My plan is being discontinued and I have to pick a new one for January. The best plan Kaiser can now offer me increases my premiums by a considerable amount and drops coverage by a shocking degree leaving me paying 80% more for the combined premium and out of pocket maximum amounts. This is a problem with an upcoming hospital stay to deliver my baby. The amount of extra money we have to come up with for my 2014 health insurance exceeds the amount we've budgeted and diligently started saving up over the course of a year and a half to take a ten year anniversary cruise. To put it in perspective another way, the extra money we'll pay for Kaiser insurance would feed our family for about 10 months. Wow.
So now I'm in research mode, and I'm fairly certain I'll be switching insurance companies. Regence seems to have the best coverage for the lowest premium so far. It will save a couple thousand over Kaiser's plan.
I'm also researching my birthing options. My last cesarean cost about $14000 before insurance and with worse coverage I have to look at the total cost since we'll be paying a higher percentage of it. My doctor says I could have a trial of labor. That is now deemed acceptable for women with no more than two cesareans. (It used to be only one.) Vaginal birth costs much less overall, but I'm nervous about trying it. A home birth could save even more, but I can't see myself going that route. I've looked into birthing centers, too, but they're typically out-of-network, and one I contacted said it costs about $5000 so it could potentially cost more than a hospital due to no insurance coverage. Not all birthing centers and midwives accept VBACs either. All that to say, if I really want a VBAC, I'm going to have to fight for it. A repeat cesarean is easy and expected.
Once I'm done with babies, I will possibly drop insurance all together and pay the penalty. That will save us enough to easily cover all my normal medical needs. I know the new insurance changes help some people, but many of us in the middle class just get painfully squeezed. I'm not surprised. Seeing Obamacare coming, I expected to pay more and get less. Someone has to put up the money to provide the same level of coverage for everyone. Good for some, but really not good for me.