Open enrollment season – your favorite time of year (again)! Instead of feeling overwhelmed by the litany of acronyms, here’s what you can do to save money and hopefully improve your health.
Overwhelming Open Enrollment Season
This annual ritual can be complex and confusing because it’s hard to understand what’s offered by insurance companies.
The litany of acronyms is endless – PPO, PDP, and HMO. And there is a lot of jargon – gold plan, silver program, and platinum choice.
What Usually Happens
Typically we keep the same plan from last year. It’s easy to go along with the status quo. If it worked last year, why not keep it the same?
It is prudent to look at the alternatives and see if there is a better plan for you.
Suggestion for You
If you meet the following criteria:
- You are relatively healthy
- Don’t foresee any major medical procedures in the next year
- No chronic conditions
The best choice is a high deductible health plan (HDHP) – sorry for the acronym. This plan comes with higher deductibles, but the premiums are much lower. The number to focus on is the premiums, not the deductible.
Cost Savings During Open Enrollment
For example, the deductible for a family is usually around $4,500, but the premiums are usually $3,000 lower than a PPO plan. Typically you can save $2,000 to $3,500 in premiums over the course of a year with HDHPs.
In addition, there is the Health Savings Account (HSA). You can contribute pretax money that can be used towards healthcare costs and you can withdraw it without a tax penalty. The maximum contribution limit in 2024 is $8,300 for families.
Many employers contribute money to HSA’s on your behalf, sometimes over $1,000. It’s a great time to see what your company offers during open enrollment.
Paying lower premiums and HSA contributions from you and employer all add up. You keep more cash in your pocket!
You may have heard that a Health Savings Account is the only triple tax advantaged account. What does this mean?
The money you put into an HSA is tax-free. The money that is invested grows tax-free as well. When you use this invested money for healthcare expenses this is also tax-free. Very appealing!
An added benefit – the money in your HSA continually carries over to future years indefinitely, after you change jobs, or stop participating in an HDHP.
During open enrollment season this year, don’t throw away thousands of dollars. Put it in your pocket (and your HSA)!
If you have any open enrollment questions, reach out to me.