Health Insurance is Ridiculous.

Open enrollment just ended for Mr. Money’s employer.  Since I’m a stay at home mom, we basically have the option of enrolling in Mr. Money’s health insurance through work, try to enroll through the exchange, or seek another option such as Medi-Share.  This year we ran out of time and enrolled in the health insurance for our whole family through United Healthcare with his employer.  The cost? Over $7,000 a year. Whoa.

First off, Mr. Money is a chef and does not make that much money. $7,000 is a huge chunk of change to us, especially with being a single income family.  I see that huge sum and think of all the better uses I could do with that money.  Second, our deductible for this health insurance plan is $5,000.  We have to hit that out of pocket before they cover anything! That’s ridiculous. I’m pissed off and am going to be exploring different options as we have time to research it.

I’m really thinking of checking out the health sharing companies such as Medi-Share.  I considered it many years ago, but didn’t really need it then so we didn’t look too much into it.  Now I feel like it’s definitely worth looking into with the exorbitant amount that we’re paying each month for crappy coverage.  Don’t get me wrong, I am thankful that we are eligible for health insurance and that we are on a company plan, but I just wish it was actually affordable for middle class families like us.

The nice thing is, we’re fairly young and healthy and mainly only go to doctors for well checks and annual physicals.  Even if we had to pay out of pocket for well checks if we went with a program like Medi Share, we’d still come out ahead according to their cost calculators.  I hate paying out of pocket for things, but I hate wasting money even more.

Health insurance shouldn’t be this difficult. It’s something that I’ve struggled with for many years- trying to find coverage when I became a stay at home mom, trying to actually get coverage with pre existing conditions, and figuring out what to do when Mr. Money lost his job and we were without income and health insurance.  It’s frustrating because I feel like our family is pretty well versed in health insurance info, and I can’t imagine how others feel that don’t understand it quite as well.

I do like the idea that people are helping people with the health insurance alternative companies.  I’ve honestly considered going without health insurance and just paying the penalty but obviously know that is not an ideal solution to this problem.  I just see saving all that money and it sounds like a good idea!

I need to sit down and run numbers and see what makes most sense for our family.  Hopefully I’ll be able to find an option that will save our family some money and may offer better coverage for us. That would be awesome!

What do you think about the health insurance options and cost available today?

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Homeowners Insurance Rates Increase?

The other day we received our bill for our annual homeowners insurance premium.  I opened it up and was shocked that it was $110 more than last year, at $724.  I didn’t think that in one year the rate would go up that much!  I looked over the bill, and there is a blurb about inflation: “Inflation has increased construction cost by 3.00 percent.  Your coverage and premium have been increased accordingly.”  What? 3% of $615 (what the premium used to be) is only around $18.  So why did my premium go up over $100?  Annoying.

We already have a $1000 deductible and I really don’t want to raise that.  I don’t know if I should shop around for homeowners insurance quotes, or if I should just stick with them because this is normal.  I have our cars insured with the company also, so we receive a discount for that.  I also like that the company that we’re with is a reputable company that I trust in case something happened.  It just makes me angry that our policy could go up that much in one year!  We haven’t had any claims, so that can’t have anything to do with it either.

Is that a normal increase in homeowners insurance?  Should I shop around again and maybe switch insurance companies?

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Contemplating a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)

It’s open enrollment time for benefits at my employer.  They have given us our options for health insurance, and we are able to choose which plan we’d like.  The choices for health insurance have been simplified down to a few choices, and it mainly boils down to two choices: a high deductible health plan or a PPO.  Last year, we ended up going with a PPO health insurance, and it ended up costing us more money out of pocket in premiums each month.  We did have less out of pocket expenses than if we had chosen the high deductible health plan.  Of course, this year I’m going to analyze the costs and see what makes more sense for our family.  The thought of a high deductible health plan scares me for a few reasons, but I need to not dismiss it, and see if we’d save more money going that route for health insurance.

Cost of High Deductible Health Plan versus PPO

The cost for the high deductible health plan for the entire year is $1,162.68.  The cost for the PPO health insurance is $2,233.56.  If I chose the high deductible health plan, right off the bat I would save $1070.88.  In addition, I would also receive $1,000 a year from my employer (which is divided amount 26 pay checks as long as I am employed there) towards a health savings account.

Health Insurance Deductible Comparison

With the high deductible health plan, we’d have to meet a $2,400 family deductible (not including preventative check ups) before our insurance would kick in.  For example, if we went to the doctor because we were sick, we’d be 100% responsible for the cost of the visit after they billed the insurance.  We would be able to use funds from a health savings account that would be tax deductible, provided we had the funds in the account.

Copays for the PPO are $20 for a general doctor visit and $40 for a specialist.  For whatever reason, my OBGYN is considered a specialist, and I always have to pay the $40 co pay when I visit her.

Maternity Coverage

I’m really hoping that I get pregnant next year, and with the PPO it would cover more than the high deductible health plan would.  Of course, if I ended up using a midwife and having to pay out of pocket with that, I could use the funds from a health savings account to cover that cost.  I guess I like knowing that I don’t have to meet the deductible if we do end up having a baby.

To be honest, I don’t like the high deductible health plan because it seems like it’s more work to keep track of.  Plus, if we did have an expensive medical emergency, it would cost us a lot of money out of pocket.  On the other hand, I feel stupid for passing up the free $1,000 that the company will put in an HSA (health savings account) to help defer the cost and the instant savings on premiums that the high deductible health plan has.  Another of my concerns is that if I go with the high deductible health plan this year, and next year want to go with the PPO that I won’t be able to.  This year they did that with HMOs.  If you had one last year, you can get it this year, but if you didn’t have it, you can’t get it.

It would be so easy to just pick the PPO health insurance and be done with it because then I know that we’ve got good coverage and we don’t have to worry too much about out of pocket expenses.

What type of health insurance would you pick? What kind of health insurance do you have?

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