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Thread: Health Insurance

  1. #1

    Health Insurance

    So I have a insurance policy through my school district right now. The only reason I got it for my wife and I was because she lost her qualifying status for Medicare once we got married. Before that I relied on VA care, which is perfectly fine in my area, Amarillo being my main facility.

    We are now in a situation where her ex husband has gotten a new job and will be providing health insurance for my oldest step daughter and we will be required to provide health insurance for the youngest. I am currently paying 700 dollars a month for a high insurance option that I don't need and neither of us have used in the past year. So here are my thoughts, I can cancel my health care plan, rely on my VA care (I am 90% rated) and my wife/step daughter can get a private health care plan.. does my thinking make sense? A little shopping around and it would be cheaper for the two of them then having all three of us on a plan that I don't need to be on (only reason I'm on one is because I had to be so that she could have insurance through my employer).


    Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    I havenít been impressed with my school districtís inconsistent choices when it comes to health care plans. Having VA eligibility makes me question why Iím paying so much for the health plan I never use myself, as well. I use the vision and dental, but never the health plan.

    I may be making a similar choice at our next open enrollment.

  3. #3
    Sounds like your plan is good. Since you are already paying $700 a month I'd take a look at getting a marketplace plan and see if your wife and child can qualify for any subsidies. If so, get a high deductible plan and open an HSA account and keep putting the balance of that $700 a month into the HSA. IIRC, it only takes a $2100 deductible to qualify for the HSA which isn't a lot these days. As you currently sit you'd cover that with your HSA account in a few months. Then you'd have a bank account balance for expenses as they come up and you get to deduct it all from your income and not pay taxes on it. Unlike a cafeteria plan from employers, you also can roll it over year over year. I have the bulk of mine invested in a linked TD Ameritrade account which I get some good dividends on my investments.

    I really don't understand why more people don't utilize the HSA program.

  4. #4
    Abducted by Aliens Borderland's Avatar
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    Where I worked there were only two HC plans and they both sucked. When we retired we went on MC and a supplemental G gap plan. So far no huge bills. We don't have any insurance for vision or dental, opting to pay that as we go.

    Your plan sounds solid. VA can be good or bad depending on where you live. I chose a disability check over the local VA facility mostly because at the time there were a lot of restrictions on who was eligible to use the facilities. I think they changed that. My brother uses the facility in San Angelo.
    Last edited by Borderland; 08-23-2022 at 12:38 PM.
    In the P-F basket of deplorables.

  5. #5
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    Be sure that any plan you purchase provides good coverage in the event that you unexpectedly need it.

    I pay for my own and family's health insurance, and our insurance agent has suggested less expensive plans with higher deductibles and less coverage. The savings has not been significant, but the potential out of pocket expenses if we ever really needed the insurance were huge.
    Last edited by BillSWPA; 08-23-2022 at 12:51 PM.

  6. #6
    Abducted by Aliens Borderland's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by BillSWPA View Post
    Be sure that any plan you purchase provides good coverage in the event that you unexpectedly need it.

    I pay for my own and family's health insurance, and our insurance agent has suggested less expensive plans with higher deductibles and less coverage. The savings has not been significant, but the potential out of pocket expenses if we ever really needed the insurance was huge.
    I'm with you on that. There are less expensive plans than the one we have but my wife insists we have premium health care insurance. She was a health care professional and has some idea about insurances. In the last few years a less expensive plan would have been more expensive after the deductibles.
    In the P-F basket of deplorables.

  7. #7
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    There are too many unknown variables in your question. Before the ACA was passed, insurability must be proved unless it was a new job or certain limited family or life events (per ERISA) so there is more portability today than before. The ACA also established certain coverage minimums so much of the difference among insurers are deductibles and co-pays and the PPO or HMO providers (i.e., part of the network). The ACA also mandated no co-pays or deductibles for annual physicals, mammagrams, etc.

