Author Topic: Switching health insurance strategically question  (Read 4150 times)

uga2

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Switching health insurance strategically question
« on: October 07, 2015, 11:57:05 AM »
My wife and I are expecting our first child in May of 2016. My wife is planning on quitting her job and becoming a SAHM once the baby is born.

I have an idea on what to do about our health insurance and I wanted to check with you all to see if you saw something that I might be missing or a reason it would not work out/be a good idea

I am planning on signing my wife up for the high deductible/low premium insurance during open enrollment this year (She has several options but this is by far the cheapest)

Then a couple of weeks before the due date my wife will quit her job. This will be a qualifying event. She will then sign up for a health plan with an extremely low deductible (And probably a high premium).

Then once the baby is born it would be another qualfing event and I could put both her and the baby on my health plan at work (high deductible) or by one in the marketplace

I thought this would be a way to save money by getting the low deductible advantages while not having to pay for it the entire year.

Please let me know if you see anything wrong with this or if you think it will work!

themagicman

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #1 on: October 07, 2015, 12:36:06 PM »
I am not sure! Following though!

nizdarina

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #2 on: October 07, 2015, 12:42:51 PM »
The only problem I see is that while having a baby is a life event for the baby, it is usually not a life event for your wife (under most plans). So she would not be able to switch plans when you put the baby on your plan. This might be worth it, even if she has to stay on a low deductible/high premium plan for the rest of the year (until open enrollment, when she can join your plan again.

NathanP

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #3 on: October 07, 2015, 12:46:02 PM »
You can do this, but keep in mind that the baby may come early or that there maybe complications before the due date. Also, once you wife quits where would she be signing up for insurance? There may be some issues here since technically she could be on your insurance at this time.

I might propose that you have a low deductible plan from Jan 1 until after the baby is born. Once that life event occurs, you then can change to a high deductible plan if both mother and child are healthy. This is the approach that I took, but our child was due much earlier in the year.

Axecleaver

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #4 on: October 07, 2015, 12:59:15 PM »
There are also a lot of "well baby" visits during the pregnancy that you may want to have her on the good plan starting in her second trimester. "Get pregnant" isn't a qualifying event. Most of the deductibles apply for the calendar year, so you could plan the switch in January, or just sign up during open enrollment in November.

uga2

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #5 on: October 07, 2015, 01:02:45 PM »
You can do this, but keep in mind that the baby may come early or that there maybe complications before the due date. Also, once you wife quits where would she be signing up for insurance? There may be some issues here since technically she could be on your insurance at this time.

I might propose that you have a low deductible plan from Jan 1 until after the baby is born. Once that life event occurs, you then can change to a high deductible plan if both mother and child are healthy. This is the approach that I took, but our child was due much earlier in the year.

The main issue with this is that she is going to quit her job before the baby is born. This will make her lose her works coverage (Or pay outrageous COBRA rates) and we would have paid that low deductible amount for the year for nothing.

Also, can you go more into depth about the issues it would cause with my insurance? They will not allow her to sign up for her own plan if she has access to joining mine?

uga2

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #6 on: October 07, 2015, 01:03:25 PM »
There are also a lot of "well baby" visits during the pregnancy that you may want to have her on the good plan starting in her second trimester. "Get pregnant" isn't a qualifying event. Most of the deductibles apply for the calendar year, so you could plan the switch in January, or just sign up during open enrollment in November.
Would these "well baby" exams not count as preventative care? Preventative care is free on her plan

little_brown_dog

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #7 on: October 07, 2015, 01:13:40 PM »
I would calculate out if the high deductible plan would actually be the cheapest given the sheer amount of prenatal visits a woman attends during her pregnancy. Make sure the cheap plan doesn’t leave you footing most of the bill for these visits to the point where you would save more money going with a more comprehensive plan with higher premiums. A good plan often covers all prenatal visits and standard testing which can save a ton of money.

Also – be very careful about switching plans around during such a high resource time. You don’t want to be forced to switch your midwife/OB or hospital/birth center because they won’t take the new insurance you plan on moving to in the 3rd trimester. You also need to be very careful about timing the plan switch in the last trimester. We looked into moving onto my husband’s plan because we are also going the SAHM route, and we discovered there would be no way to effectively ensure coverage for the birth unless we planned to overlap paying for his plan and my current plan by a month. Otherwise, we would have risked a 1 month gap in coverage – if the baby were born during that time, we could be on the hook for the ENTIRE cost of the birth.

charis

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #8 on: October 07, 2015, 01:15:12 PM »
There are also a lot of "well baby" visits during the pregnancy that you may want to have her on the good plan starting in her second trimester. "Get pregnant" isn't a qualifying event. Most of the deductibles apply for the calendar year, so you could plan the switch in January, or just sign up during open enrollment in November.
Would these "well baby" exams not count as preventative care? Preventative care is free on her plan

Yes, this should be fully covered under a HDHP as preventative care.  I have a few friends who kept their HDHPs during and after pregnancy and according to the math, they still came out ahead financially.  You may want to run the numbers before you opt for a co-pay plan.

He said that quitting her job was the qualifying event, not the pregnancy/birth.
« Last Edit: October 07, 2015, 01:17:04 PM by jezebel »

little_brown_dog

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #9 on: October 07, 2015, 01:15:49 PM »
There are also a lot of "well baby" visits during the pregnancy that you may want to have her on the good plan starting in her second trimester. "Get pregnant" isn't a qualifying event. Most of the deductibles apply for the calendar year, so you could plan the switch in January, or just sign up during open enrollment in November.
Would these "well baby" exams not count as preventative care? Preventative care is free on her plan

Not unless the plan specifically states that prenatal care is considered preventative care. Most insurance plans have separate policies outlining their coverage specifically for prenatal visits. The reason for this is that prenatal visits often include things like fetal heart rate checks, ultrasounds, basic genetic screens that wouldn't fall under typical preventative care definitions but are standard for pregnancy.

AZDude

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Re: Switching health insurance strategically question
« Reply #10 on: October 07, 2015, 01:16:59 PM »
You can do this, but keep in mind that the baby may come early or that there maybe complications before the due date. Also, once you wife quits where would she be signing up for insurance? There may be some issues here since technically she could be on your insurance at this time.

I might propose that you have a low deductible plan from Jan 1 until after the baby is born. Once that life event occurs, you then can change to a high deductible plan if both mother and child are healthy. This is the approach that I took, but our child was due much earlier in the year.

This. Put yourself on the high deductible plan, but keep your wife on the low deductible just in case. Sure, you might lose a few hundred bucks, but pregnancy is something that can go wrong quickly, and you dont want to be worrying about finances while your wife or premature baby is in the ICU.