Everyone knows its closing in on Open Enrollment season, and decisions need to be made for next year's healthcare. I was going to post some of this to one of FS' recent healthcare posts, but figured since the Forum is here I may as well use it.
So, here's the deal...
For the last 6 years, I have elected to not use my company's health care and went with my wife's plan for the family. We found the doctors were better or said differently she wouldn't have to change hers. As luck had it, all of mine were in her network as well. We always max out the family contribution to the HSA and likely would continue to do so. Yes, there are pros and cons to the HDP, but I think given our health and track recorded, it makes sense. The current plan has a $6k deductible for the family with the HDP. So we haven't hit the deductible recently, aside from when the kids were born I guess. We always kind of make the decision or not for care, but given the HSA and the allotment provided by her company as well, we have had no reservations getting care when needed.
Anyway, I have recently accepted a new position, in which the company will pay for 100% of my medical, and dental. They also cover my family 100% for medical at zero contribution cost from me, and they have a small contribution fee for dental for the family. So, it's decision time.
Do, we jump ship and move the family to the new plan covered 100% by new company. Or do we keep my wife on her plan, and I take the kids to the new plan? Or do we do the double coverage and each of us keep the kids on our plan, but each hold our own?
As I'm writing this, I realize it's likely that I would put everyone accept for my wife on the plan since it's free, at least for healthcare. And now the decision is whether to keep her and the kids on her plan as well, or just to keep her on her plan.
Some information to help in the selection process:
Her plan is with AETNA - national and well known. Has the HSA, DCRA, FSA, etc. lots of options, and a solid listing of funds to choose from in the HSA.
New plan is with Health Plans Inc, doesn't have an HSA, but has an HRA, DCRA, FSA. The company has a large contribution to the HRA as well.
I realize there is other information needed here, but I'm just trying to gauge what people have done in the past in this scenario?
I think I want to keep part on her plan for the HSA as it at least gives some tax sheltering option. I also know that the carrier is accepted nearly everywhere so no issue on the out of network services.
As a side note, the new position is in a new state, so we are moving as well - which eliminates the fear of losing our current care providers, because they are all changing.
Anyway, please help decide if you can.
well nearly 150 reviews, and no one with the courage to toss out an opinion...most unfortunate.
I'll share what I have learned thus far though for others.
I created a spreadsheet, and ran all the numbers comparing coverages, past premiums spent with a 5 year average in mind. The past can't exactly tell the future because as you get older things get more expensive, but it does remind you of certain events, ER trips and things to project forward.
I ran a cost comparison, and it looks like the new plan is roughly $7k cheaper, which is good.
The downside, is that the new plan doesn't have an HSA, but does have an HRA as mentioned below. So looking at the numbers again, The HRA is pretty solid against the deductible. However, the HSA is a huge benefit (IMO) down the road, since it's a triple tax advantage and investment account rolled in one.
So, I am going to check on the updated premiums for the existing plan during open enrollment, and see how it stacks.
My current though process, is I'm going to move my kids and myself to the new plan, and leave my wife on her plan. The reason is solely to keep the HSA benefit going, and also give the option to adjust DCRA/FSA/HSA deductions from salaries. I think more tax shelter options is better than less especially when dealing with W2s and there are so few to choose from.
Anyway, I'll update more as the picture become more clear.
For any of you silent viewers out there... looking is free, but so is tossing out an opinion. The name of the game is helping everyone slice through Money's Mysteries...
Good luck to all in open enrollment. May the odds be ever in your favor...