Experts say that it is very important for a two-income family to pay attention to details when deciding on medical insurance coverage. The reasons are as follows: 1. Pay attention because there are more options than ever before. 2. Certain companies penalize those who are married, and are fortunate enough to have double coverage. (Meaning; if a husband and wife work for separate companies and one of them tries to cover the other in insurance, the company they work for will charge them a higher premium).
It used to be that if both spouses covered each other with their companies’ insurance, then the couple would have 100% coverage. However, in the past few years, 100% coverage is almost laughable because it would never happen. A national study showed that 6% of employers charge higher premiums for spouses, which equals out to an additional $178 a month.
Large companies ask their employees, in any given year, to choose from HMOs (Health Maintenance Organization), PPOs (Point of Provider Organization), and HSAs (Health Savings Account), wherein coverage varies. In order for families to make a smart decision when that time comes, a spread sheet should be made so that they can compare the various options. The first step would be to compare premiums that would cover the whole family. The next step, to calculate the results if one spouse covers the family under the company plan, and the other spouse gets individual coverage. Then, consider the deductibles. Imagine how much money you would be out-of-pocket before the insurance even kicks in? Also, consider the scope of coverage (e.g. the availability of doctors and services). Finally, map out real expenses by using your most recent medical bills. You might also want to prepare yourself for a “worse case scenario” by considering a high-deductible plan. There is a website that can help you calculate, “paycheckcity.com,” the costs of insurance on an after-tax basis.