Author Topic: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?  (Read 1494 times)

AndyV

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Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« on: February 24, 2017, 07:33:35 AM »
My wife, son, and I are currently paying ~$800 per month in healthcare premiums through my company's health insurance policy ($2k deductible, 80/20 coverage, 7500 out of pocket max).  My wife is a teacher, but currently staying home with our son. 

My company DOES cover the health insurance premiums for employee only coverage (they'd cover my premiums if I found separate coverage for my wife/son). General question, is there a potential for savings by finding separate coverage on the open market for my wife/son?  Or would I typically find the company health insurance policies will always be the cheapest option vs shopping separate coverage?  Or would having the company-offered insurance disqualify my wife/son from separate coverage?

I've got a lot more research to do on my end, just looking for any high-level advice people may have from their own experiences here.  Much appreciated.

boarder42

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #1 on: February 24, 2017, 07:39:41 AM »
I'd do 2 things.

1. ask if your company gives you more money if you opt out of their insurance.
2. look into health share.  its what i plan to use in FIRE. 

lthenderson

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #2 on: February 24, 2017, 07:53:57 AM »
If you sign up for Obamacare, one of the questions they ask is if you could get healthcare through an employer. If you answer yes to that question, they go into more specific cases but generally most have to pay full price. Currently we pay around $1000/month for the cheapest plan but I'm guessing that is regionally dependent. We only have one option to choose from where we live as all the others have stopped providing healthcare to our area.

Gin1984

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #3 on: February 24, 2017, 07:56:57 AM »
If you sign up for Obamacare, one of the questions they ask is if you could get healthcare through an employer. If you answer yes to that question, they go into more specific cases but generally most have to pay full price. Currently we pay around $1000/month for the cheapest plan but I'm guessing that is regionally dependent. We only have one option to choose from where we live as all the others have stopped providing healthcare to our area.
It is, I found more than one here for family which are full price at $600/month in 2016.

StarBright

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #4 on: February 24, 2017, 08:03:16 AM »
We had a similar situation for a couple of years and we did look on the federal/state ACA exchange to see if we could find a decent plan for my DH and kids. Company sponsored insurance will not disqualify you from purchasing private HI (but it will disqualify you for ACA subsidies.)

There were some solid plan options with okay pricing that would have had cheaper premiums (even with no subsidies) but having multiple plans for the family would have raised our deductibles a bit more than we were comfortable with at the time. We did run the numbers and it was close but we stuck with my work plan.

I think it is also very state dependent. When I was looking a few years ago we lived in a different state and I found it had much higher prices than our current location.

If we had lived in our current state we very well may have bought ACA plans for the family.

It could be well worth your time to at least look at options.

Healthshare is VERY interesting but might not be a good choice if you have pre-existing conditions (and lots of things count as pre-existing conditions- preACA I was denied private health insurance because I'd had a migraine prescription written once (about 5 years before I applied for the insurance) - apparently Migraine sufferers are at a slightly higher risk for stroke so that counted.)

lthenderson

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #5 on: February 24, 2017, 08:07:51 AM »
If you sign up for Obamacare, one of the questions they ask is if you could get healthcare through an employer. If you answer yes to that question, they go into more specific cases but generally most have to pay full price. Currently we pay around $1000/month for the cheapest plan but I'm guessing that is regionally dependent. We only have one option to choose from where we live as all the others have stopped providing healthcare to our area.
It is, I found more than one here for family which are full price at $600/month in 2016.

We were paying $450/month in 2014, $600/month in 2015, $750/month in 2016 and currently $1000/month is 2017. Based off my experience, the monthly cost hasn't been very stable.

boarder42

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #6 on: February 24, 2017, 08:16:45 AM »


Healthshare is VERY interesting but might not be a good choice if you have pre-existing conditions (and lots of things count as pre-existing conditions- preACA I was denied private health insurance because I'd had a migraine prescription written once (about 5 years before I applied for the insurance) - apparently Migraine sufferers are at a slightly higher risk for stroke so that counted.)

Most Healthshare at least the top 2 cover pre existing conditions to some level after being in the system a few years.  My point of view on this is, if we arent going to have universal healthcare i'd rather be in healthshare where my health isnt subsidizing others.  To keep it as a free market this allows the healthy people the choice to choose to go with this type of option.  but you're correct in that pre existing conditions or chronic conditions need to be weighed.

Metric Mouse

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #7 on: February 25, 2017, 02:11:14 AM »
If you sign up for Obamacare, one of the questions they ask is if you could get healthcare through an employer. If you answer yes to that question, they go into more specific cases but generally most have to pay full price. Currently we pay around $1000/month for the cheapest plan but I'm guessing that is regionally dependent. We only have one option to choose from where we live as all the others have stopped providing healthcare to our area.
It is, I found more than one here for family which are full price at $600/month in 2016.

We were paying $450/month in 2014, $600/month in 2015, $750/month in 2016 and currently $1000/month is 2017. Based off my experience, the monthly cost hasn't been very stable.
Yeah, 2017 was a big jump in premiums in a lot of healthcare markets. 20%+ was not uncommon - I think it was actually average. I'm sorry to hear this affects your family.

lthenderson

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #8 on: February 27, 2017, 08:38:27 AM »
If you sign up for Obamacare, one of the questions they ask is if you could get healthcare through an employer. If you answer yes to that question, they go into more specific cases but generally most have to pay full price. Currently we pay around $1000/month for the cheapest plan but I'm guessing that is regionally dependent. We only have one option to choose from where we live as all the others have stopped providing healthcare to our area.
It is, I found more than one here for family which are full price at $600/month in 2016.

We were paying $450/month in 2014, $600/month in 2015, $750/month in 2016 and currently $1000/month is 2017. Based off my experience, the monthly cost hasn't been very stable.
Yeah, 2017 was a big jump in premiums in a lot of healthcare markets. 20%+ was not uncommon - I think it was actually average. I'm sorry to hear this affects your family.

I'm fortunate that I can afford to pay those premiums and I'm only going to have to pay them for another year before the person can get fully subsidized healthcare. However, I do ponder how those who need it long term are supposed to budget for it and even pay for it if it continues increasing at the same rate.

Saving in Austin

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #9 on: February 27, 2017, 03:11:20 PM »
We are looking to sign up with Blue Cross through Academic Blue: http://bit.ly/2mE6PHr

Sign up for health insurance by taking a class at a local community college and save a a few hundred a month through the school's health insurance program.

Our cost is currently $834 per month and was $400 a few years ago though ACA.

Academic Blue shows that we will pay $368 per month once we are signed up through school.

TheDudeReturns

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Re: Options to Save on Healthcare Premiums?
« Reply #10 on: February 28, 2017, 12:19:47 AM »
We are looking to sign up with Blue Cross through Academic Blue: http://bit.ly/2mE6PHr

Sign up for health insurance by taking a class at a local community college and save a a few hundred a month through the school's health insurance program.

Our cost is currently $834 per month and was $400 a few years ago though ACA.

Academic Blue shows that we will pay $368 per month once we are signed up through school.

Typically these academic/student plans cap lifetime benefits as they are dealing with younger people who typically don't require much in the way of healthcare. If they don't have a limit anymore, just shows how crazy insurance is when people have to find loopholes like this. I may do the same ;) Good luck!