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Health Insurance Increases

BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
edited December 2012 in Parent Cafe
Just went over this stuff with my manager.

Basically my costs increase about 18%, overall costs increase about 5%. Much higher deductibles for lab stuff. There's a new HSA option which is quite a bit less than the plan that I have right now. I will probably take a quick look at it because we overall use very little in healthcare services (typically well under $1,000 annually) - but I don't know if we'd be able to keep our son on our policy (his employer has specific requirements for external coverage and I don't know if an HSA would meet those requirements).

There are a bunch of additional things covered but they don't affect us. The additional things covered probably contributes to our overall higher costs. The increase to us last year was much, much higher than 18%; I think that the overall costs were quite a bit higher than 5% too.

There's also a new catastrophic plan but I haven't looked into that.

Maybe I should by United Healthcare Stock.
Post edited by BCEagle91 on
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Replies to: Health Insurance Increases

  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Posts: 13,999Registered User Senior Member
    Everybody has increases, there will be more to come....with less services as more will refuse to take Medicare patients all together, another reason to stay employed.....
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,357Registered User Senior Member
    If you don't spend much on health care and HSA can be great, assuming your employer HSA works the same as an individual one you can put the amount of your deductible into an HSA bank account tax-free, it comes off your AGI on the first page of your taxes.

    You can then invest that money however you like, using it to pay for any medical expenses, including things not covered on your insurance like dental or vision.

    That money should stay in that account year after year, building up. Current rules allow you to use it as an IRA post retirement, if you have accumulated more than you need for medical expenses.

    You pay a lower premium now, but you put cash in the HSA account, then if you don't use it, you get that cash back as retirement funds. Not a bad deal. Check it out.
  • MagnetronMagnetron Posts: 1,121Registered User Senior Member
    I helped run the numbers for my wife's business this year. It was cheaper for her to put the employees in a $2500 high-deductible plan and just give them the $2500 in an HSA than it was to keep them on the traditional plan. If employees don't get sick, they come out way ahead. Same thing for the lousy dental plan - employees gain by taking the cash instead of being on the plan.

    Her practice is also closed to Medicare. For now, hospital sponsored health clinics are required to take Medicare so still plenty of choices around here.
  • MiamiDAPMiamiDAP Posts: 13,999Registered User Senior Member
    ^Meidcare reimbursement will go down and so will number of providers who can afford taking Medicare patients.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,053Registered User Senior Member
    Ours increased a little, but not by any more than it has in previous years. We have had a high deductible plan and an HSA the last 2 years. Has worked well for us (us being my daughter and I - my husband is already retirement age and on medicare plus plan F which combined have given him much better coverage during his current fight with cancer than I wold have with my insurance)

    My daughter and I are relatively healthy so the high deductible has worked well. But the cost of the high deductible plan and the alternative, a PPO, have got closer and closer and are now just $36 a month difference, so I am debating about whether to switch. My daughter got married this year so as far as I can tell from current research, I can't contribute to my HSA in her name as she will not be our dependent for tax purposes which makes the HSA a little less attractive. I think she can stay on our insurance as she is 23 and does not have other coverage, but the tax laws and the insurance rules don't seem to Gel . So many decisions in so little time - we are off to Houston to M D Anderson tomorrow for husband's next 3 month check up so I am otherwise occupied right now plus my brain seems to lose some cells as soon as I walk through those doors into cancer world, so may end up with the high deductible be default.

    Speaking of M D Anderson, -FWIW we have not encountered a single doctor that does not take medicare patients over the past year between numerous doctors and four different hospitals in 3 different States. That included M D Anderson in Houston, hospitals in our own home State, and an unexpected visit and stay to a different (heart) hospital in Houston and an ER in Charleston, SC.
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Posts: 4,471Registered User Senior Member
    I haven't seen the options yet for H's plan, but our medical group, which includes H's and my internist and my endocrinologist, has left his plan. We've been going there for years, so not sure if we will attempt to get new doctors, or continue there and pay extra :(.
  • BCEagle91BCEagle91 Posts: 22,762Registered User Senior Member
    Our health insurance costs were pretty stable for many years up until around 2012 when they went up sharply so I'm having to put a little more effort into this. It's still fairly small amounts of money but I do like to be efficient.

    Thanks for the comments on HSAs. I will definitely have to look into it. I think that my employer kicks in about $8K on our medical plan and we pay about $3K. If we're only doing about $500 to $1,000 a year in expenses, then I guess that we're balancing out the costs of other employees (we're self-insured). I think that my manager is going to look into the HSA so I will see if I can get more details without having to read a lot.

