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Just like gas and food, my health plan will be following the trend of increasing costs. Human Resources sent out a brief note today notifying us that there are some changes coming to our health plan.

We are going to be switching to a new provider in January. The reason for the switch is to lower costs. Unfortunately, the savings will most likely be for the company and not for the employees. Like most large companies, the company pays part of the premium for insurance. Our company makes sure we know how much they are paying because they put the amount they paid on our paystub.

Currently, we have numerous options for our health insurance. The plans range from a 100% plan with no deductible (most expensive) to a 60% plan with a high deductible of $2500 (least expensive). I currently have a 90/10 plan which costs $36 per paycheck. I elected to have a $500 deductible to lower the monthly cost. Currently, once my deductible is met for the year, my insurance then pays 90% of the bill and I kick in the remaining 10%.

The new plan is supposed to have a larger network of doctors and is supposed to be more flexible. That's the good news of the new plan. The bad news is that there is only one choice - 80/20. I'm not sure at this point what deductibles will be offered and what the cost will be.

We should be getting all the details in a presentation next week and I will give you the details. I plan to increase the amount of money I put aside in my personal flexible savings account to cover the 10% increase is the amount I am required to pay.

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  1. Anonymous // July 11, 2008 at 3:10 PM  

    Good plan to increase your FSA . That is our POA, and because of this we would definitely be OK with increasing insurance deductibles if the rest of the plan is OK. The nice thing about FSAs (if you have an official, classic FSA) is being able to file at any point in the year: i.e., you can first apply for reimbursement of OTC drugs and uncovered expenses (for us: contacts), then at the end of the year submit the EOBs with deductibles, etc. Since you get no tax benefit for stuff paid by the FSA, I'd rather save submitting tax deductible expenses until the last minute.
    The other strategy is to always have your own personal "medical savings account", which is, perhaps, what you're alluding to. Do as you say and keep an amount you think would be needed for copays, etc. Then [re]fund with your FSA reimbursements, part of your tax refund, other seed $, whatever.
    Also, possibly great use for a 0% credit card.

    So: If you have access to an FSA, use it! And whether or not you can have an FSA, do it for yourself.

    BTW, Regarding health insurance in general, our priority IS being able to chose our health care providers, and we pay more for that privilege.

    Good luck on the new policy!

  2. Anonymous // July 11, 2008 at 3:42 PM  

    Be sure to keep an eye on your deductibles and out of pocket maxes. Our out of pocket maxes per year have gone up over the last several years; should you need any sort of hospital stay you'll probably hit it.

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