I have been thinking about changing the health insurance I currently have DH and the kids on. The monthly premium is up to $503 per month and really, we don't get a whole lot for that $6,000 a year expense. Last year was one of our costliest years in healthcare expenses. The plan they are on was costing $422 a month last year. It has a $3500 deductible per person. Even with all of DH's doctors visits and tests last year we still did not quite make it to his deductible. The plan does cover 6 office visits per year with a 20% coinsurance, without having to meet the deductible. We used all of those for DH (and then some) but used up none of those visits for the kids. Preventative care is now covered by all plans - as per the new healthcare laws. This plan also no longer covers any prescription medicines (the reason I chose this plan in the first place, as it covered generics at $15 copay, but that was dropped last summer).
I realized that if I had chosen a higher deductible plan last year, I would have saved money each month in premiums that could have gone toward the deductible and co-insurance paid out during the year. Since we still didn't go over our $3500 deductible it wouldn't have mattered if the deductible was $3500 or $10,000. Our expenses were the same, but at least I would have saved on monthly premiums if I had chosen a higher deductible plan.
I want online this morning with our current insurance provider to see what their monthly premiums are for higher deductible plans. The cheapest plan is basically a catastrophic plan with a $10,000 deductible at $337/mo, saving me $166/mo or almost $2000 a year. Then I looked at another insurance company (who we had prior to this current plan) and they also offered a $10,000 deductible plan, but, it includes 2 office visits per year without applying the deductible and it is only $271 a month. This will save me $232/mo, or almost $2800 per year. We can pay alot of office visits (if need be) for that amount. I completed the online application and am hoping it will be able to take effect May 1st.
I can take some of this monthly savings and start an EF fund for medical to set aside money in case we ever have something catastrophic where we need to pay that $10,000 deductible. In the meantime, I'll have some extra money freed up for regular savings and those unexpected expenses that come up each month.
Who knows what the plans will change to or be offered next year, after Obamacare kicks in, but at least for now I won't be feeling like I'm paying out $503 a month for not a lot. DH has leveled off health-wise for now and isn't needing all those doctor visits anymore and the kids maybe go once a year, if that. Other than well child visits DD has needed to go to a doctor twice in her life! (Knock on wood!) Once when she was little and I don't even remember - sore throat, I think and once when she got some gasoline splashed in her eye. DS has been a few more times in his life (he had lots of ear infecions as a baby/toddler), mostly for summer hayfever and once when he was in a racing accident, but we have separate racers insurance (and so does the race track) for that so it wasn't on our health insurance.
I also made a couple of changes to our auto insurance this morning, but it didn't change my premiums any, overall. I increased the comprehensive deductible(in reading closer, that is just for things like theft and vandalism) in the 2 vehicles that aren't driven very much and not worth as much. I added roadside assistance to my car and increased DD's comprehensive deductible to $2500 but added glass repair/replacement. My policy renews next month and before the above changes I just got notified it went down $10 a month - better than going up!