Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Raising health care costs: Researching options

What to do after you find out that your health insurance benefits will cost more and provide you less:

  • Step one: Panic. Feel badly about panicking because after all you have insurance and a job which puts you in a pretty good position these days in relative terms. 
  • Step two: Research, ad nauseum, how much more you will be spending.
  • Step three: Panic as you realize that you will be paying the equivalent of a pretty pricey new car loan for the same benefits you had the previous year.
  • Step four: Review your budget and see what costs you can trim. 
  • Step five: Panic as you realize that you can trim a little here or there but it won't add up to the amount you will now have to shell out just to be medicated.
  • Step six: Think about trading in the car for some cheap piece of junk?  Price pieces of junk and get depressed at the thought of having to drive one.
  • Step seven: sink into a deep depression as the reality hits you that you will never have nice things; your health care costs will go up and up and you will be cutting corners and scrimping and saving forever.
  • Step eight: talk to HR and see if they have any ideas.
  • Step nine: Panic as you realize that they have no ideas and really just want you to go away; they don't understand what it's like to have rare disorders for which expensive medications are required.
  • Step ten: Research what medications might work for your conditions that would be in category one or two.
  • Step eleven: make appointments with your doctors.
  • Step twelve: Look for jobs with higher salaries.
  • Step thirteen: Fall into a sea of despair as you realize there isn't exactly a plethora of jobs and even if you got an offer for a good one, whose to say those health care benefits wouldn't also now be inadequate.
  • Step fourteen: Review your budget again; isn't there any way to cut costs?
  • Step fifteen: Panic.

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