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Blue Cross Healthcare Costs More Than Double for One RI Family

Monday, November 06, 2017

 

One Rhode Island family has seen its annual healthcare insurance premiums approach $25,000.

A Rhode Island family has seen its monthly health insurance premium more than double in the past five years, as states -- and the federal government -- struggle to tackle mounting costs.

"$23,000 a year?  Not acceptable," said Jerauld Adams, of getting his renewal notice for 2018 from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island. 

Adams, who is married with four children and lives in Providence, reacted to seeing his monthly premium increase to $1,936.17 - after having paid $841.04 a month in 2013.  

"You just shake your head, I don't know what to do," said Adams, who owns four mills in Central Falls that have been converted into small commercial rental space for approximately a hundred tenants.

Adams noted that his family doesn't qualify for HealthSource RI, the state's health insurance exchange, due to income level. 

"It's great that people that haven't had insurance before are covered," said Adams. "I don't know where we stand compared to other people, but that's cash you have to come up with."

State, National Landscape

Nationally, President Donald Trump -- who ran on the platform of saying he would oversee the repeal of Obamacare -- has been unsuccessful so far in marshaling support in the Republican-controlled Congress to any major rollback of the Affordable Care Act. 

Now, as Congress looks to take up tax reform, Trump has tried to tie-in healthcare reform to the process to pay for the proposed cuts.  

"Wouldn't it be great to Repeal the very unfair and unpopular Individual Mandate in ObamaCare and use those savings for further Tax Cuts for the Middle Class. The House and Senate should consider ASAP as the process of final approval moves along. Push Biggest Tax Cuts EVER," Trump Tweeted last week.

But as CNN reported, the prospect looks unlikely.  As CNN reported on November 1:

President Trump, ran on the platform of "repealing" Obamacare.

It was a sudden jolt in the conversation around tax reform, which had been dominated by news Tuesday night of a one-day delay by Republicans, who were planning to release the bill Wednesday but pushed it to Thursday due to ongoing negotiations.

But just hours after Trump took to Twitter, White House press secretary Sarah Sanders backed away from the tweets, saying the Trump administration wants to deal with health care separately next year.

Locally, state officials announced in August that health insurance premiums will rise as much as 12.1% in Rhode Island next year, with the largest increase for those consumers who buy Blue Cross & Blue Shield of Rhode Island plans on the individual market -- and now have approved even more increases after the Trump administration curtailed federal subsidies.

"I'm a one-man show, I've got a [worker] who takes care of the buildings for $10 an hour," said Adams, noting the worker has full healthcare coverage -- through the state.  "I don't know what I'll do, I might have to look at raising rents."

Adam, who just had hip surgery, said the full cost was over $35,000.

"The prosthesis was $16,000...the overnight stay, $2500.  Anesthesia, $800," said Adams, who said he paid over $3,000 out of pocket.  "We don't even have the 'gold' plan."

 

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