Tuesday, October 20, 2009

We Interrupt This Broadcast

I know you're here to make fun of newspapers, and I'm a let you finish. But first I gotta tell you we have the worst healthcare system OF ALL TIME.

Today, my wife's employer held a meeting to explain their new health benefits packages. They've got three: a high-deductible plan with an HSA, a "silver" PPO and a "gold" PPO.

We're on the Silver Plan. It's not great, but it does the job. We've got a $1200 family deductible, which we maxed out last year and are on track to do again. Her company chips in about $600 a month towards the "family" premiums, which is a mixed blessing. Since the federal government considers this taxable income (thanks, Defense Of Marriage Act!), she spends about $150 a month more for her premiums than the straight family man in the cubicle across the way. But whatever.

Anyway, they held a meeting today to explain that everything's going to be more expensive. Silver plan's going up by $80 a month. The family deductible is going up $500. Not sure how much the company's contribution to the silver plan is going up, but whatever that is, tack 25% of it on to whatever we pay out of pocket.

Upshot: a $2,000 pay cut for us, dangerously close to 10% of J's take-home pay.

Now, nobody at her job is happy with the new plans. But most people are switching to the HSA plan, if they haven't already, because it's much cheaper. Which, according to J, the company endeavored to explain.

Under DOMA (whee!), J can't legally pay any of my health expenses out of an HSA. Nor can she pay our daughter's, until her legal adoption goes through. (Hopefully soon. We just submitted affidavits to the court. Wheels of justice, etc.)

What does this mean? It means if we switch to the HSA plan, which has a $2300 family deductible, all of my (and my daughters') health expenses have to come 100% out of after-tax money until we max out the deductible. And of course, J will keep paying her premiums, plus an extra 25% of her company's contribution to the "family" plan. And the $60 a month that her employer kicks into the HSA can only legally be spent on J's healthcare, not the sprog's--ironically, since the two adults in the family have basically stopped going to the doctor because it's already too expensive.

As you know, women can't do math. I got through calculus OK, but this shite is hurting my tender women-brains. Anybody who has any opinions on which is the better bum deal for us is welcome to weigh in.

1 comment:

  1. It's too many for me. Just stopped by for the first time in a while and I get asked to pass a math quiz. Geez.

    It's truly ridiculous, though. I know that much for certain. If anybody wants to pay for anyone else's health care, whose business is it if they're married, or partnered, or just met each other? You'd think that, whatever the feelings on various types of marriage, folks might agree that healthy people are an improvement on sick people.