We have gone through a series of premium increases since Obamacare started being enforced in our state. In 2013 (pre-Obamacare), our yearly premium was $2160. The last renewal took us to $4992. This is for a “bronze” plan with the highest possible deductible allowed.
We avoid the government marketplace because we do not qualify for any subsidies plus we want no part in accepting money that has been taken by force from other people (normally that is called “theft” but the government calls “taxes/shared responsibility”) just because it is available. Our only choice for coverage in OK is Blue Cross Blue Shield and open enrollment has become a nightmare and their customer service has plummeted. After all, why should they provide good service? By law I have to buy their product so they are more interested in getting me to buy a more expensive plan than they are in taking care of my needs.
During the last open enrollment period it was impossible to enroll through their website – it was always non-responsive. I tried different times of day (even once at 3am); I tried enrolling on the very first day of open enrollment, I tried enrolling a few weeks later – the website would not cooperate (this had never been an issue before). Finally, I called them. I wanted to change plans because the plan they chose for me to automatically renew into had an increase of close to $200/month! IT TOOK 3 HOURS TO GET ENROLLED IN A NEW PLAN OVER THE PHONE. Furthermore, in order to begin the change process (after I had been juggled between a receptionist and then a sales person who really did not want me to switch to a lower costing bronze plan) the customer service rep asked me for my Blue Cross Blue Shield website username and password! Not only is that extremely unprofessional but I figured out what what they were doing. The rep was going online, logging in as me, and filling out the website form (as I should have been able to) and peppering this ridiculous exercise with long legalese readings. At one point, the rep clicked on the wrong option and we had TO START OVER!!!
Worse, Blue Cross Blue Shield is faceless – there is no one to escalate issues and log complaints with. All you have access to is an army of customer service reps that cannot do anything but the very small and confined tasks they have been assigned to. The state insurance commissioner provides no help in these matters either.
Thanks Obamacare for killing marketplace competition and using my taxes to pay people to be slothful and ineffective. Next year I may just take the tax penalty rather than go through this again. Obamacare has effectively turned insurance companies into extensions of government bureaucracy while coercing me to play along. The insurance company “fat cats” that Obama supposedly loathes are only getting richer while I pay more and more for an insurance policy that has too high a deductible to be useful while remaining affordable. Obamacare is violence by other means.
Premium Before Obamacare: 2160.00
Premium After Obamacare: 4992.00