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Old 08-31-2011, 01:38 PM   #21
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Is Bronze an HMO ?
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:39 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by ohyes View Post
Thanks for the great advice, already. bbbam, experiences like yours must stay in the front of my mind when choosing insurance. (I hope your husband is doing better these days).

More info on the bronze plan:
The individual coinsurance limit per year is $2500 (Gold Plan: $1500)
The family coinsurance limit per year is $5000 (Gold Plan: $3000)

*This plan (bronze) is also eligible for a Health Savings Account. There are no co-pays with the Bronze Plan, but prescriptions and medical services apply to the deductible and can be purchased using funds in the HSA.


----so, we would put the money saved on premiums into the HSA. It looks like I should backtrack a bit on read about HSA's, never having had one. Surely, you can withdraw funds if you think you have more than you need in there at some point? Or, would you never have more than you might need?
What am I missing? Based on your original post, you save $800 a month ($9600 a year) on the Bronze plan, with a worst case out of pocket of $5000 a year? Seems that worst case you are $4600 a year ahead with the high deductible plan, plus you'd get the extra tax deferral of an HSA. Seems like a no-brainer unless I'm missing something here.
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Old 08-31-2011, 01:47 PM   #23
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Found this link with some info on the plans:

Health Insurance Arkansas Retired Teachers Association
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Old 08-31-2011, 04:19 PM   #24
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Found this link with some info on the plans:

Health Insurance Arkansas Retired Teachers Association
The link doesn't clearly state whether the $5k co-insurance is in addition to the deductible or if the deductible is included in that amount. Even if the total max OOP was $8k, the bronze plan still wins every year. Bronze will also likely have much lower rate increases going forward since the starting premium is that much less to begin with.

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I think I agree w/ you but doesn't it seem strange that they would offer this situation where one option is always the worst? Perhaps OP has not been told all the relevant parameters? Or have you seen this type of situation before?
Happens all the time. They are probably subsidizing the bronze plan as a retiree benefit and not subsidizing the gold/silver at all. This forces the retiree to choose coverage with less exposure for the insurance company or self-insured group.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:20 PM   #25
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The link doesn't clearly state whether the $5k co-insurance is in addition to the deductible or if the deductible is included in that amount. Even if the total max OOP was $8k, the bronze plan still wins every year. Bronze will also likely have much lower rate increases going forward since the starting premium is that much less to begin with.



Happens all the time. They are probably subsidizing the bronze plan as a retiree benefit and not subsidizing the gold/silver at all. This forces the retiree to choose coverage with less exposure for the insurance company or self-insured group.
Yeah, that's what I thought too. Not clear at all. Still wonder why the "bronze" plan seems to be such a clear winner. IMHO, insurance is never about good choices for the insured and is always about what's best for the insurance company. That's what makes me nervous. OP - please be very skeptical and very careful before making a choice. Dig deep and ask questions.
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Old 08-31-2011, 05:24 PM   #26
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Yeah, that's what I thought too. Not clear at all. Still wonder why the "bronze" plan seems to be such a clear winner. IMHO, insurance is never about good choices for the insured and is always about what's best for the insurance company. That's what makes me nervous. OP - please be very skeptical and very careful before making a choice. Dig deep and ask questions.
The rates for the bronze plan are likely much higher than $350/mo, but the employer is subsidizing a large part of the premium if the retiree chooses that plan instead of the gold or silver. Employers are not required to contribute anything to retiree benefits, so that is their way of rewarding employees, while pushing them away from the cadillac policies that drive up rates for everybody.
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Old 08-31-2011, 07:31 PM   #27
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I guess what I don't understand .........if it is obvious, that the bronze
is the best in all situations, why offer the gold/silver at all? Is the company
refraining from being the parent or are they secretly hoping some folks will sign up to help subsidize the rest?

I guess I'm more used to seeing less obvious choices: pay less/get less
or pay more, get more.
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Old 08-31-2011, 08:08 PM   #28
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You guys came through way better than I had even hoped (I would never read through all that for somebody else, lol).

I am going to print out the responses and highlight all those points to formulate questions and try different scenarios.

Before DH retired in July, we visited with the main person at the AR Dept of Benefits to straighten some things out in our heads. Health insurance was of chief concern and she mentioned that more options were coming down the pipe. Now they are here and I am more confused than ever. Great, just great. I WANT to take the bronze, but not if it is a stupid move.

Thanks again for all the input. It will definitely help- so much to think about, weigh and consider - besides just the savings. (I knew that already, but you folks have certainly helped clarify exactly how much more and what things should be considered).

Thanks again.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:06 PM   #29
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I would bet the plans are offered because there is demand for each and they are all profitable.
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Old 08-31-2011, 09:21 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by brewer12345
I would bet the plans are offered because there is demand for each and they are all profitable.
When I was still employed, my school was going to offer a second option from the group plan, a higher deductible HSA, and reimburse the premium difference into their HSA. Insurance company said they could do that, but it would wind up costing the school more in insurance costs as all the healthy ones would jump into that causing the total cost to go up as only the unhealthy ones would stay on original plan. They scraped the idea before implementing it.
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Old 09-22-2011, 07:50 PM   #31
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a few weeks ago i posted an SOS about new health insurance options. Many of you said go with the "bronze" plan. Today we received a scenario comparison (which i had given up on ever seeing). Seems like you guys were correct. Pretty certain it will be bronze for DH and me. Thanks so much, you geniuses, you!

http://portal.arbenefits.org/newsDoc...d_09072011.pdf
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