Author Topic: Choosing Between Health Insurance Plans  (Read 1928 times)

jasminegeekface

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Choosing Between Health Insurance Plans
« on: March 14, 2016, 03:40:13 PM »
Hello, fellow mustachians! I started a new job last week and will be able to enroll in their medical plan soon, but there are several different options and I need help figuring out how to pick one. Some information about me for reference: I'm not married and have no dependents to enroll, I'm 22 years old, and I have no current health conditions.

The three main options I have are a PPO plan, an HMO plan, and a high deductible plan with an HSA. I've heard a lot of praise of HSAs on this forum, but never paid much attention to it before because it wasn't an option at my old job. More information:

- PPO plan: Employee contribution is $60.41 biweekly, deductible is $250 and after that the plan pays 90%, the out of pocket max is $1750, routine preventative care is covered 100%, PCP copay is $20, specialist/urgent care copay is $40, ER copay is $100.

- HMO plan: Employee contribution is $53.28 biweekly, no deductible, $6350 out of pocket max, $20 PCP copay, $40 specialist copay, $30 urgent care copay, $150 ER copay, routine preventative care covered 100%.

- High Deductible plan with HSA: Employee contribution is $15.06 biweekly, deductible is $1300, out of pocket max is $2300 including deductible, and I pay all office visit fees/etc until the deductible (so no copays), and then plan will pay 90% of everything. Routine physicals are always covered 100%. My employer would contribute $300 a year to my HSA, and I have to contribute at least $120 a year if I choose this plan.

I'd appreciate any advice, because I'm fairly clueless here. I'm looking for the most cost effective choice, without making a stupid decision I'll end up regretting if something does happen. Please let me know if I skipped any information needed to compare these plans.

Thank you in advance! :)

Mikila

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Re: Choosing Between Health Insurance Plans
« Reply #1 on: March 14, 2016, 04:06:15 PM »
HSA's were designed for people like you.  In 99.9% of possible scenarios, that will save you the most money.  Those with health problems or those who are hypochondriacs  should go with the PPO if they live rurally, HMO if they live next to the center of service.

Now, if you like to go to the Doctor for things like prescription aspirin or itch cream...go with the hypochondriac/sickly insurance.

I wish we could still do the HSA.  DH has a chronic and costly health condition, so it's the sickly cadillac insurance for us.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: Choosing Between Health Insurance Plans
« Reply #2 on: March 14, 2016, 04:47:35 PM »
HDHP for sure. I am moderately sickly (lightly asthmatic) and still chose it for myself because I figured the $600 a year my employer puts in would cover one minor incident. Well visits are still free, so I can generally get my meds refilled for free. Just be VERY CAREFUL when making appointments--make sure that they know you want a well visit/your free annual preventative care visit. I got burned by this once by asking for a "physical" when I made the appointment.

Many people on this forum advocate the HSA as a preferred investment vehicle--better even than IRA--but it depends how good the investment options are, of course.

ohsnap

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Re: Choosing Between Health Insurance Plans
« Reply #3 on: March 14, 2016, 05:18:45 PM »
Definitely go for the HDHP!  Compared to the PPO plan, I don't think there's a possible scenario where you'd come out ahead with the PPO.

1. You will save $1168 per year on premiums (although you should probably reduce that by your marginal tax rate)
2. Your employer throws in a free $300.

Those two items more than cover your OOP max difference.

jasminegeekface

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Re: Choosing Between Health Insurance Plans
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2016, 08:07:23 PM »
Thank you all for replying! It looks like I'll be going for the HSA now, based on the input here, so I really do appreciate the advice :)

Scandium

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Re: Choosing Between Health Insurance Plans
« Reply #5 on: March 16, 2016, 04:08:10 AM »
How to choose health plan: cheapest one. Then never go to the doctor, unless large amounts of blood are squirting out. And duct tape doesn't stop it.