Consumer-driven health care (CDHC) refers to health insurance policies that allow policyholders to use Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and other medical-payment plans to pay routine medical expenses. Separately, a high-deductible health insurance policy covers the catastrophic claims. The combination of these two plans generally costs less than conventional Ohio health insurance plans. The balance (if any) of a pre-funded spending account is kept by the policyholder and “rolled over” to the next year.
Sound complicated? Maybe a bit. I (myself, wife and two children) have this type of coverage so I can personally endorse the idea. We have had an HSA for about 10 years. And as you may have surmised, as an independent broker, I can select any type of plan from a wide selection of companies, and simply write the policy myself.
Yet…I have never veered away from the CDHC concept. The concept is very vanilla. If you spend money on preventive services, you are rewarded by not having to pay for them. Physicals, OBGYN visits, baby well-visits and other diagnostic tests are paid (in full) by the insurer. Regardless whether you are covered by Anthem, Kaiser, Medical Mutual or Aetna, it doesn’t matter.
But…will you be forced in this direction in 2014? If you have a six-figure income (and even if you don’t), you may not be eligible for federal tax subsidies from the IRS that will help pay your health insurance premiums. And since prices here in Ohio will be substantially higher, you may have to accept bigger deductibles, coinsurance and copays.
Of course, maternity, breast-feeding education and mental illness will be included, whether you request it or not. Those are “mandates, and it’s now the law of the land to buy them and include them in your policy.
But what if you’re currently taking incredibly expensive medications or your health is so poor, that no company will offer coverage? In that scenario, you should keep the coverage you own at this time. However, during the upcoming Open Enrollment, utilize the new tax subsidies and consider a new policy.