Author Topic: Changing kids health insurance  (Read 275 times)

FiguringItOut

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Changing kids health insurance
« on: September 17, 2018, 08:51:54 AM »
My ex-H is getting remarried in October.  He and his wife asked if I would consider switching our two kids from my health insurance to hers.  Ex is currently and will be latter covered by her insurance.  I am considering doing this as it will be a lot of savings for both me and ex, but I want to make sure I cover all  my basis before I agree to this.  There are two items to consider, logistics and cost.  I am thinking of doing the switch starting in January provided wife will be able to add them in Jan, if not then Iíll have to make this decision by the end of October when they get married.  Iím not sure how her insurance works with life event changes.   

Logistics: The main drawback that I see if that I will not have access to online insurance website.  I wonít be able to search for doctors in network, look up estimated costs, estimated benefits, filed claims, etc.  I canít ask them for log in to the site, and I donít want to, because then I will Ďtechnicallyí have access to their (my ex and wifeís) medical history.  And I donít want to have that access or know this information, or appear that I may know this information.  So, I would have to be asking my ex to look up and send me all this info, including lists of in-network doctors, etc.  I see this as an inconvenience and a hassle, but I donít think this is a major deterrent.  What other things should I consider from logistics aspects?  Any red flags to consider?

Cost: Exís wife is a teacher.  She has no monthly health insurance premiums, no deductible, $30 copay for all doctors I think, may be some are $50, but Iím not 100% sure.  Emergency clinics are extra $50 copay on top of regular copay.  Not sure yet what coverage for ER, hospitals, labs, etc, but I think labs are covered nearly 100% or with $30 copay.  This is a dream come true compared to my plan.

My plan is HDHP with HSA. I am currently paying $715/mo out my paycheck for myself and children in premiums. I am also maxing out my family HSA and paying for medical costs out of pocket (not using HSA).  Ex reimburses me $263/mo for his portion of kidís coverage.  I have $4K deductible and $25/$50 copay after deductible for GP/Specialist. If I switch to self only plan, my monthly premium will be $190/mo and deductible will be $2K.  My ex also reimburses me 50% of all costs for kids doctor visits.  If I switch kids, my ex will still be reimbursing me 50% of all copays and such, but there will be no deductible to cover and obviously no more reimbursements for my premiums.
My AGI will be affected by changing HSA from family to self and decreased monthly premiums.  I think my AGI will increase by about $9.7K (assuming my salary stays the same), and that will cost me approximately additional $2K in taxes (between Fed and State/City).  I think net effect to me will be about $4K more in cash for the year, but then I will just turn around and spend it on the deductible and copays for myself.  And I will have less money sheltered in tax deferred account.  Other than changing my W-4 form what else should I consider from financial angle? 

I should add, that currently I am postponing a lot of health care due to out of pocket costs. I think, back of the envelope math, by me switching to self only coverage, I will end up at the same place money-wise after I pay out all of my self-only deductible and additional copays as where I am now with just monthly premiums, but I may be wrong. 





Paul der Krake

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Re: Changing kids health insurance
« Reply #1 on: September 17, 2018, 09:42:26 AM »
$725 employee premiums? Your plan is utter crap, and you should offload as much as possible off it. Let your ex and new wife search for doctors, the inconveniences you mention are nothing compared to the thousands you and your ex will be saving, especially since you are already struggling to care for yourself. You can just get a list of all doctors in your area in her network once, then call them to confirm. If she has a major network like one of the Blues, this will be a non-issue.

There are two items to consider, logistics and cost.  I am thinking of doing the switch starting in January provided wife will be able to add them in Jan, if not then Iíll have to make this decision by the end of October when they get married.  Iím not sure how her insurance works with life event changes.
Life events are standardized for all insurance plans. However, you should communicate well ahead of time with all parties involved (you, ex's new wife, your employer, her employer) to make sure the open enrollment season goes smoothly.
« Last Edit: September 17, 2018, 09:55:35 AM by Paul der Krake »

onlykelsey

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Re: Changing kids health insurance
« Reply #2 on: September 17, 2018, 09:51:18 AM »
If you trust them, I would do this in a heartbeat.  Hopefully they can do one fell download of all the relevant info you need each year (or every six months or whatever) and zip it over to you.  You already probably call to confirm coverage with your own plan, so this doesn't seem different.

FiguringItOut

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Re: Changing kids health insurance
« Reply #3 on: September 17, 2018, 10:00:49 AM »
$725 employee premiums? Your plan is utter crap, and you should offload as much as possible off it.

Yes, I know.  I just want to cross all my t's before I make a switch.