Your Plan or Your Spouse's?
Because health insurance premiums can be expensive, you want to find the sweet spot between sufficient coverage and over-insuring, says Roger W. Gray, director of Health Benefit Solutions at Bank of America. The first step in making your selection is to consider your health history and your family situation, he says. A young single person with no history of chronic illness can generally afford to choose a higher-deductible plan, which means lower premiums. But for parents with young children, the decision may require a little more thought.
"If both you and your spouse have employer-provided health insurance, compare benefits and premiums with your family's particular health history and needs in mind," Gray says. As you compare, ask yourself two key questions.
First, what are the deductibles—that is, the amount you'll pay for covered services before the insurer picks up the cost? "With a lower deductible, you will pay higher premiums. If you and your family are reasonably healthy and don't think you'll reach the deductible, you might want to choose the plan with the higher deductible and put the money you've saved with the lower premium into a health savings account (HSA), where the money has the potential to grow," Gray suggests.