On the heels of an explosive political document that has been hitting millions of mailboxes of potential voters— third-quarter 401(k) statements showing how much the Wall Street meltdown has hurt individual retirement savings—another potential game-changer is beginning to brew in employee conference rooms and lunch halls: the annual open enrollment sessions for health insurance benefits.
When workers hear—as I did earlier today—how much their health insurance premiums are about to rise or what kind of compromises in coverage they will have to accept to keep them from going even higher, a lot of them will be reminded just how hazardous the right-wing plans to remake health care embraced by Sen. John McCain—highlighted in an opinion-page ad by the Institute for America’s Future in The New York Times on Tuesday— will be to their health.
I just got word today that the insurance premium for the health insurance plan my employer uses will go up almost 17 percent. That will mean a total premium of $463 for individual coverage and $1,296 for family coverage. The premium increase, we were told, would have been closer to 25 percent if we had not agreed to accept up to 50 percent higher co-payments for prescription drugs, which means that a prescription drug will cost us as much as $60 for a 30-day supply. (more…)