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BCBS Health Ins Increase 18% - raise deductable?
Old 01-29-2009, 04:10 PM   #1
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BCBS Health Ins Increase 18% - raise deductable?

I just got my BCBS health ins increase 18.35%
The question is: Do I raise my deductible from 5K to 10K?
There would be a $935/yr. savings by raising the deductable.
My thought process is that
- I don't have any chronic problems
- If I needed to pay the higher deductible I would not be spending my discretionary expense budget for travel and such.
- If the injury was the result of a car accident, that would be the primary insurer and BCBS the secondary.
Am I missing any aspects to this question?
All the aspects for the plans are the same except for the items below.

Plan-------------5K +++ 10K
$/Month-------244 +++ 167
$/Year-------2,933+++ 1,999

Variance $935

Deductible
5,000 +++ 10,000

Co Ins. out of Pocket Max
2,000 +++ 5,000

Prescription Drugs
500 +++ 1,000
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:01 PM   #2
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If everything is the same in the coverage and you could afford the $10,000 hit I would go for it . It is a gamble as we get older but if you suddenly have a chronic problem can you return to the $5,000 deductible ? That would be the deciding factor for me .
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Old 01-29-2009, 05:53 PM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Moemg View Post
If everything is the same in the coverage and you could afford the $10,000 hit I would go for it . It is a gamble as we get older but if you suddenly have a chronic problem can you return to the $5,000 deductible ? That would be the deciding factor for me .
I can afford the hit - as I said, if I'm incurring that large a medical bill I won't be spending it on travel etc.

I think I could return to the 5K plan after an 18 month waiting period.
txs
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:02 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
I just got my BCBS health ins increase 18.35%
The question is: Do I raise my deductible from 5K to 10K?
There would be a $935/yr. savings by raising the deductable.
My thought process is that
- I don't have any chronic problems
- If I needed to pay the higher deductible I would not be spending my discretionary expense budget for travel and such.
- If the injury was the result of a car accident, that would be the primary insurer and BCBS the secondary.
Am I missing any aspects to this question?
All the aspects for the plans are the same except for the items below.

Plan-------------5K +++ 10K
$/Month-------244 +++ 167
$/Year-------2,933+++ 1,999

Variance $935

Deductible
5,000 +++ 10,000

Co Ins. out of Pocket Max
2,000 +++ 5,000

Prescription Drugs
500 +++ 1,000
Ouch. That sucks. I feel your pain.

I would look at average expenses over the past couple of years. If the out of pocket was less than $5K then your plan sounds reasonable. $5K is a lot when using insurance negotiated rates.

Are you certain your medical expenses will be covered by an auto policy in case of an auto accident?

Is your policy HSA eligible?

Michael
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Old 01-29-2009, 06:42 PM   #5
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Your out of pocket max is less than your deductible? Do you have preventative care coverage that has no deductible? Are you on any prescription drugs?

In general, if you are healthy and your normal expenses are low I would go with the higher deductible as long as the lower is still available to you. Auto medical is usually $5K or so per person but if its not your fault you could always recover your medical from the other driver provided they are insured.

Good Luck.
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Doubles every 4 years at that rate
Old 01-29-2009, 07:07 PM   #6
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Doubles every 4 years at that rate

If 18% is the norm for annual increase the cost doubles every four years. Have you run the numbers to see what that means at age 64?

If I see 18% as an average annual increase my 5K HDHP with HSA will have an annual premium of about $28K at age 64. Good Grief!!
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:34 PM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MichaelB View Post
Ouch. That sucks. I feel your pain.

I would look at average expenses over the past couple of years. If the out of pocket was less than $5K then your plan sounds reasonable. $5K is a lot when using insurance negotiated rates.

Are you certain your medical expenses will be covered by an auto policy in case of an auto accident?

Is your policy HSA eligible?

Michael
My medical bills over the last 10 years have been less than $100/yr. except for last year when I broke my collar bone - I spent $240.
I'm retired so no HSA.

I think I'm going to go with the higher deductible plan - a little different from the ones I quoted above.

Plan-------------10K
$/Month-------182
$/Year-------2,191

Variance $742

Deductible
10,000

Co Ins. out of Pocket Max
0

Prescription Drugs
co - pay
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Old 01-29-2009, 07:56 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dex View Post
I'm retired so no HSA.
Dex, this caught my eye.

Us retired types can have HSA's if you buy a HSA eligible policy. After retiring and using up my COBRA, I purcased a HSA eligible policy and have been making quarterly contributions to my HSA account.

You might be thinking of a FSA (Flexible Savings Account), generally associated with insurance while employed.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:24 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by REWahoo View Post
Dex, this caught my eye.

Us retired types can have HSA's if you buy a HSA eligible policy. After retiring and using up my COBRA, I purcased a HSA eligible policy and have been making quarterly contributions to my HSA account.

You might be thinking of a FSA (Flexible Savings Account), generally associated with insurance while employed.
Thanks - I'll look into it.
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:31 PM   #10
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Dex,

Try running a spreadsheet to get a feeling for your total cost at all different expense levels. The play the probability game.

At one point I found that the $5K deductible was essentially always cheaper than the 2.5K deductible.

We are also super healthy, but DW met her $5K deductible last year (skin cancer on nose and colonoscopy) and I met my $3.5K deductible in 2006 (hernia and colonoscopy).

Also, make sure you go over all the details of the plans. Some may not give you the negotiated rate below the deductible. Some pay everything over the deductible, others not. I find them very tricky and confusing.

I'm also retired and have an HSA.

I'll see if I can find my old thread concerning this topic...couldn't find it, but:

Click here for the XLS worksheet that I used a few years ago. It's very simple (disclaimer:and may have mistakes). You put in your premiums and a range of expenditures, and it shows you how much each of the two plans would cost.

Finally, was part of the 18% increase due to entering a new age group?
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:33 PM   #11
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Check out this thread:

Rethinking High Deductible Policies
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Old 01-29-2009, 08:45 PM   #12
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I got hit with a 15% increase from BCBS and I already have a 10k ded. Nothing I can do but eat it and go on. Sucks.
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Old 01-29-2009, 10:37 PM   #13
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I'm still doing my research and will be talking with BCBS tomorrow.
It looks like I won't qualify for the HSA
All the policies I'm looking at have a higher out of pocket expense than the law allows.

Do You Need a Health Savings Account? at SmartMoney.com
More Eligibility Rules

If you have self-only health coverage for 2008, it cannot require more than $5,600 in annual out-of-pocket payments for covered benefits (including the amount of your policy deductible). For family coverage, the 2007 annual out-of-pocket maximum cannot exceed $11,200 (including your deductible). You're ineligible to make HSA contributions for any year when you are covered for the entire year by a non-high-deductible health plan that provides coverage for any benefits covered under the high-deductible plan (in other words, overlapping coverage with a low deductible is forbidden). In applying this restriction, however, the following types of health-related coverage don't count:
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