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It may seem early to start discussing this, but open enrollments for health insurance will be approaching soon for many of us whether at work or through our personal plans. Health insurance deductibles continue to rise, premiums are certainly not coming down and between the two our budgets continue to be squeezed. Costs of coverage fall into two categories: the premium cost which is obvious, but also the cost of using our plans which is not so obvious.

Increasing premiums have immediate impact on our paychecks so that cost is hard to miss. Yet the increasing cost of office visits, prescriptions and other medical services are almost more painful because we have to decide what services we choose to afford when a need arises. Many of us will postpone treatment when we do not feel “flush” enough to justify the cost of care, but is that healthy?

Higher deductibles and more expensive copays for physicians and prescriptions impact on our decisions to access care when we need to. Are we disciplined enough to set aside the money we are saving with the lower premiums for the rainy day expense when we have to pay for care? Or are we enrolling in the higher deductible plans because that is all we can afford in our budgets?

In the next few posts we will discuss the various considerations in selecting among the coverage options available to us. High deductible plans vs plans sporting copays; premium differences between rich and lean plans and what those difference really mean to us; how to access the information we need to make really good decisions.

We will also address sources of information to help us control the costs of our care. Where can we save some money without risking the quality of our care and what resources should we keep at hand to be sure we make the best decisions possible at a moment’s notice?

Whether we are under 65 or Medicare eligible we all stand to gain by preparing for our annual open enrollment. We hope you will check the next few posts so that the decisions that will need to be made toward the end of the year will be well thought out and based on good information.

For assistance in mapping out the best course, contact us at Czajkowski Dumpel & Associates, Inc. – We are here to help!