First Person: We’re Helping Fund the ‘Health Care Nation’

Yahoo Contributor Network

According to a recent article by Geoff Colvin on Fortune.cnn.com entitled, "2013: The year we become a health care nation", "While implementing the ACA (Affordable Care Act) will be a growing topic through 2013, it is only the beginning of health care taking over the economy. From 17.9% of GDP in 2011, total health care spending will grow to 19.6% in 2021, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services project."

Personally, our family's health insurance premium costs have gone up about 25 percent year-over-year. I'll admit that it was a shock to the system and one that I knew was coming due to the recent changes our federal government has made to the health care laws, but just not in these amounts. I feel like we're now funding much more than our fair share of the health care nation.

Health Care Premiums

Recently, when going through open enrollment for our employer-sponsored health insurance, we were stunned at what we found. While we knew that the amount we paid for our insurance premiums had risen to what we felt was a ridiculous amount, we were shocked to find how much the employer portion was. Beside our $7,800 contributions, my wife's employer contributes about another $13,000.

Yes, that's right! $20,000 total, just for the health insurance coverage! Ridiculous!

Additional Costs

The sad fact of the health care situation is that had we to pay the health insurance premiums and all was done, it'd be one thing. But that's not the way it is. We have co-pays, deductibles, max out-of-pocket limits, in-network versus out-of-network costs and limits, medicine and prescription costs (which are especially high since my wife is a type 1 diabetic), and similar expenses that can range from another $1,000 to $2,000 a year or more depending upon our family's needs.

Taxes

But we're not done with the costs yet. If we factor in the payments that we make through taxes toward things like Medicare costs, our expenses are even higher. Since this is a fixed rate that comes out of our paychecks, there is really nothing we can do about it. This adds another 1.45 percent (actually more since I'm self-employed and get to pay both employee and employer portions) to our total health care costs.

Sadly, when all is said and done, more than 25 percent of our total family annual expenses go toward the funding of the health care nation.

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Disclaimer:

The author is not a licensed financial professional. The information provided in this article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal or financial advice. Any action taken by the reader due to the information provided in this article is solely at the reader's discretion.

Sources:

Colvin, Geoff. Fortune "2013: The year we become the health care nation". January 4, 2013. http://finance.fortune.cnn.com/2013/01/04/health-care-economy/?iid=SF_F_River

January 6, 2013.

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