I am 65 years old and my wife is 62. Five years ago I bought long-term care insurance policies for both of us from Northwestern Mutual (NML), a great, financially stable private company, in order to provide health-care stability for ourselves and our children. I knew that they could raise rates when I bought the policies.
This week I got a letter from them stating:
Across most of the country we have requested rate increases ranging from 10% to 30% which was determined by balancing the premium needed to support the expected benefits and the ability of our clients to manage the increases. However the Illinois Department of Insurance (DOI) chose to emphasize rate stability, and required that we request a much higher amount-an amount that would cover the entire premium increase based on our current assumptions, plus an additional amount on top of that to decrease the likelihood of future premium increases. Ultimately, the Illinois DOI approved an increase that was roughly double and in some cases more than double the amount we requested in almost all other states.
I bet most of the public thinks that state bureaucrats try to hold down rate increases from insurance companies, but not in Illinois.
Here, un-elected bureaucrats pretend they have a crystal ball and preternatural knowledge of what companies need in the future. I bet they also believe they can predict the temperatures, sea levels and storm activity hundreds of years from now, and can control it if the people just give them trillions of dollars.
It is truly pathetic that bureaucrats second-guess a profitable company and require them to more than double their request on rates. Illinois is broke, in huge debt, and has its bureaucrats lecture a very reputable, stable, profitable company on what they need to do to manage their own enterprise.
Maybe we should take this further on all companies: Utility companies should ask for increases based on what they foresee regulations and costs to be twenty years out so they don't have to ask for as much in the future, ignoring the fact that people will also probably earn more in the future. Same for transport companies, same for the Federal Reserve, same for state lotteries...
Politicians and other government officials like to pretend that they care for the poor, middle class and seniors on fixed incomes, but that is obviously who will be harmed by this ridiculous decision on health insurance rates. Most people who buy these policies are not rich with extra money sitting around, and I bet 100% of them would prefer the smallest premium increase possible today over some prediction of the future.
Does the Illinois Department of Insurance envision that NML will stick these larger increases from Illinois residents into a piggy bank to be used only for their future? Is that like the lockbox we've been promised for Social Security?
I think when my homeowners insurance bill comes in next month I will call them and ask if I can pay more so my future increases will be smaller.
Is it any wonder that Illinois is losing residents in droves and that we are growing so much slower than the rest of the country when we have government idiots telling private companies they are required to double their request. But we are a sanctuary state that now funds abortions. That should help.
I have not seen what my actual increase will be but maybe I should send a thank you note to the Illinois DOI and to politicians for their efforts to make me pay more than NML wanted.