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Need help evaluating FL-BCBS plans
Old 12-12-2018, 09:04 AM   #1
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Need help evaluating FL-BCBS plans

Background: 61 y/o female. Use almost no non-preventative medical services; thus insurance is essentially for catastrophic events in which case small differences in deductible/OOP max are in the financial noise. No ACA subsidies.

For the past three years I have used BronzeSelect HSA 1735. For 2019, the premium went up 18% from $654 to $771 per month, so I am rethinking. And have a couple of questions.

Shortlisted options are (with annual difference relative to 1425)
* BlueSelect Bronze 1425 $732/month ($---)
* BlueSelect Silver 1836 $734/month ($24)
* BlueSelect Bronze HSA 1735 $771/month ($468)
So it looks like the only difference between 1425 and 1735 are deductibles and out of pocket maxes, both in network and out-of-network. The Silver 1836 has a deductible less that OOP max, so there is a copay until you hit the OOP max.

QUESTIONS:

1. How do I ballpark figure the value of the HSA? Assuming a marginal tax rate of 15%, for example, is the value of the HSA $4,500*0.15 = $675? If yes, then I should pick the Bronze 1735 HSA plan, because the value of the HSA ($675) is greater than the premium difference from Bronze 1425.

2. For someone who uses almost no non-preventative health care services, is there any reason to consider the Silver 1836 over a Bronze plan?

Sorry for leaving this til the last minute. I had just assumed, resignedly, that I would eat the 18% increase and renew Bronze 1735 until I looked at the options last night.
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Old 12-12-2018, 11:05 AM   #2
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The FLA BCBS 1443 Silver plan is very popular. Have you checked it out, or is it off the list due to no ACA subsidies?
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Old 12-12-2018, 02:46 PM   #3
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This post (here) has a spreadsheet that will help you determine the total cost of each option and compare them. It is the same plan with three diffferent amounts of cost sharing. Your approach for calculating the benefit of the HSA plan is correct, itís the marginal tax rate x the HSA amount saved.

The silver plan costs $288 more for the year. The spreadsheet linked earlier will show you the total cost (premiums + deductible + copays) based on different levels of healthcare spending, and you can see how much healthcare you would need to consume for that additional $288 to make sense.
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Old 12-12-2018, 07:04 PM   #4
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Thanks for the link to the spreadsheet. It is immediately clear that the 1735 with the HSA benefit is the (painful) way to go.


Never thought I would be so eager to turn 65.....
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