This blog post originally ran on July 2, 2004.
Each year, we review the premium rates for our Bank Depositor’s Group, of which you are a member. Because you have entered a higher age bracket this year, your rate has been adjusted, and this change is included in your new rate.
Effective August 1, 2004, your monthly premium rate will be $x
The need for a rate increase is determined by a number of factors. As medical technology improves, the cost of using technology increases. In addition, as we age, we tend to need and use more health care services. But when it comes to health care, each of us can make cost-saving choices, such as purchasing the generic equivalent of a prescription drug, or scheduling an office visit rather than taking an unnecessary trip to the emergency room. These decisions help keep costs down for you as well as all of our members.
If you have any questions about your rate coverage, please contact our Member Services department at 1-800-xxx-xxxx. You also may contact us by e-mail through our Web site at www.BCBSND.com.
We thank you for your Blue Cross Blue Shield membership and wish you good health.
Dear Blue Cross Blue Shield:
I recently received a notice that informed me that my premium would be making a large jump due to my likewise increasing age. I sure appreciate this.
Had I known my premium would be increasing when I hit the ripe age of 30 this past January, I would have scheduled as many doctor visits as I could have in my late 20’s to use up the premium money I have so far invested in your company but never actually used. Or perhaps I would’ve wrapped my car around the nearest telephone pole, thereby getting use out of both my health and car insurance at the same time.
I now understand why people cry when the enter a new decade. It appears to be quite an expensive venture. No wonder people commit suicide at age 40. The savings are tremendous. Do you cover botched suicide attempts?
If you would care to peruse my records, you’ll find that I was quite the meal ticket for your company. I never once went to the doctor, filled a prescription or coughed in your direction. Rather, I paid my premium on time each month and never drew from them. The only hospital visit was on another insurance company’s watch, when I was thrown from a horse and broke my wrist. Alas, at that time I did not wait to schedule a doctor’s visit, but chose to go to the emergency room. I will try to take your helpful advice now and avoid the emergency room for such frivolous needs so that I can save your company money. Who cares about pain?
I can see how general studies that have miraculously proven that, as I age, I become more expensive for you, would be more relevant than actually looking at my health records.
I appreciate the cost saving measures you propose. However, seeing as how your company will pick up a large share of any future prescription drug costs, according to my plan, I have decided I will make the utmost effort to pick top-of-the line drugs. Surely you can understand. As I get older, I get more paranoid about those cheap knock-off generics. Like you said, the price goes up as we age.
Thank you for using the pronoun “we” in the third paragraph of your polite letter. It really made me feel like “we” are in this “together”. More thanks for explaining in fantastic detail the reason my insurance premium has gone up every quarter and has leapt forward now that I’ve hit the decrepit and unhealthy age of 30. I hadn’t understood how technology and aging played such a huge role in my empty checkbook before.
I certainly appreciate how you are doing all you can to stem out-migration of my generation from this great state by upping insurance premiums to a new level where I can no longer pay you and my student loan at the same time. Fortunately, “we” are in this together. I will send you my student loan information so that you can chip in and help out.
I appreciate and accept your wishes for my good health, seeing as how I’ll need it once I drop your insurance coverage in favor of a roll of the dice.
Julie R. Neidlinger