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Which health insurance deductible to choose?

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  • Avatar DDStigers 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 20
    Joined: 05/11/2019

    I just started working for a corporate dental office and need to choose my health insurance plan.  I attached a comparison of the different policies.  An HSA is available with the $1500 and $3000 deductible plan.  I’m currently 27, married with no kids, and healthy.  We don’t plan on having any kids in the next year but will be after a year.  Any suggestions?

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    #237156 Reply
    CordMcNally CordMcNally 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 2693
    Joined: 01/03/2017

    I would probably do the $3k deductible plan now and switch to the $1.5k deductible plan when you start trying for kids. I would also max out the HSA.

    “But investing isn’t about beating others at their game. It’s about controlling yourself at your own game.”
    ― Benjamin Graham, The Intelligent Investor

    #237161 Reply
    Liked by AZPT
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1666
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    If it were me I would take the highest deductable and lowest premium. As long as you would be able to afford the out of pocket expenses. Hopefully you wouldn’t need to spend a dime. Bank that HSA for the future.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #237162 Reply
    Liked by jfoxcpacfp
    Avatar AZPT 
    Participant
    Status: Other Professional
    Posts: 107
    Joined: 02/02/2019

    I would probably do the $3k deductible plan now and switch to the $1.5k deductible plan when you start trying for kids. I would also max out the HSA.

    Click to expand…

    I echo this. I would get into the $3k plan now, save the premium payments and max out the HSA. Then, move into the $1,500 plan once you’ve decided to have kids. Unless I am missing something, that $1,500 plan seems like the no-brainer for you for the longterm (of those 3). Especially with the $6,500 OOP Max.

    One thing I would look into is… what happens if you are on the $3k plan, get pregnant, and your wife delivers before your next open enrollment when you can switch into the $1500 plan? I know you can change plans after delivery d/t the life-changing event stipulation, but will you be able to use the OOP max of the 1500 plan after switching, or will you be stuck paying the OOP max of the $3k plan (which is nearly double)? I don’t know the answer, but I would sure find out before deciding.

    #237173 Reply
    Avatar DDStigers 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 20
    Joined: 05/11/2019

    Thanks for the responses. I will look into if I’ll be able to switch plans.

    #237247 Reply
    Avatar tylerjw12 
    Participant
    Status: Spouse
    Posts: 16
    Joined: 05/23/2016

    Does your employer contribute at all to your HSA? What is the pharmacy benefit for each plan? I would say the $3,000 plan before definitely AND possibly after kids. The premium differential between the two plans on the EE+SP tier is about $1,600 if I did the math correctly. Even if your wife goes through a delivery on the $3,000 plan she’s subject to just the individual OOPM: $6,550 vs $5,200, so the added cost is less than the savings annually.

    It is also possible that the $1,500 plan meets criteria for a QHDHP and thus is HSA eligible. If it’s not listed elsewhere in the benefits guide, ask your HR department. Tax savings from HSA contributions also help the cause of the cheaper plan.

    On the family basis, you save about $2,400 per year in the $3,000 plan. I know the OOPM is much different, but really the odds of you incurring enough medical claims to meet the OOPM are pretty small. Unless someone in your family comes down with a serious and ongoing ailment, I’d pick the cheapest plan and self-insure. You don’t get the benefit of copays on the $1,500 and for most years (given relatively good health) you likely won’t hit your deductibles.

    The plans and premiums may be different by the time you add to your family, but the process and math behind the decision will apply in the same manner.

    #237329 Reply
    Avatar DDStigers 
    Participant
    Status: Dentist
    Posts: 20
    Joined: 05/11/2019
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    My employer does not contribute to my HSA. I think I’m going to choose the $3,000 deductible and try and max out my HSA.

    #237662 Reply
    Lordosis Lordosis 
    Participant
    Status: Physician
    Posts: 1666
    Joined: 02/11/2019

    You can always keep an amount equal to your deductible available in cash in the HSA just in case. Like an extra medical e fund.

    “Never let your sense of morals prevent you from doing what is right.”

    #238017 Reply

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