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.
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?