With a title like that, I’m sure you thought I was going to make some joke about wiping my behind with the lovable Health Insurance topic…but you’re wrong…
When Aaron and I first got married, we decided to do a little comparison shopping with a list of essential food and toiletry items that we always purchased each month…with the intent of finding a grocery store that was less overall (instead of less for one item). Everything was pretty easy to compare from store to store…except toilet paper. If you’ve ever tried to figure out which brand of toilet paper is the best deal, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Without a serious database, one cannot possibly figure out which brand or quantity is the best to buy.
Toilet paper is a unique purchase because each brand varies in height, length, ply, density, rolls…the options are limitless!!! (Walmart is notorious for paying toilet paper companies extra money to create a special toilet paper roll that is 1″ shorter and will keep the exact same label on the package so no one will notice the difference). I remember this one time, early on in our marriage (and don’t make fun of us), we picked one store with the sole purpose of finding ONE brand and size of toilet paper that was the best price. With our piece of paper, calculator and pen in hand we sat on the floor in the grocery store and created our database of information…factoring in square foot vs. square inches, one ply vs. two ply, double roll vs. single roll. Let me tell you…it was IMPOSSIBLE to figure out. We did find one brand that was the best price (from our configurations), but how could we know if that was THE best purchase overall compared to other stores?
Well, I felt the same way when we recently compared Health Insurance options. Last week, I found out that my current health insurance plan was dropping maternity coverage. Aaron and I would like to have three more kids, so maternity coverage is pretty high on my list of “important options” right now.
We always use the Zander Insurance Group’s website when shopping around and doing some comparison for health insurance (www.zanderinsurance.com), and I was really bummed out to find that all HSA options (for every single insurance company) has recently dropped maternity coverage. Bummer!!! So, now I have to find a standard health insurance (non-HSA) if I want maternity coverage again.
So, with a little Excel Spreadsheet action, Aaron and I tried to do some comparison shopping this weekend. Holy crap it’s hard!!! I think health insurance companies hire people that have been successful at confusing consumers on toilet paper comparison…and then they get them to imply the same tactic with health insurance options. We compared co-insurance, premiums, deductibles, maximum out-of-pocket that included the deductible and ones that didn’t include the deductible.
What we found was very interesting…but first you must watch these videos to understand what I’m talking about.
Health Insurance Explained
Can You Explain The Terminology?
So, if you never go to the doctor or have any procedures done on your human frame, the best option is to find a health insurance (possibly an HSA) with a low premium (bill you pay each month) and a high deductible of around $10,000 (price you pay out of pocket) and a co-insurance of 30% (price you pay once your deductible has been met…your insurance company will then pay 70% of the overall cost).
The funny thing is…if you plan on having a baby in the next year…that changes everything!!! The average cost to have a baby in most hospitals is $12,000 (non-medicated, 24 hours in the hospital, no interventions…just your plain old walk into the hospital, push your baby out, check out pretty quick…labor and delivery). That’s a lot of money!!! So, we found that a higher premium per month (on average $50+ more), low deductible ($1,500) and a low co-insurance rate (20%) was the best bang for your buck.
I uploaded a spreadsheet that we used this weekend if anyone wants to try it out. It might be a little confusing if you are not familiar with the terms…so make sure you know what you’re looking at as you navigate around the page. You can save the Word Document to your desktop and change the figures around. It’s not the most complex spreadsheet, but it will at least give you something to compare things with. We just picked 4 different insurance plans to compare for your viewing pleasure. However, there are hundreds of different options available…so make sure you check out Zander Insurance Group’s website as well.
Be a good little consumer…