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The Real Deal: High Insurance Rates? Look at your Co-Workers

ALBANY – Most of us are paying higher premiums and co-pays for medical insurance than ever before.  Those rates may go up before they go down when certain provisions of the President’s new healthcare law go into effect. 


Even those with company-backed insurance are paying a lot for it.  Darryl Baldwin works for a small business in Schenectady, “It's gone up more than 10% just in this past year, so I don't think it's worth the money I pay for it, I only go to the doctors 2-3 times a year,” he says.  Theresa Kline of Schenectady, agrees saying, “they (insurance companies) pay far less than they ever did for visits and procedures, our co-pays are higher and a lot higher for some medicines…we’re paying much more out of pocket for insurance.”  Both Baldwin and Kline are worried the premiums will just keep going up. 


While a number of variables go into setting plans and premiums, insurers are relying more heavily now on history.  Over 100 employees and many times you'll be experience-rated, so if your experience is favorable, you'll have a much lower rate than someone who would have an adverse experience,” says John Murray, the President and CEO of Rose & Kiernan Inc., in East Greenbush,  Meaning, take a look around you the next time you’re at the office to see how young and healthy your co-workers are.  “A more mature population might have more chronic illnesses that are being treated, they may have a much higher use of prescription drugs which will drive up costs fairly meaningfully.  On the other hand, when you look at some of the tech companies, some of the can be a younger, healthier and more of a single population, they likely have significantly lower healthcare rates,” says Murray.

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