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I use a HSA through my employer, getting a lot of tax-advantaged healthcare each year and relatively low premiums at the cost of a deductible that is high for an employer health plan but not especially high for anyone on an independent market.

This plan works out, considering taxes, employer contributions and etc to cost roughly 5000/year in post-tax dollars and I'm getting about 5000/year in actual healthcare (two middle-aged people with ongoing medical conditions.  My out of pocket max would put me at maybe 2k more if I had a bad year, so I'm essentially paying nothing for catastrophic care insurance with no deductible and max 2k out of pocket.  HSAs are great if you have a good income and cash flow)

This plan already met Obamacare rules, and the only changes were cosmetic (slight change to shift some care such as chiropractic to X days/year instead of out of pocket maximum and preventative medicine drugs are now free, just like other preventative medicine services) but this year, for the first time, cost actually decreased.  

2013 cost for self+spouse:  $96.66 per 2 weeks
2014 cost for self+spouse:  $93.66 per 2 weeks

I've never seen that number go down.  Granted saving $3 per paycheck is only $81/year, and it's pretax money, so think about $50/year or 1% of my total bill.

But it went down.  That just feels weird.  I've been working here for over 20 years and don't remember EVER seeing the contribution for health insurance drop unless the coverage was worse in some way.

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Comment Preferences

  •  And now you get more bang for your buck! (7+ / 0-)


  •  But, but, I thought business owners were (7+ / 0-)

    being bankrupted by ACA!

  •  good for you, but (0+ / 0-)

    for me and workers in my company, our experience is the exact opposite.  The cost per every 2 weeks has gone from $111 to $140: a HUGE increase.  (note our contributions depend on salary; this is the top plan and I'm in the 2nd of 5 salary tiers, so the executives, etc pay a lot more; my wife and I have on-going expenses that drive us to the top plan).   Our HR department said in the memo announcing this "As you may be aware, the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has a number of different components and mandates, including new fees that employers who offer health insurance are required to pay."  I've been trying to pin them down on how the fees can be that big, but so far no luck.   Many can no longer keep the plan they've had because they can't afford it.  I'm afraid my co-workers, many who are Democratic voters, will hate the ACA.

    •  This is the top plan (0+ / 0-)

      does it exceed the minimum ACA mandate? So these people aren't even getting their healthcare insurance the thru the ACA, that is what U R sayin.....


      49 comments in 8 years? WTF is up with that?

      .................expect us......................... FDR 9-23-33, "If we cannot do this one way, we will do it another way. But do it we will.

      by Roger Fox on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 03:08:38 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

      •  this is what gets me (3+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        Lujane, MRA NY, Larsstephens

        I think it exceeds the minimum, in that deductables are only $25 per visit and $800 yearly (each) and yearly out of pocket max of $8K ($16K for the 2 of us).  I'm not sure it's a Cadillac plan, and even if so that part of the ACA doesn't kick in until 2018.  I think ACA fees are something like $70/year, and my point is they're hitting us with 10 times that much and blaming the ACA.  There's no doubt in my mind that my plan is far better than the <$100/mo. minimum plans I've heard about, but there can't be a penalty for just exceeding the minimum.

        Of course this plan is not through the ACA, but the ACA has fees on most (all?) large employer plans, and I'm afraid the greedy ones that run these companies are using the ACA as an excuse.  But I can't prove it.

        As for your WTF question, I can't read D-Kos as often is I like and certainly can't post very often.  But this really concerns me because I think the ACA is getting dumped on unfairly all over the place.  

        •  My company offers two major plans (1+ / 0-)
          Recommended by:

          And provides a careful financial analysis for you on what is better based on your exact situation.   Your plan looks like a kind of bad version of our PPO (especially that out of pocket max, ouch!) so I'm guessing your employer pool isn't as nice as the one our multinational with 50kish employees gets.

          The idea behind a PPO is that you try to keep deductible low but pay more monthly.   Your total expense if you hit out of pocket maximum is higher than with a HSA, but your expenses are much more predictable and if you don't have a lot of expenses, your total expense is usually less, especially if your tax rate is low.

          With a HSA you're going to pay a large deductible every year (in my case, me and my wife pay 2x what you do) before any benefit from insurance kicks in, but out of pocket max is lower (in my case, our out of pocket maximum is something like 40% of yours) and also the monthly payments are significantly less (about half of yours) but you have to add to that payment a contribution to a health savings account, from which all of your medical expenses are paid (aside from OTC drugs even if prescribed).

          So I pay about $300 a paycheck, but it's $300 of pre-tax money of which $200 is my money that I use to pay medical expenses.   On the PPO I pay less than $300 each paycheck but if I incur a medical expense, I'm paying out of my pocket with post-tax dollars.   If I don't do anything but (free) preventative maintenance doctor visits, medicines related to that and birth control, I'm clearly better off with a PPO.

          If I'm using moderate amounts of healthcare, the two come out similar, although the higher my tax rate, the sooner the HSA is attractive.

          If I have predictable amounts of expenses between the deductible and the out of pocket max, the HSA is a really freaking good deal and blows a PPO out of the water.

          I don't know about your choices, but it's important to look at how you use healthcare when choosing a plan.  Many people who use healthcare predictably every year do better on higher deductible plans, even without a HSA, because the lower monthly payment turns out to be a bigger savings than a lower deductible.

          •  Oh and IRRC deductible (1+ / 0-)
            Recommended by:

            If having to suddenly pony up the whole deductible is going to break you financially, you can't go with a high deductible plan.

            This will force some people into plans that on paper don't match their needs, just because a financial shock of $3000 is impossible, where one of $1500 they can manage with difficulty.

    •  That's an odd statement from them (1+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:

      I'm not aware of any "new fees that employers who offer health insurance are required to pay."

      You don't say what percentage you pay of your actual plan cost... but for the record even though that may be a large percentage increase, $280 a month to cover two adults is still pretty low compared to the median plan cost.

      Getting the 25% increase when your plan is over $10,000 a year... that was us in 2007 or so.

      My guess is that either you're getting a plan upgrade or your company is one that used to get a discount for having an unusually healthy employee group.

      Your HR department may or may not have considered it, but it may be that changing companies would get them a better deal.

      It always sucks to get increases, no question.

      Fry, don't be a hero! It's not covered by our health plan!

      by elfling on Tue Oct 29, 2013 at 10:22:04 PM PDT

      [ Parent ]

  •  Something that's not mentioned often enough - (5+ / 0-)

    We hear a lot about how the rates are going up for some people but the rates for our small business have gone up EVERY year since we've been in business.  About 5 years ago it was over 30% and the next year it was 26%, so if it goes up 18% this year, I figure I'm ahead of the game.

    In Maryland we can't get prices on the small business plans through the ACA until January but I'm hoping we'll be able to save more than that.

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