    Of course the company might kick in a lot less for the HSA but I'll have to see.
  • LergnomLergnom Posts: 6,837Registered User Senior Member
    If your costs are only $3k per year, putting aside how the numbers work for you and alternatives (and deductibles & co-pays), you are doing well.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,053Registered User Senior Member
    ^^^Sylvan - That's why I'm a bit on the fence about changing to the PPO. Not sure how much it limits my choices compared to the high deductible plan and don't have the time to research it right now. I think I have till November 15th.

    hmm $36 a month more and more limited choices vs a choice between $2800 deductible and a $1400 one. But with the high deductible all doctor's visits (other than those tests like colonoscopies etc) and prescriptions are out of pocket until we meet the $2800 deductible. I'll turn 60 next year and haven't been feeling too tippy top recently but have been avoiding going to the doctor (mostly because or beloved family doc closed her practice and moved back to her home town to be close to family and I am not sure about our new doc, but a bit because I would have to pay out of pocket and this has been a hellacious expensive year for us). I kind of have a niggly feeling I may be using doctor's services a bit more in the near future so am on the fence. I don't think any of our plans offer completely free choice as far as doctors any more. it looks like the one that did has been discontinued. It Was almost double the PPO and well out of our price range anyway.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,357Registered User Senior Member
    Swimcat- I believe that if you have a 'family', you have a higher family deductible and can contribute that full amount. The question to ask your agent or tax man would be whether you can reimburse her for her expenses when she is no longer your dependent.
  • somemomsomemom Posts: 9,357Registered User Senior Member
    You might also ask, in our state high deductible plans still cover preventative things- screening colonoscopy, screening mammogram, vaccines (shingles), annual physical etc are covered with no deductible.

    The theory is that your deductible amount, either from you or the employer, goes into that bank account just waiting to be used for those medical expenses.

    The one thing I have discovered over the past nearly 20 years with MSA/HSA plans is that while we are quite healthy, we have used up the funds year after year, braces & dental & other sundry items with kids just seemed to mean we never got ahead of the game, but at least the money was set aside to pay for those things. Even though it is my money, something about putting it in that account means I don't choose not to spend on medical care.
  • emeraldkity4emeraldkity4 Posts: 33,797Registered User Senior Member
    If your sons employer has higher expectations of medical policies than your own coverage, might I assume they provide that coverage for employees?
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,053Registered User Senior Member
    Swimcat- I believe that if you have a 'family', you have a higher family deductible and can contribute that full amount. The question to ask your agent or tax man would be whether you can reimburse her for her expenses when she is no longer your dependent.
    We do have the higher deductible ($2800 family vs $1400 individual next year, $2400 vs $1200 this year), but the tax rules seem to limit the HSA contributions to people claimed on our tax return. We claimed her last year and made the full HSA contribution of a little over $7,000 ($3000 ish each for her and I plus an additional $1,000 because I am over 55). We spent the entire $7,000 plus a lot more. This year, as I understand it, I can't claim a tax deduction on an HSA contribution for her as she is not my dependent. I think she would be able to set up an HSA and claim the tax deduction, but between her and her husband (he's a grad student), I don't think they will owe much or any taxes so it is not worth it.

    I need to investigate it more, but that is the way I understand it.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,053Registered User Senior Member
    Found this on an aetna site - now I am even more confused!
    You can cover dependents up to age to 26
    Upon your health plan effective date after September 23, 2010, health plans that provide coverage for dependents of employees will be required to offer coverage to adult children of employees until they reach age 26. (Some employers may have begun offering this option as of March 30, 2010).

    But, the tax law did not change the definition of a dependent for HSAs. You could have under your health plan an adult dependent child who is not a dependent for tax purposes. That means you’ll pay a penalty plus taxes if you use the pretax dollars from your HSA to pay health expenses for your older covered dependent.

    Here are some steps you can take to avoid tax issues:

    Your covered adult dependent child may open his or her own HSA and contribute up to the allowed family maximum ($6,150 in 2010 and 2011.) To do so, call Member Services and ask for a Health Savings Account (HSA) Enrollment Form. Follow the instructions on the form. You also may continue to save up to the maximum family contribution amount in your own HSA.

    Looks like they are saying I can save the same amount with the tax break, but can't use it for her expenses. And she can also save some. That doesn't sound right does it?

    If it is the case, I would for sure put away the max. But I'm wondering if I can as it would just be for me. My husband is already on medicare - can't save for him, but can use the money to pay for his expenses!

    Don't think they could make it any more confusing if they tried.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 15,053Registered User Senior Member
    Well, I am thoroughly confused. Looming at the IRS site, as I have family coverage it looks like I may be able to make the maximum contribution to the HSA. But I can't pay my daughter's expenses using the HSA funds as she is not a dependent? But she can open an HSA of her own.

    It would be well worth it if I can make the max contribution. I have high dental bills, my husbands prescription costs are very high and I desperately need new specs.

    It almost sounds too good to be true. And you know what they say about when things sound too good to be true....
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