A Balancing Act or a Glimpse into the Crystal Ball
When open enrollment season rolls around, it can often feel like you need psychic powers to make the right choices. After all, predicting your health needs for the upcoming year isn’t exactly straightforward. You may be looking at multiple plans and thinking, how do I choose the right health insurance for myself? However, finding the ideal benefit plan at the right price doesn’t have to feel like magic; it’s all about balance.
The Balancing Act
Imagine you’re on a seesaw. On one side, you have deductibles and out-of-pocket costs. On the other, the premium costs per pay period. Here’s the crux:
- A lower deductible and out-of-pocket usually means a higher premium per pay period.
- A higher deductible and out-of-pocket generally translate to a lower premium.
So, you’re essentially weighing immediate, consistent costs (premiums) against potential future costs (deductibles and out-of-pocket expenses). And here’s where our “crystal ball method” comes into play.
The Crystal Ball Method
- Peering into the Future: Start by picturing your year ahead. Consider the number of times you might visit the doctor, urgent care, or even the emergency room. Think about prescriptions you’ll need, planned surgeries, or unexpected sick visits.
- List and Cost: Jot down all these potential healthcare needs and attach a rough cost estimate.
- Network Navigation: From the available plans, pinpoint which networks make the most sense based on your preferred doctors and hospitals.
- Crunch the Numbers: Now, take the total estimated costs from your list and add them to your annualized contribution as an employee. This sum will give you a ballpark of your potential healthcare spending for the year.
Bringing it All Together
By now, you’ve essentially peeked into your future (without any mystical powers) and have an idea of the costs associated with each plan. But remember, the cheapest option isn’t always the best. Consider what you value regarding coverage, provider choices, and peace of mind.
Choosing the right health insurance at the ideal price is undoubtedly challenging. But by understanding the balancing act between premiums, deductibles, and out-of-pocket costs—and by employing the “crystal ball method”—you can make an informed decision that best aligns with your health and financial needs for the upcoming year. So, grab your metaphorical crystal ball during the next open enrollment, and let the balancing act begin!
Ready to start planning? Download your free Crystal Ball Worksheet!
Contact us, if you need additional assistance with your healthcare decisions.