Drop everything you’re doing and check out this post about One Emergency Away From Financial Disaster.
A little scary, right!?
Read on to learn about how I [now] carefully plan for and select mine and Vishnu’s health care options.
When I started working in the corporate world (oh so many years ago!), I had no knowledge about health insurance plans, deductibles, HSAs, etc. In fact, during open enrollment time at my very first job, I looked through everything exactly one time, selected the plan that was highlighted in yellow, and hit submit. When my mom asked about my company’s health care options, I told her I took care of it and sent her information about the plan I selected. Well, guess what. After actually looking at everything with my mom and reading the fine print, I realized I didn’t select the best plan for me. Go figure…all that research I did! Lesson learned!
Now when open enrollment time rolls around, I apply a more methodical approach to my decision making process.
First and foremost, I actually read my company’s benefit handbook from cover to cover. I then take it home so Vishnu and I can look through it together.
Once we have a thorough understanding about what plans are being offered and the related details, we think through our health care needs for the coming year. For example, do we anticipate any hospital visits, surgeries, specialty doctor’s visits, etc.? We then look at each plan in greater detail to find the best match.
Aside from the core health care plan, we also look at options for vision and dental insurance.
Looking back at the 2013 open enrollment season, we opted for a high deductible plan with a Health Savings Account (HSA) and we also tagged on both vision and dental insurance. We’re both healthy, we didn’t anticipate any unexpected health care costs, etc. That was the best fit for us.
As far as the HSA is concerned, this is one element of any health care plan I look for year after year. In basic Parita terms, a HSA allows you to put aside pre-tax income in a separate account dedicated to health care expenses. And in my case, my employer contributes a set amount to my account as well. You guys, this is basically free money my company is giving me for health care costs! Also, an important note is that this money is yours even if/when you change employers. My personal hope is that Vishnu and I can build up a sizeable amount of savings in our HSA for future use (as in years down the road). It’s part of our financial plan!
After we’ve made our decisions for the year, I go back and input everything in our online system. Always be sure to double and triple check before hitting submit. It’s not as intuitive as you may think!
Another perk my current employer offers is a $50 monthly credit of sorts if you take an online health assessment. Again…free money! Be sure to ask your HR department if your company offers something similar.
And finally, my OCD self looks at every pay stub to ensure that the right amount of money is taken every pay period. I’ve heard horror stories from a number of coworkers, so you can never be too cautious!
While I don’t have any say over our health insurance provider, there are plenty of great options out there like Aflac. Just be sure to do your research and select the best option for you and your family!
I was selected for this opportunity as a member of Clever Girls Collective and the content and opinions expressed here are all my own.