People Like You

See what employees like you considered and what they chose.

Julie

Work 30+ hours/week

I’m looking for the best deal

Personal Information:

Age: 47

Married, two kids, ages 9 and 11

Nurse

Goals:

  • Get the best deal on health care coverage
  • Save for my future

Julie chooses to:

  • Enroll in Employee coverage in the High Deductible Health Plan
  • Enroll her kids on spouse’s plan
  • Contribute $1,500 to Health Savings Account (HSA) to cover deductible

When it comes to benefits, I usually just pick the same plan every year. I’ve been in the Buy-Up PPO Plan for several years, covering myself and the kids. My husband covers himself in an HMO through his job.

But with costs going up, I took some extra time this year to calculate how we could get the best deal. I never really considered the High Deductible Health Plan before, but when I did the math, it really made sense.

It offers free checkups—which is about all the care I usually need. For other care, there’s a deductible. Then the plan pays 75% of expenses.

My boys get hurt playing sports more often than I’d like. We go to the urgent care and ER a few times a year. I wasn’t comfortable covering the kids on a high deductible plan, so my husband enrolled them in his plan. I’ll just cover myself through BAYADA. And overall, we’ll pay less.

I’m taking the money I’m saving in premiums and putting it in a Health Savings Account (HSA). The money comes out of my check before taxes—so I pay taxes on a lower amount. And I can use the money to pay for expenses (tax free), leave it in my account to grow (earning interest), or a combination. The money in my account is always mine—even if I retire or change jobs. Because of all the tax breaks, the HSA is also a great way to save for retirement expenses.

Tonya

Work 30+ hours/week

It’s time to switch

Personal Information:

Age: 33

Married, no kids

Office staff

Goals:

  • Stop overpaying for coverage
  • Get serious about saving for retirement

Tonya chooses to:

  • Enroll in Employee coverage in the High Deductible Health Plan
  • Contribute $1,000 to Health Savings Account (HSA) to cover deductible
  • Contribute 3% of pay to 401(k)

Although I work in the health care industry, I’m not that confident when it comes to choosing my benefits. I usually end up enrolling in a medical plan that a coworker recommends. But benefits are expensive and prices are going up!

I’ve been enrolled in the Core PPO. But I’m still young and I don’t need much care. Once a year for a checkup, and maybe a minor illness during the year. It just doesn’t make sense to pay more for coverage I don’t use.

After looking at my options, I’m going with the High Deductible Health Plan. It offers the lowest premiums and if I ever do have a serious illness, the HDHP will cover 75% my expenses after the deductible. That’s better coverage than the Core PPO.

I’m splitting the money I’m saving in premiums between the Health Savings Account (HSA) and the 401(k). The HSA lets me put money away for health care expenses, just in case I need it. The money comes right out of my paycheck, so it’s easy to save. And when I have an expense, I just file a claim and get reimbursed (tax free).

Tausha

Work less than 30 hours/week

I’m definitely enrolling again

Personal Information:

Age: 52

Single, two children ages 13 and 17

Home health aide

Goals:

  • Avoid the penalty for not having coverage
  • Stay healthy

Tausha chooses to:

  • Enroll in the Minimum Coverage Plan

I work a couple of jobs to make ends meet. On my salary, with two kids to support, I thought health insurance was something I couldn’t afford.

Last year, I enrolled in the Minimum Coverage Plan to avoid the penalty for not having coverage. I’ll be honest. The paycheck deductions hurt. But then, not too long ago, my youngest came down with a bad strep throat—at 3 in the morning, of course. We called the 24/7 virtual care doctor and within about 10 minutes, we were on a video chat with a doctor talking about her symptoms. The doctor diagnosed her and called in a prescription to our local pharmacy. She was feeling better by the next day. And best of all, that doctor’s visit was free! We got a discount on the prescription, too. I also got my annual mammogram and both kids went for physicals for free.

Overall, the Minimum Coverage Plan is a pretty good deal. The coverage was worth the cost for me. And now with the premiums going down, I’m definitely enrolling again for next year.

A friend also told me to check out the Children’s Health Insurance Program to see if I can get low-cost coverage for my kids. I’ll do that before signing them up for the BAYADA plan.

Hope

Work less than 30 hours/week

More for less? Yes!

Personal Information:

Age: 40

Single, one child age 20, one grandchild

Caregiver

Goals:

  • Avoid the penalty for not having coverage
  • Stay healthy

Hope chooses to:

  • Enroll in the Enhanced Minimum Coverage Plan

I used to avoid going to the doctor because I couldn’t afford health insurance. Last year, I enrolled in the Minimum Coverage Plan to avoid the IRS penalty of almost $700.

Fortunately, we didn’t get sick last year, but I recently discovered I have high blood pressure and probably should be on medication. The Minimum Coverage Plan doesn’t offer coverage for doctor’s office visits, but the Enhanced Minimum Coverage Plan pays up to $75 for an office visit. It also offers discounts on prescriptions for the medication that I’ll probably need. I know how dangerous high blood pressure can be. I need to see a doctor and get it under control before I get really sick. Best of all, the price is going down this year. So for just a few dollars more a week than the Minimum Coverage Plan, I can get the coverage I need to stay healthy and keep working.

Plus, the plan includes free telephone or online care from a real doctor. I could use that next time one of us gets sick.

I told my daughter to check out the medical plan options in the health insurance marketplace. There are a couple of free services—HealthSherpa and Mylo—that can help. She said she’d also look to see if we qualify for Medicaid and/or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP).