I am just going to come out and say it, buying our own health insurance is one of the most stressful things that I have had to do in the last few years. I say this and I am in the financial services industry after all. I should have a little leg up because I understand most of the information, options, and systems. However, it was not easy. I say again, not easy. We started the search because we are both self employed and with that, on the hook for the whole cost of our health insurance coverage. The first issue we faced was coverage versus cost. How much were we willing to pay to get the coverage we wanted. The best coverage out there was more than we could afford. So with that we had to figure out what was important to us in our health care plan. Were we heavy users of our insurance so that a low deductible and more co pays were the way to go? Did we have little health expense a year so a high deductible plan fit the bill? Did we need prescription coverage, help with eyeglasses, dental? Or could we pay for that out of pocket?
To make the proper decision I factored in our ages, the amount of money we spent yearly on health care by calling our doctor and asking for the price of office visits and anything else we may use, added in our prescriptions, and the cost of dental visits, eyeglasses and anything else I could scrape together for the last ten years. I threw it all into a pot adding a little extra just in case and stirred it up and what I got was a fully functioning plan. No matter how I factored it if we cut out some programs and paid for them out of pocket or added them in and never used them we were losing out somewhere. We just had to figure out what option made the most sense. The problem was that if we went with the fully covered plan and never used it money was flowing out and would only be realized in the event of a huge health event. On the other hand if we reduced the coverages, and thus the cost, there was a gap between the deductible being met and that huge health event I mentioned earlier. The stress of it all made my blood pressure soar.
No matter what option we chose we would lose money, coverage or both. I felt like we were falling in the gap somewhere and I was about to break my tibia. Good news was I would soon have coverage to help me with that. Whether you are self employed and paying for your full health care costs or with a company that subsidizes your costs you should make your decision based on what you will use. Take some time and figure out what you have used in the past and what you anticipate using soon. Do some research and find out the cost of it all and your decision will be an easy one. Just make sure that whichever direction you go you know what will happen if. We can never know when and what the “if” is but knowing what you will face when and if the “if” comes you can feel comfortable knowing that you made the right decision in your health care coverage.