    There are many choices among plans however. As noted, HMO's and PPO's will usually limit your choice on providers and hospitals. The law mandates the coverages offered but how it translates into treatment is another matter. For example, will the VA or your current health insurer cover treatment at MD Anderson?

    I don't know enough whether in your community $700 for yourself, wife and child in a high deductible plan is expensive or not (seems real cheap to me) but check the Federal ACA website and price out the cost for your wife and daughter. Depending on their ages and deductibles, I suspect you will be surprised at the cost. Also, I don't know much about VA coverages and eligibility, but I do remember the first thing my parents did was to seek healthcare outside of the military once he retired from the Navy. And that came before any potential coverage with the VA. (Spouses in some instances can get coverage from the VA as well.)

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan1980 View Post
    Sounds like your plan is good. Since you are already paying $700 a month I'd take a look at getting a marketplace plan and see if your wife and child can qualify for any subsidies. If so, get a high deductible plan and open an HSA account and keep putting the balance of that $700 a month into the HSA. IIRC, it only takes a $2100 deductible to qualify for the HSA which isn't a lot these days. As you currently sit you'd cover that with your HSA account in a few months. Then you'd have a bank account balance for expenses as they come up and you get to deduct it all from your income and not pay taxes on it. Unlike a cafeteria plan from employers, you also can roll it over year over year. I have the bulk of mine invested in a linked TD Ameritrade account which I get some good dividends on my investments.

    I really don't understand why more people don't utilize the HSA program.
    So this is exactly how it worked out. My step daughter and her will be on exactly on the same plan and it will cost us about 350 dollars less a month at this point. Possibly more. I also qualified for community care through the VA so it seems very similar to having tricare. I go to my local VA to my doctor, if I need anything special I go to a community provider and tricare/va take care of the bill. Really glad I rethought my approach as we are now going to have an extra 350 a month.

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by breakingtime91 View Post
    So this is exactly how it worked out. My step daughter and her will be on exactly on the same plan and it will cost us about 350 dollars less a month at this point. Possibly more. I also qualified for community care through the VA so it seems very similar to having tricare. I go to my local VA to my doctor, if I need anything special I go to a community provider and tricare/va take care of the bill. Really glad I rethought my approach as we are now going to have an extra 350 a month.
    That's great news!

    As I said before, check and see if the deductible level on their plan will qualify them for a HSA account. If so, it's like 5 minutes to open one online. Dump that $350 into it each month and use it for deductibles/copays as needed and get the tax break too. I linked my normal bank account to my HSA so it's really painless to move money from the computer. You can get checks and debit cards to use when expenses come up for cold medicine etc. that you always seem to need with kiddos in the house. If you can tough it through a years worth of deposits it's really nice to have that money if more serious expenses come up when you don't have to dip into your normal monthly finances to pay them. Getting rolling is the hard part, but if you can make it work it's a nice to have for sure.

  10. #10
    Site Supporter SecondsCount's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Spartan1980 View Post
    That's great news!

    As I said before, check and see if the deductible level on their plan will qualify them for a HSA account. If so, it's like 5 minutes to open one online. Dump that $350 into it each month and use it for deductibles/copays as needed and get the tax break too. I linked my normal bank account to my HSA so it's really painless to move money from the computer. You can get checks and debit cards to use when expenses come up for cold medicine etc. that you always seem to need with kiddos in the house. If you can tough it through a years worth of deposits it's really nice to have that money if more serious expenses come up when you don't have to dip into your normal monthly finances to pay them. Getting rolling is the hard part, but if you can make it work it's a nice to have for sure.
    I completely agree on the HSA plan. I started it years ago with just $100mo when I rarely needed insurance. As years went by, I slowly increased the amount. It gives you a nice emergency fund in case you incur a large medical bill, it can roll over every year so it adds up, and you can use the funds when you retire.

    I forgot to mention that some companies will help contribute to your HSA. Mine throws in a little every month.
    -Seconds Count. Misses Don't-

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