Wednesday, January 18, 2012
What I Did Wednesday: Insurance
Leaving California left us with a lot of empty holes, not just in our heart but in our lives. Drew's prior district provided great full family health benefits, this district, not so much. It was going to be 800 dollars/month for me and the kids to be added, which is a pretty big chunk of his paycheck, so I decided to check out my other options.
I finally decided on an HSA with a high deductible plan. We basically put the money that we would have been spending on our month to month payments, and put that between the HSA and the health plan. I really like it, although I do worry something will happen, but there are a lot of benefits to doing this.
1. This is individual insurance. Me and the kids are fairly healthy (I have to pay a little more because of my history of kidney stones, and P and C each pay more because they're so small -- seriously). If you do have any prior medical history, this may not be the way to go for you, because they do check you out pretty thoroughly. I actually applied with a couple of companies to see who was going to "ding" us for what. Both companies rated some of us up, all for pretty random reasons. BUT, now that we're done with that process, this insurance is transportable. If Drew, heaven forbid, was to lose his job we still have it. It's ours. :)
2. Well checks are free. I kind of held my breath when I took P and C in for theirs, but they paid the whole bill -thanks to Obama care, I think.
3. Immunizations are also free. Sweet.
4. We don't go to the doctor very often. Sure, I thought I tore my rotator cuff in December, but I just hunted around on the Internet for what they'd do and I just made do. I am 99% sure the doctor may have done a useless X-ray and then would've said to take some ibuprofen and apply heat. I told myself to do that, and it seems to have worked. We actually haven't used a cent of our HSA since we started it. If you are a nervous wreck until you see an MD, this may not be the plan for you. BUT, small office visits aren't that much. I'm saving over 300 dollars/month going with this plan. That's a few office visits.
5. HSA money is mine, for any medical expenses. It's great, it grows in there tax free and the money is earned tax-free. It's annoying that there aren't many companies that do this, and more and more are charging a fee, but I'm still making more on interest then I do in their fees, so I'm still good. BUT, if we were to go on Drew's insurance I can still use the HSA money for medical expenses even under the other plan. This means if for some reason it ever gets big enough that I feel like I can get Lasix, guess who will be gettin' her eyeballs burned out. That's right, me.
6. It will be tax deductible, next year. I didn't spend enough on it this year (we still had Drew's insurance up til' September) but next year I will be able to deduct the cost of the insurance on my itemized taxes.
7. Once our HSA grows a bit more, I will increase our deductible, to save us more money in the long run.
At first, I thought we'd go to Drew's plan once he's making more, but I really like this plan. It puts me more in charge of my health care dollar, and that's a good feeling. I will admit that I like the fact that I have Drew's plan as a backup that we can get into during open enrollment if something really bad happens, but with this plan we'd only pay 3k and the plan covers every other cent. Even with Drew's insurance, for something big, I think we'd be out more.
Do any of you have HSA's? Are you paying a ba-jillion dollars for health insurance? I'd encourage you to look into it -- information can't hurt. :)