Spend MORE money with Insurance!

TUM and I recently claimed domestic partnership, and I was added to the company insurance. I thought, ‘hey, I’m doing the right thing by having health insurance!’ and did the happy dance because my out of pocket expenses were going down. There was much cause for rejoicing! Right until I did the comparison.

TUM is paying $300 a month for the both of us. I didn’t have to change doctors or pharmacists, something for which I am thankful. The service with the doctor hasn’t changed, nor the other things that are required. We’re spending more for medications and more for doctor’s visits.

Let’s look at medication.

Without insurance, I was able to fill a three month prescription.
Cost: $75 for 3 months.

With insurance, I am limited to a single month’s prescription.
Cost: $33 for 1 month.

Yes, that’s a $26 increase in medication costs.

How about the doctor’s visit?

Without insurance, I paid $120 for the entire visit. This includes lab work and the visit. The doctor ordered only necessary tests, and was able to give me discounts on the items which I needed. This was a general check up that comes with standard bloodwork.

With insurance, I paid $60 for the office visit, and am requested to pay an additional $93 in lab tests. This doesn’t mention the $300 each month which is being paid into the system. The doctor ordered tests which might not have been necessary, though I received the same care and bedside manner.

That’s a $33 increase in a doctor’s visit.

Doctor’s visits and medication are the two things that I get. I’m going to not claim insurance for my medications when I go to get them again next month, so I can get three months as well as a cheaper rate. I’m not sure about the doctor’s visit – maybe those tests really were necessary. Maybe the money that we’re spending toward the insurance industry is well worth it. To me, it seems like adding a useless middleman to get the opportunity to pay more.

Health insurance costs are rising, according to the New York Times. This places the financial strain on everyone. I totally get that. What I don’t totally get is the arbitrary creation of a market which places itself directly between the people who offer health care and the people who need it.

It seems to me that if the insurance companies are pricing themselves out of affordability, and the services that we’re receiving have risen merely for the fact that insurance was obtained, that maybe insurance isn’t a necessity. In other words, if we have to be insured, maybe the market should be allowed to crumble so it can readjust itself.

Do hospitals and long term care professionals raise their prices specifically to counteract the existence of insurance?