to look at plans for 2017 and I almost fell out of my chair. The new rate for our current plan is $2041 which is a 29% increase. From my perspective, this is a totally unacceptable increase. The new rate for a silver plan is $1550.
So in order to maintain the basic monthly cost, I am almost being forced to change plans and go to a lower tier. Not sure yet what I plan to do. I need to try and estimate the best plan/coverage for our situation. One piece of good news is that our eldest graduates in May and will move to his own policy with his employer.
Are you not covered by your employer, and earn too much to be covered under the Affordable (Ha Ha) Health Care Act? Let me know what you think about exploding health insurance rates.