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In a little less limbo

August 14th, 2005 at 11:48 am

But not much.

We finally received the annual health insurance packet from DH's job. They've not only switched to a different insurance company again, now they are also offering a high-deductible plan with a health savings account (HSA) starting in January. This is something completely new and different for us, and we can use all the info we can get. I think it's supposed to be a good thing, because you can put pretax money into the health savings account (saving on taxes) and take it with you if you leave the job. But there is practically nothing in the packet to explain it!

Current HMO coverage, $109 per pay x 2.15 pays a month = $234 a month
New equivalent coverage as of next January, $171 per pay x 2.15 pays a month = $368 a month
High deductible/HSA plan, $43 (base - ?) per pay x 2.15 pays a month = $92 a month

So if we stay with the traditional insurance, we'll have $134 a month less in our pockets. And nothing to show for it.

If we go with the new kind of plan, we'll have $142 a month more in our pockets. Part of which, if I understand right, could go into the health savings account and build up if we spend less on medical expenses than we put in. On the down side, it will may affect our car insurance rates if this new kind of policy isn't considered primary in the case of car accident injuries. (It says "subject to co-insurance," and I'm not sure what that means.)

They are supposed to be mailing out more info, and are having meetings about it in November and December. But DH has to pick one or the other and mail this form in within one week, before having any of that extra info. Aggravating. But I'm trying to see the big picture. We can't afford to put out $134 more a month for insurance anyway, so the decision is a no brainer. We'll just have to learn about the new thing as we go along, and deal with it.

1 Responses to “In a little less limbo”

  1. Anonymous Says:

    You need to check more, but my understanding is that you have to use the money in the HSA every year or forfeit it. And you may or may not be able to take it with you if you quit your job (I'm pretty sure that if DH loses his job, we forfeit anything we haven't used up to that point).

    HSA's can be a good thing, but they can be problematic if you overestimate the amount you need.

    Deductible insurance plans are usually referred to as "catastrophic" plans since you won't see much (if any) benefit for normal things. The only time you see benefits is if you are seriously injured or ill (and then they may or may not approve the expense). A friend of mine just had to shell out over $1500 for her daughter's appendectomy - this in addition the hundreds of dollars they have paid in premiums. It seems the insurance paid all of about $300 for the appendectomy. The only good thing is that now that she's met the deductible, she can have a lot of testing done.

    I will not accept a deductible plan. Whenever I've had one, I've thrown money away. I've never been able to see any benefits from one at all. I'd rather put the money spent on premiums into bonds and self-insure.

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