Hmm. Megacorp health plans: Changes ahead...
We just got a memo from our HR department for all U.S. employees. Apparently our open enrollment has been delayed to implement some new options for 2008 benefits. Included in the memo is a reference to "additional" health plans to provide new ways to save money.
They already have some pretty high deductible plans, so I really can't think of any other ways to "save money" except through a full-blown HSA. We already have two high deductible options -- one with a moderately high deductible ($1000 person/$2000 family) and one with a high deductible ($3,000/$6,000). But these come with an HCA, not a full HSA. That means (a) that if we terminate, the money doesn't come with us, and (b) the company-provided funding of the HCA has a "maximum" accrual (equal to the out-of-pocket maximum in any given year). Megacorp currently funds the HCA up to $1,000 a year for individuals and $2,000 for families, up to to the maximums account balances.
Last year was the first time they offered two higher deductible plans. I ran the numbers and decided that the highest-deductible plan would have been a good idea for us IF it were a full-blown HSA instead of a watered-down HCA. We could have saved about $170 a month in payroll deductions with the highest-deductible plan, but that's less than $130 after taxes since the $170 would become taxable income instead of tax-exempt medical premiums. If we could put that $170 in an HSA to avoid taxes on the premium savings, it would have been worth doing.
I'm very curious and interested to see what these new "ways to save money" are. Could that mean a true HSA option is coming soon?
"Hey, for every ten dollars, that's another hour that I have to be in the work place. That's an hour of my life. And my life is a very finite thing. I have only 'x' number of hours left before I'm dead. So how do I want to use these hours of my life? Do I want to use them just spending it on more crap and more stuff, or do I want to start getting a handle on it and using my life more intelligently?" -- Joe Dominguez (1938 - 1997)