The Money Comes In, the Money Goes Out QUESTIONS

I got a little raise back in September. This is a good thing.
I look at the out-of-pocket premiums for my health insurance for 2010. This is not such a good thing.

The amount I pay every two weeks has been gradually increasing, usually up $3 or $5 each year. But this time it went from $117 to $139.

Well, at least my family and I HAVE health insurance. As this report shows, that’s not always the case, particularly as unemployment rises. And this was better than the years when the rates went up AND the copays as well.

In those periods when I’ve been unemployed and/or uninsured and I was eligible for COBRA, I NEVER took it. What does one do – spend the rent money on health insurance, or hope not to get sick? Every study I’ve seen in recent years suggest that it is medical bills, not excessive spending on the Xbox, that is driving the most people into bankruptcy.

Oh, and one of my credit cards, one I actually don’t use often, just raised its rates from an already hefty 15.9% (which is why I didn’t use it much), to a ridiculous 23.9%. According to articles such as 2009 Checking Study: Bank fees take flight and A Squeeze on Customers Ahead of New Rules, it’s happening all over the place.

So the questions:

1. Are you seeing your health insurance premiums and/or copays going up? Or if you are one of the uninsured, how do you decide when to go to the doctor/hospital?

2. Are you seeing staggeringly high interest rates or fees on your credit cards? What actions (negotiating with the credit card company, dropping the card) have you taken? I’m going to call mine, threaten to cancel, and see what happens.


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