Why I Support Prop 45: A 24% Decrease Hooked Me into a 92% Increase to $2,300 per Month
Joe McFadden, Mountain View, CA
“The letter stated directly that I would be getting $376 in savings…. When my first invoice arrived, I was shocked to see that the monthly premium was $2,300 -- almost double the rate quoted in the initial letter!”
The health insurance plan I’ve been on for years was cancelled due to the ACA. Like many people, I didn’t see this as a problem. I would be offered new options on the Exchange and on the open market. At the time I was paying just over $1,576 for my wife and I. When I received the letter from my insurance company in early June notifying me that the plan was becoming obsolete it also had good news: My plan was being cancelled, but an identical plan was being offered for only $1,200! The letter stated directly that I would be getting $376 in savings. That was a 24% decrease in my rates.
As a result, I decided not to investigate other plan options. I was told to simply wait for my new member cards and an initial invoice. When my first invoice arrived in early July (my previous policy was to end August 1), I was shocked to see that the monthly premium was $2,300 -- almost double the rate quoted in the initial letter!
I called the insurance company customer service line to investigate. After several inquiries and incomplete answers, they indicated that the original letter was in error and that the $2,300 invoice was correct. It was now mid-July with an August 1 termination date of my existing coverage looming. Their explanation was that the original letter quoted a price for just myself, not including my spouse. In fact the original letter wording referenced the price for my previous coverage that included my spouse and I – “your previous plan monthly rate was $1,576.30 and your new monthly rate will be $1,200.19.” No ambiguities.
My conclusion: Either the insurance company unintentionally miscommunicated erroneous rates with the original letter, or intentionally miscommunicated a lower rate to delay my decision as I reached a pending sign up date to secure a new policy. Either way, it’s not a good reflection on the insurance company.
They initially promised a $376 per month reduction in my premium, but what I got instead was a $724 or 46% increase over what I had been paying, which was $1,100 or 92% more than what they’d promised.
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