Saturday, November 3, 2007

Getting Married and Health Insurance

For anyone, health insurance choices can be confusing and require a significant amount of thought. For people getting married, it is doubly so.

Last week, my company sent out its first package outlining parts of our 2008 benefits choices. As promised, we will have a HAS as an option. Although we won’t have the final details until next year, it looks like a “premium” insurance package will cost approximately $20 per month more than the HSA.
HSA Deductible: $1,000 with $500 funded by the employer
Premier Plan: Typical HMO style plan with lots of Co-Pays

For me, a key consideration is my impending marriage in August, 2008. Once that happens, my wife and I will have “life events” and will need to consider adopting one plan for both of us

1. If you change plans mid-year, you start over for deductibles;
2. Understand you family’s plan in the future. As a single, healthy male, the HSA looks like a no-brainer. With a pregnancy and children in our future, it doesn’t look like such a good idea.

What we will do:
1. I am reviewing her plan in detail. It looks like a typical PPO program with low co-pays and broad benefits. If I drop health insurance, my employer will give me a credit towards other benefits.
2. I will select the HSA for the first 8 months. The one “known” medical expense I have coming up is not covered under my plan. By using the HSA money to pay for it, I convert an uncovered expense to a covered one. In addition, I get a tax deduction for my contribution to the plan.

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