Shopping for new health insurance

The deadline is the 31st-and while my current coverage qualifies, I am dissatisfied with it (Blue Cross-premium increases and at least one of my doctors won’t take them now).

Health background-53 y/o, 182 pounds, 6’00’, am healthy as a horse. Only health issue of recent note was a couple of Heart arrhythmia episodes in 2006 and 2010-the latter inspired me to get off my duff and get in shape, lost 60 pounds and have kept them off for 5 years now, thanks to dietary changes and a intense exercise routine (BP is c. 110-80 and resting pulse is 70). Did the colon blow and they found and killed a lone polyp 3 years ago.

So, what should I shop for on Obama’s marketplace?

Bump diddly bump.

I trust you guys more than some random blog somewhere.

I’ve never shopped on the marketplace, but a high deductible plan MIGHT be a reasonable choice for you if your expenses are normally pretty low. I assume there’s nothing like a pre-tax FSA available for you if you have to get insurance from the marketplace. High deductible plans tend to be great if you’re very healthy (you spend less than the deductible amount) or very sick (you hit your out-of-pocket limit).

Look for plans that include most of your current doctors, if changing is not something you want to do. Call the doctors and find out what plans they DO still take.

If you qualify for a subsity, I think you get most bang for your buck with the silver plans. You probably should call around, though, to see if the providerrs who accept whatever you choose are acceptable to you. For me that was the deciding issue, after the price. changed this year and now has a nice display of which of your doctors are accepted on each plan right inside the search results. So get all your docs put in wherever that function is, and you can quickly see who accepts which plan. Huge help!

I would get in touch with a local independent agent. Doesn’t cost you anything and you can sit down and talk with someone who knows all the ins and outs of the plans that are available in your area, including exchange plans.

Since you’re healthy, consider an HMO. Consider a high deductible if you can afford expenses while you meet the deductible – IOW, if your doctor prescribes a medication that’s $300 out of pocket per month, can you afford to pay that until you meet your deductible?

I was in your situation a few years ago and went with a Bronze HSA plan. My logic was that I probably would not use much more than an annual physical & a few immunizations. All of those are covered with no deductible.

The high deductible meant that if I had major problems, I would hit the OOP max soon after. The HSA would cover a good bit of that and still be tax free.

As it turned out, before getting on Medicare I did four years like that. Lowest possible premiums, no major expenditures and ended up with four years of HSA in a decent fund. I had close to $20k to use for medical/dental expenditures in retirement. might help.

It’s past the 31st, so it’s probably moot for the OP, but yes, exactly.

If s/he’s shopping on the marketplace, a FSA is probably not part of the deal. With those, your first year on a high deductible plan is painful (if you have expenses early in the year before the FSA balance has built up), but succeeding years are a bit easier to manage, cash-flow-wise.