2013 Insurance Selections Are Right Around The Corner

It won’t be long before employers start rolling out their options for 2013 insurance selections.  This always seems to go very well with Halloween as most of the past few years have been, well, simply frightening.

Last year wasn’t bad.  In fact, my employer didn’t raise anything at all, agreeing to keep all costs the same.  Before we laud their generosity, keep in mind that they essentially doubled the out of pocket costs on premiums, co-pays, and pretty much everything the year prior.  This was met with uproar across the company where the CEO had to have town halls to try to quell the storm.  So, after increasing costs 100%, a 0% cost increase was nice, but it still stung.

We reduced our costs a little more last year by switching to a slightly less costly plan.  This did offer less coverage, but this was fine as we weren’t expecting any major medical costs, which we did have in 2011 with the birth of our daughter.

My guess is that the 0% increase won’t hold for a second year.  So, even if we stick with the less costly plan, we should see our costs go up a bit.  This will be a bummer, as we used the slight savings by switching plans to bump our retirement contribution by a percentage point.  If they were to increase our contribution costs, we might have to roll that back unless they grant raises.

Raises?  Yeah, something we haven’t seen in a few years and since they haven’t made any announcements at all, I’m guessing we won’t either.  This is the joy of your company being owned by a venture capital firm.  They really don’t give a darn about sharing a single buck with employees.

They’re supposedly looking at spinning us off sometime soon, which could mean that new ownership would be a little more receptive to employee satisfaction and retention, things that are suffering but frankly, the current ownership doesn’t care much about.

But, I digress.

The only other option to reduce costs would be to go towards a high deductible, health savings plan.  With this the premium costs sink but you pay most of your costs out of pocket.  In a normal year with no emergencies, this would definitely save some bucks, but the question is always how risky do you want to be, especially with a couple of small children?

It will be interesting for sure.  On one hand I’m not excited at all to see the 2013 options because I’m 99% sure it will increase our costs, but on the other hand, I’m always about planning and knowing what’s coming, so I’m still anxious to see when they release the information.

What do you think is coming for your 2013 health costs?

10 thoughts on “2013 Insurance Selections Are Right Around The Corner”

  1. My premium per paycheck is going up a few dollars but not much else appears to have changed. I have a high deductible plan but total out of pocket cost maxes out at $2500 so I just save money in an HSA which is available with HDHP plans.

  2. There are several ways to mitigate your risks when choosing which plan to select.

    The biggest factor for someone in your life stage is any plans on having child #3. If yes during the next year, a high deductible plan is not a fit. You have to plan for the possibility of a sick or premature birth creating two deductible payouts. If your employer offers a supplemental hospital choice jump on it.

    If everyone is healthy, a high deductible plan might work. Use HSA or FSA to leverage pre-taxing for any ongoing, predictable expenses. A supplemental accident plan (if offered) might fill in the deductible holes if any of your children are active, or if you are a weekend sports warrior.

    • That’s actually the reason that we didn’t two years ago when they first bumped our costs up significantly (probably at least 50% that year), in fact we still paid for the highest cost plan simply because we knew we would need the best benefits for the child we were expecting. Last year we bumped down to what I’d call the mid-tier plan, but the comparison shows we could have saved money if we’d gone all the way down to the HDHP/HSA plan.

  3. Ours renews on October 1st for some reason….so we just ended up dealing with this situation. My company tried to bump up our deductible another $1000 (to $5000!). It is already $4000 which is too high IMO. Luckily, they gave up on that after getting some complaints!

  4. I honestly have never paid too much attention to my healthy insurance costs as I’ve always had an employer who covers me for extended health. I don’t get to choose from a plan, there is only ONE plan. I guess it’s just different in Canada? Or that’s just due to the employers that I’ve had?

    My last plan paid 80% of prescriptions, 100% dental and 80% of paramedical bills. I had a $25 yearly deductible and a $150 health spending account.

    I’m switching jobs to a new employer which covers 100% dental and medical prescriptions, $100 for eyecare and up to $500 of paramedical bills. No deductible and a $400 health spending account.

    In both cases, my employer is paying the the monthly premiums for me and Brian, so I really have no idea what it costs per month. I think it’s around $100-150?

    • That’s a pretty good deal. For us, they actually do it a little different than most employers, they actually deduct the entire amount of what they pay for the premium that you’re signed up for, but then on the flip side they give you a credit on the ‘pay’ side of the stub. So the difference is your out of pocket cost on the premium, plus it gives employees ‘insight’ as to the true cost of insurance, not just the part that affects them.

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