Author Topic: Do I take the PPO or the HDHC plan?  (Read 501 times)

sportsportsports

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Do I take the PPO or the HDHC plan?
« on: August 14, 2019, 11:01:34 AM »
So I started a new job this week after a lovely 2 month forced summer vacation due to layoffs (start-ups are great, except for the whole stability thing) and I need some advice on healthcare plans to take. My last job entirely covered the premium for the highest deductible HDHC plan, and so that's what I used and maxed my HSA until I was laid off. However, this new job the situation is a little different. They cover all premiums up to $1000/mo and because of that I'm eligible to be covered for all 8 (!!) options. The two I'm debating between though are the lowest deductible PPO and the lowest deductible HDHC, both through UnitedHealthCare:

Me
26 (27 in one month) yo female
No current medical conditions or concerns (I do bike everywhere/play a lot of rec sports, so there's always a small concern about "catastrophic" type injuries)
Single
Will need to get my IUD replaced sometime between October and December of this year
22% tax bracket

HSA Plan
Deductible: $1500
Max out of pocket: $4000
After deductible is satisfied, I would cover 10%. Copays also 10%.
Employer does NOT contribute to HSA

PPO
Deductible: $500
Max out of pocket: $5000
After deductible is satisfied, I would cover 20%.
$35 copays on most doctor's visits and prescriptions

Okay, that's the short summary. I'll be able to change it up again next year (only 4 months away) and it sounds like they are moving to have the employer contribute to HSAs next year as well. Obviously if they made contributions, my choice would have been made for me. My main concerns (and why I'm asking for advice) is:

1) I'm not sure I'll be able to max my 401k, and additionally I'm not eligible for my companies 401k for the first 90 days of employment, so is it worth doing the HSA? It most likely means I'll be putting less into the 401k this year and potentially next year.

2) I'd ideally like to get whatever plan would set me up to get my IUD for cheapest for this year as I'll be able to change it for next year. So far haven't been able to see anything anywhere around birth control and what the plans cover. Does anyone have any knowledge about UHC plans or generally how birth control and insurance works? I was able to get my IUD for free 5 years ago when I was in school.

3) If I did the HSA, I have a previous HSA that would be through a different provider. Can those be 'rolled over" as a 401k can? And what's the best way of calcuating to make sure you don't go over HS contribution limits?

Any advice or thoughts would be helpful, thanks!
« Last Edit: August 14, 2019, 12:08:49 PM by sportsportsports »

MDM

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Re: Do I take the PPO or the HDHC plan?
« Reply #1 on: August 14, 2019, 06:41:16 PM »
1) I'm not sure I'll be able to max my 401k, and additionally I'm not eligible for my companies 401k for the first 90 days of employment, so is it worth doing the HSA? It most likely means I'll be putting less into the 401k this year and potentially next year.
As long as you can still get any 401k match, the HSA will be better.  See Investment Order.

Quote
2) I'd ideally like to get whatever plan would set me up to get my IUD for cheapest for this year as I'll be able to change it for next year. So far haven't been able to see anything anywhere around birth control and what the plans cover. Does anyone have any knowledge about UHC plans or generally how birth control and insurance works? I was able to get my IUD for free 5 years ago when I was in school.
Can't help with that specific question.  Might be worth putting your numbers into a couple of comparison tools, e.g., Health Savings Account (HSA) vs. Traditional Health Plan and the 'HDHP Analysis' tab of the case study spreadsheet in general, if either of those represents your choice closely enough.

Quote
3) If I did the HSA, I have a previous HSA that would be through a different provider. Can those be 'rolled over" as a 401k can? And what's the best way of calcuating to make sure you don't go over HS contribution limits?
Yes on the rollover.  Not sure what you are asking on the contribution limits.  A rollover itself doesn't affect the contribution limits, but any contribution you make for 2019 - regardless of which HSA you contribute to - does count.

ruraljuror

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Re: Do I take the PPO or the HDHC plan?
« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2019, 01:52:52 PM »
Your company's benefits administrator should be able to calculate the out of pocket costs for you based on the design of each plan. Depending on the cost of the procedure you mentioned, it might make sense to sign up for the PPO for the next 4 months, then transition to the HDHP during the next open enrollment.

Lucky Recardito

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Re: Do I take the PPO or the HDHC plan?
« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2019, 02:10:33 PM »
Birth control is supposed to be available free on all plans. It is classified as "preventive care" under the ACA.

https://www.healthcare.gov/coverage/birth-control-benefits/

However, you'll need to dig into each plan's docs to check if your specific preferred IUD is covered. And you'll want to make sure you get it replaced by a provider who is in-network for the plan.