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Re; This morning's think out loud per health insurance, Regence BC-BS, etc. I was unable to get through on the phone and I don't have home interent service. Thus, the reason for this tardy submission.
ATTN: Emily Harris
Last year (2009) Regence was granted a 14.6% premium increase for individual policy holders. When my notice came it indicated an increase from $410 to $480; simple math revealed an increase of more than 17%. Over the next months Regence tried repeatedly in letters to me to 'prove' that 17+% was actually 14.6%. Two different times BC-BS presented math equations that were so patently incorrect that a competent middle school math student could have seen the errors. Ultimately 'actuarial' sent an equation that was one you use to calculate a rate DECREASE. About 3 months later, and after a complaint filed with the applicable state agency, BC-BS, rather than ever acknowledging their persistent math errors, defended the 17+% increase as represnting a mere "statistical average,' that is, some premiums went up less than 14.6%, others more.
Fast forward to 2010. In light of last year's experience, and given the announced 16% increase approved for 2010, I sought to find out the precise increase for me this year. It took no less than four different phone calls over two weeks to BC-BS. Ultimately, I discoverd that in the SAME calendar year, individuals with the exact same policy (here: Blue Selections Premier, $2500 annual deductible, age 60-64) pay different premiums. How? Individual policies renew quarterly, depending upon when the policy first activated--the quarterly renewal dates are Jan. 1. April 1, July 1 or October 1. Here's the rub. A person whose contract renewed Jan. 1, 2009, saw the monthly premium increase to $450.50. Those renewing on April 1 paid $475, July 1 (mine) $480 and Oct. 1, $505.
In short, my experience has been that seeking accurate information from BC-BS represents a grand exercise in aggravation.
Thanks for listening.
Greg Marlowe, Silverton, OR 97381
posted 3 years, 2 months ago
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