5 Responses to An HDHP / HSA Could Be Just What the Doctor Ordered

  1. Peggy says:

    I would have completely agreed with your advice until recently. And, in theory, still do. But there are some other things to consider when making the decision to purchase high deductible HSA compatible health insurance. It is not a panacea if you have unexpected health problems over a prolonged period of time.

    Here is my story with Assurant Health – My family has had a high deductible HSA with Assurant Health from March of 2000 to September of 2008. When we started with 2 children and 2 adults covered, the quarterly premium was $892 and the calendar year family deductible was $4,500; total OOP in or out of network was $5,500.

    By last September (2007), our premiums had increased to $2,615 per quarter with the same deductible. An increase of nearly 300% in seven years!!

    In June we received a letter informing us that Assurant Health was discontinuing our policy and replacing it with one of their new products. When we received the details of the new policy a month ago, we learned that the quarterly premium (now for 2 adults and 1 dependent) will be $3022.32 ($12,088/year) and the deductible will increase to $5,700; maximum OOP in-network will be $10,700; OOP out-of-network will be $18,700. AND, to add insult to injury, even though we have met our deductible of $4,500 for 2008, as of 9/1/08, Assurant tells us that we will have to come up with another $1,200 in deductibles before they will cover anything

  2. Michelle says:

    As with any type of health insurance, I fully believe you should use a licensed agent to purchase insurance. There is no cost for you to do so. Agents are paid by the insurance company, so whether you buy insurance direct or through an agent your premiums will not be any different.

    An agent would have helped you the first year there was a price increase to move your family to a plan that is more appropriate that would not affect you the way you were affected.

    This does not only happen with HDHP and HSA’s. Premium increases occur in every type of health insurance, this is why it is important to be doing business with an independent agent that is contracted with all the top carriers in your state.

  3. Michelle says:

    I wanted to clarify that when dealing with an agent, you would not want to deal with an agent that only sells Assurant Health in your particular situation. In most states the top carriers are usually Assurant, Golden Rule, Humana, Aetna, etc. You need an agent that is INDEPENDENT and contracted with ALL carriers. Someone that will work for you instead of someone who only works for one company, because of course they are not going to offer alternatives because then they would not receive a paycheck if they told you another company had a better plan at a better cost.

    Health insurance is something that should be reviewed once a year.

  4. Mama73 says:

    Peggy,

    I don’t know what state you are in, what happened to you with Assurant sounds like it would be illegal in Illinois. In this state premiums aren’t allowed to increase for “high risk” customers anymore than they increase for healthy patients.

    Look into the high risk pool in your state, if it has one. In Illinois you’d be eligible for the pool — its expensive, but nowhere near what you’re paying now.

    For everyone, try to get a HDHP plan that has 100% coverage when you meet the deductible, stay away from Out of Pocket Maximums…they can often be increased on an individual basis unlike the premiums.

    I.e. OOP will remain same for healthy customers but be increased for unhealthy customers.

    Finally, after running the numbers with a HDHP that pays 100% after deductible is met I discovered that for people who are very sick the HDHP route is actually CHEAPER than normal insurance. If you are self employed you can use your HDHP with a Health Reimbursement Arrangement instead of an HSA and pay virtually everything with pre-tax dollars.

  5. Guy says:

    Health savings accounts when coupled with a high deductible health insurance coverage plan are a great hedge against catastrophic expenses for those who are comfortable paying for minor claims out of pocket.

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