If you are looking for one reason to NOT retire early, I would suggest you study the cost of individual health insurance. I knew this would take a jump when I left MegaCorp a few years ago, but given the politics messing up this market, I continue to be astounded at how it has gone.
You can see from the chart below that our health insurance premium has skyrocketed for the second straight year. Where I use to think that 8-10% annual increases were outrageous, we have now seen a 42% increase over the last 2 years at the same time that our deductible doubled. Shocking!
Last year I published a few posts which explored what was happening to the individual health insurance market. While we are NOT in one of the areas of the country that are down to a single insurer, we are still seeing explosive premium inflation versus last year (+$6K / +54%) for what is still an incredibly high deductible ($13K family).
In addition to these numbers, we also paid an additional $5K ObamaCare tax last April when we filed our Federal Income Taxes. I’m not sure if that part of the law has been eliminated or not – I haven’t seen anything in the news on that specifically.
Regardless of your politics, I hope everyone can agree that the government has royally messed up the health insurance market. As our Democrat Governor commented: “The Affordable Care Act is not affordable for anyone.”
The one group it seems to have helped is the insurance companies themselves. By eliminating choice (competition) the 4 largest health insurance companies (Aetna, Humana, Cigna, UnitedHealth) have seen their stock grow +500% since the day ObamaCare was passed, while the broader S&P 500 has grown just a little over 100%.
A five-fold increase in their stock market value over 7+ years isn’t just luck. ObamaCare was great for Big Insurance, and terrible for early retirees that pay for individual coverage. Most people – who are covered under their employer plans – have been protected from the shocking increases.
For now, we are happy with our good health and patiently waiting 3 more years before we go on our MegaCorp Retiree Health Insurance at age 55. We’ve looked at Health Shares and read about the new Health Associations in the news, but haven’t found an alternative to traditional individual coverage that we were ready to go with.
How is your health insurance cost rolling up for 2018?
Image Credit: Pixabay