I know that someday you'll find better things.

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Open Enrollment: Plan B

The magical month is upon us:
Open enrollment for health insurance with my husband's employer.

My husband is a public school teacher in one of the highest achieving and respected school districts in the great state of Texas. 

Texas is a "Right to Work" state, so we don't have unions.

One of the areas that this status impacts tremendously is the cost and quality of health insurance.

I don't think I am violating any confidentiality policies by sharing some of the specifics of the available plans with you, as the same information is accessible to the general public on the school district's main website.

To be clear, what we are about to examine is strictly medical insurance. Dental, vision, disability, and life insurance are all available for additional costs, but today we are just going to look at medical insurance.

There are three levels of plans available, and within each, there are four subcategories. I'm going to focus on "Employee and Family". As you can see in the plan premium prices below, the employer graciously contributes $259 toward the total monthly cost.

The three options-- $886/month, $979/month, and $1,064/month-- translate to $10,632/year, $11,748/year, and $12,768/year.

Remember, this is just the monthly premium cost. It doesn't factor in deductibles, copays, or prescriptions.

Let's look at this data another way:

A Texas teacher with 13 years experience earns a respectable $52,000 per year. (This is before taxes, insurance, retirement contribution, etc. Gross, right?)

$10,632/year = 20.4% of the annual salary 
$11,748/year = 22.6% of the annual salary 
$12,768/year = 24.6% of the annual salary

That's without ever setting foot in the doctor's office. Cross that threshold, and things get hairy. Here are the plan details:

We are very, very lucky to have a healthy family. "Plan A" isn't a good fit for us, because (Oh, God, don't let lightning strike us) we would never, ever reach the deductible to activate the goodies, and we'd REALLY never hit the out-of-pocket maximum. "Plan B" allows a $30 copay for doctor's visits, since even healthy kids succumb to strep, ear infections, and pinkeye throughout the year.

Cost of middle class medical insurance premiums: $11,748/year.

No comments:

Post a Comment