Talk to anyone who is unemployed and you'll soon learn that one of the biggest worries is health insurance. No doubt activists who work with the unemployed will rally some of them to attend a protest this morning at 11:30 a.m. at Independence Blue Cross headquarters in Philadelphia at 19th and Market Streets. The insurer has asked the Pennsylvania Insurance Department for permission to raise its non-group health insurance rates, effective July 1.
Check out what could happen to a parents in their 40s with children. A family now paying $1,254.30 a month would see a premium hike to $1,752, an increase of $497.70 per month, or 40 percent. Parents in their 30s with children have an even bigger hike, up 52.8 percent. Many of the hikes are in the 25 percent range.
No doubt Independence Blue Cross has an explanation for this, and later on today, I'll give them a call to find out. In advance, I will say that it definitely costs more to insure an individual on his own than it does to insure a person in a group, because groups have administrators who understand the paperwork. Individuals make a lot more use of customer service, increasing overhead costs.