The High Cost of Health Insurance
The following is the opinion of the author and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Townsquare Media Sedalia / Warrensburg or its employees.
So that time of year has just come and gone for many of us where we try to figure out what kind of health insurance we can afford.
My employer, Townsquare Media, offers a good employee plan. There's a couple of options and it's affordable for employees. That said, try to add your kids. Or in my case my spouse. And the affordability vanishes like a mirage in the desert.
Of course it's different for every employee. When I worked in a larger Townsquare Market and made more money and wasn't commuting 300 miles each week the cost was less of an issue. My wife doesn't work either. Someone who works for the company with a spouse whose working, even part time, might find the Townsquare offered insurance a perfect solution.
Don't get me wrong, I'm not bagging on my employer either. Truly, the insurance benefits and costs are similar to what I've had everywhere I've worked in the past 15 years or so. What I really have an issue with is the affordable part of the Affordable Care Act.
It's just not that affordable. And I've never found it to be all that affordable. When I had it for Kathy in Texas, at least it seemed to be a policy with a reasonable co-pay, decent prescription benefits, and it covered labs.
Here in Missouri? Not so much. I'm paying over $400 a month for a policy with a high deductible, high co-pays for specialists, and doesn't pay for labs until the deductible is met. If, and this is a big if, Kathy can find a doctor associated with St. Luke's in the Kansas City area, we'll get a great co-pay. That's the ONLY selling point of the policy. If I want a better policy, I'm paying over $500 a month. We've found out, that stretches our budget a little too much.
The scary thing about all this. The Creighton's are fairly average. Middle class. We're not doing as great as we'd like, but we're not doing too bad. Yeah there's some credit card debt, a modest car payment, rent. Yet health insurance is the expense that just makes life harder and breaks the budget. Every single year.
And if it's that way for us, what about the one parent household? The household where one parent stays home with the kids? The household where that one working adult makes a more modest salary than I do? I suspect it's not any easier on them, even with a government subsidy.
Don't get me wrong, I know people the Affordable Care Act has helped. It's made insurance affordable and accessible to them. And the protection that it offers to people with pre-existing conditions is paramount to all of us.
I just don't think a low end insurance policy should cost twice as much as my modest car payment or half my rent. That's not affordable for my family and it certainly isn't affordable for many others.