Health Care Fun

2024 is off to a great start.

This is something I had hoped would come to pass, but I suppose no, it’s true, and while it’s hardly the end of the world it still sucks. I got a fun letter in the mail earlier in December saying that hey, my monthly premiums for Medicare Part D (which is the prescription coverage portion, which is in turn farmed out to health companies like Aetna and BCBS) were going to go up significantly, from $10.80 to $48.80. Not like I could do anything about it anyway, because, well, this letter reached me too late and open enrollment had already closed up by the time I got this letter. Good stuff. Very punctual, Medicare.

Again, I had hoped this would come to pass, because (I’m assuming due to my income and that I’m on Real Deal Medicare?) I get “extra help” with my monthly premiums, which means I don’t get slapped with the brunt of the charges I’d otherwise have to pay. The hope was that maybe that letter was telling me my premiums before that extra help kicked in, but no, that was not the case. My premiums really did jump by that much.


Even though it was too late I did entertain the idea of switching plans and looked on the Medicare marketplace to see what was available. Sure, there were lots of plans that were–on a monthly basis–cheaper than what I was paying now! But they were more or less meant for people who took more basic medications that had a wide range of alternatives and generics available, and the prices of said medications weren’t all that expensive to begin with. Some of the more basic meds I take were covered perfectly fine. But insulin? The thing that keeps me alive? Yeah, either that full out wasn’t covered, or it was, but only just. With co-pays to match. We’re talking close to $500 for a month’s supply of insulin. Coming out of a check that’s gotta pay rent/buy necessities/last me through the entire month.

I’m not going to lie: I was (and arguably still am) extremely privileged to be able to like, dodge most of the total healthcare bullshit that most people have to face. I know someone’s going to read this and probably think “boo hoo, you should see what my premiums are!” But I’d also wager that a lot of these people make significantly more than I do. To put it in perspective, I make roughly $1k a month. My girlfriend? She makes more than that in a single bi-weekly pay period. And when I worked grocery back in 2008 and got put on full time for a bit, I made 2.5x what I make now.

So when a bill like this jumps so significantly? It hurts a lot more than it looks, it really does.

Welcome to 2024, I guess. I just hope this isn’t foreshadowing anything.