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After Much Calculation, My Health Insurance Policy is Selected

I tend to agonize over certain decisions because I want to be absolutely sure I'm making the right choice. Such is the case in choosing my health insurance policy. It's a very important expense for me because I have some chronic health issues.

My employer is changing insurance companies this year, and they offered three choices. Each of the plans had great benefits and some not-so-great costs. The decision had to be made last weekend because our plan year begins on September 1st. That put pressure on me to make a quick decision, and I like to give these types of things a great deal of thought.

I spent the better part of two days pushing a pencil and doing more math than I have in years. Premiums were only the beginning of the considerations. I also had to calculate my medication copays, doctor visit copays, deductibles, and a few what-ifs.

I was able to eliminate one plan right away. The cost difference between the remaining two plans was $36.87 per biweekly pay period or $958.62 a year. There are 26 pay periods in a year, so the math was simple. The expensive plan premiums cost $3,281.46 a year. The middle plan premiums cost $2,322.84 per year. Where it became complicated was when I began the calculations of copays.

I take three typical generic medications and one expensive name brand medicine for which there is no generic. I was torn between the two plans, and my ultimate decision had everything to do with my expensive medicine.

The most expensive plan offered zero copay for generic medicine, doctor visits, chiropractic visits, and blood labs. However, the cost of my name brand medication was $75.00 a month with that plan. The middle plan offered $12.00 generic drugs, a $20.00 doctor's office copay, $40.00 chiropractic visits, and I would be responsible for the cost of my blood labs until my $5,000.00 deductible is met. The clencher was the copay for my name brand drug is $40.00, nearly half the cost of the other copay. There were some other price differences making the expensive plan even less attractive.

When I calculated all of the copays and weighed them against the super plan's much higher premium and high prices for all non-generic drugs, specialty drugs, and hospital stays, I decided to take my chances with the middle plan and pray the blood labs aren't too expensive. If they are, I will deal with it this year and change my elections next year.

With that big decision made, I had to decide if I should buy dental, vision, life, and/or extra policies. Those policies didn't take nearly as long to wade through.

If you think I obsessed about choosing my health insurance, you should have seen how much effort I put into choosing my car. There are many reasons I haven't replaced it yet, and it's 10 years old. I don't enter into such things lightly.

Do you agonize over your major decisions, or do you go with your first gut reaction?

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