Today we look at how to choose a health insurance plan – should you get a PPO, an HMO, or a HDHP? What is an HSA? And what do those acronyms mean anyway? What if you get free money from work?
Open Enrollment is starting for many people! This is the time of year when you can enroll, so we are devoting multiple episodes this month to untangling the mess of American health care bureaucracy as part of our Health Care Month 2018. If you’re a non-US listener, here are some cute cat videos to watch instead.
Acronyms in this episode:
A PPO – A preferred provider organization – a typical American health insurance plan, where you have in-network and out-of-network providers as part of a “network” of doctors
Usually easier to find doctors you jive with or who understand your particular needsMay be your only optionHMO – Health management organization – a bundled type of health insurance where the network and health insurance organization are integrated
Can be good for someone who is “lazy” (AKA overwhelmed trying to figure out how to get care) – you’ll be assigned a doctor and treatment protocol-Often have integrated systems – all doctors can see the same records, pharmacy is linked to the doctors, making things easierHarder to get care that deviates for a “norm” – can be challenging if you have trans* health needs or want experimental/newer treatment for somethingYou often can’t get anything covered to see a specific doctor unless they are part of the HMO plan or if you get a specific recommendation letter from your primary care doctor.HDHP – High Deductible Health Plan – a type of health insurance where you have lower premiums and higher deductibles
HSA – Health Savings Account – a type of health savings plan that is tax free (only for HDHP users)
You can save with a Payroll deduction Your company can contribute tax-free dollars for you (extra tax free income for you)It’s like a regular savings account, and you can keep it when you leaveYou can invest a portion of the accountFSA – Flexible Spending Account – a type of health savings plan thatdoes not roll over year to year but can be used by most anyone regardless of type of plan
Things to Know When Shopping for Health Care
Generally higher the premium, lower the deductible.
Your Trump Health Insurance Questions AnsweredUntangling COBRA and Healthcare.gov premiumsAre Health Savings Accounts an evil Republican tax loophole or actual magic?Mistakes not to make with health insurance ft Jack Hopper (long cut)Thanks to our Purrsonal Finance Society Members on patreon, we now have transcripts!
This Week’s Transcript
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