I Got My Bronze Health Insurance Premiums Down to $6,581.52

Photo by Joanna Kosinska on Unsplash.

Earlier this month, I signed up for a Medica Bronze Plus HSA plan from the only ACA insurer in Iowa. This plan costs $580.60 per month, or $6,967.20 in premiums over the course of 2018.

Then, after listening to the two most recent Oh My Dollar! podcasts (the one about mistakes people make when choosing health insurance and the one about health savings accounts) I logged back into Healthcare.gov and switched from the Plus plan to the regular Medica Bronze HSA plan.

When I first wrote about these plans, I focused on the Plus plan’s lower deductible and called the difference in monthly premiums “like, less than $10.” As Lillian Karabaic notes in her podcast, this is one of the mistakes people make when choosing health insurance.

After listening to Oh My Dollar! and inspecting my three Bronze options more carefully, I realized that the difference in premiums were a little more significant:

  • $580.60 for the Medica Bronze HSA Plus plan ($2,600 deductible, $6,650 OOP maximum, 40 percent coinsurance after deductible)
  • $572.73 for the Medica Bronze Copay plan ($6,850 deductible, $7,350 OOP maximum)
  • $548.46 for the Medica Bronze HSA plan ($6,000 deductible, $6,650 OOP maximum, 20 percent coinsurance after deductible)

By switching from the Medica Bronze Plus HSA plan to the Medica Bronze HSA plan, I save $32.14 in premiums every month, or $385.68 over the course of the year.

Yes, my deductible is higher, but I’ve never ever ever come close to maxing out my deductible—and I’m also going to mitigate these potential costs by setting aside pretax money in a health savings account.

I cannot believe I hadn’t really heard of HSAs until that Oh My Dollar! podcast episode. (If y’all have been getting excited about HSAs in the comments and I missed it, I apologize.) My Washington State health insurance was not a HSA plan, so maybe that’s why I hadn’t bothered to become familiar with what they were and how they could benefit the self-employed.

But now I am SO READY to start setting aside pretax money towards my health and/or my retirement, depending on how the next 30 years go.

Also, I’m glad to be able to save a little bit of money every month on health insurance, even if it is only $32.14.

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