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Asked 11/6/2007

HSA vs. regular plan for starting a family!?

It is time to renew my health insurance, on which I had a high deductible ($1k). My husband has his health insurance through his job; I am paying for mine on my own. We are planning on starting a family in Jan. 08 and I am wondering if a regular plan or HSA is better to help with the maternity coverage, esp. since the monthly premium for the HSA is comprable to the regular plan. (at least through BCBS) I have been to plenty of HSA websites and I'd appreciate answers that would help our specific situation! We are great at saving, but we are unsure if the HSA would benefit us. Thanks so much!

 
 
 
 
 
 
Answers

Answer 1/3 - Submitted 11/6/2007

Nobody here can give you the answers you want because nobody here knows your specific situation. Plans and companies are different depending upon your state, and premiums can vary depending upon your ages, current and past health concerns, if you smoke, and your height and weight.

In general, if you seldom if ever go to the doctor or use prescriptions the HSA plan is better. If you go to the doctor you do get the discounted rates plus this amount will apply toward your deductible. I have an HSA plan and I'm happy with it.

Most individual policies do not cover maternity. Some HMO plans will but there are few available for individuals and none are HSA qualified. Some PPO plans have maternity as an option. I consider most maternity riders to be pre-payment plans. After you take into consideration the extra premium and the waiting period you'll pay more in premiums than the cost of the delivery. When you get a maternity rider the insurance company knows you are going to get pregnant; they're not going to pay out more than they receive. Remember that complications of pregnancy are covered on most plans even if you don't have maternity coverage.

Give a call to a local independent agent that works with the major companies. The agent can tell you the options available to you. The plans and premiums are exactly the same whether you use an agent or not.

 
 

Answer 2/3 - Submitted 11/6/2007

First, the HSA is the savings account. The insurance plan that you need in order to get an HSA is called an HDHP. Nothing you have said indicates whether the HDHP or the regular insurance is better in terms of coverage, and you do say that the premiums are equal.

If either insurance plan covers all your medical expenses, get that one.

If neither insurance plan covers everything, then get the HDHP and the HSA. You can contribute up to $2850 per year to the HSA if the HDHP is for an individual and twice that if it is for a family of two or more. You deduct whatever you contribute to the HSA from your taxes and can withdraw from it, tax-free, for nearly any medical expense, include some that you could not otherwise deduct (such as over the counter medicines).

 
 

Answer 3/3 - Submitted 11/6/2007

I personally don't like HSA plans considering the fact that the plan will not cover anything until you have paid your $1000 deductible out of your own pocket.

You might have to do some calculations to see if you out of pocket expenses would be more under the HSA plan or under the regular plan.

With a PPO, you pay your copay and then you will have to pay your deductible when time comes and then a percentage of co-insurance (usually 20%) with a max of some amount.

Check out what your co-insurance is and the maximum out-of-pocket you will have to pay for the PPO and if the plan for the HSA will pay 100% after you pay the $1000.

Remember the $1000 is per year and you will need to go to the doctor next year and in 09 so you would have to start all over in meeting the $1000 deductible.

Good Luck!

 
 
 
 

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