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    Health insurance advice for newlyweds

    My fiance and I recently got engaged, we'll be married in April. Contrary to the opinions of many people on this board, we have decided to keep our finances separate, until we buy a house, which will be in both our names, but we will maintain separate bank accounts. We are both happy with this arrangement, so I'm not going to get into explaining our choice.

    I have health insurance through my employer. Next year, I will pay $45/month premium (deducted from my check). It's a qualified high deductible plan, and my employer contributes $80/month to an HSA, and I contribute a small amount monthly to bring it to an even $1000/year contribution. Single deductible is $3000/year. I'm 30 years old, no health problems, and have had the HSA 1 year now and never tapped into it.

    I contribute ~$500 a year to a FSA to cover an eye exam, contacts, dental cleanings, and birth control.

    My husband-to-be does not have health insurance offered by his employer (he is offered no benefits), so he will have to buy private health insurance next year, as required by law. He's in the process of quitting smoking (no cigarettes for 2 weeks now! Yay!), but I think it has to be 6 months before he's considered a non-smoker for health insurance purposes.

    He has no regular medical/dental/vision expenses; we would be insuring against serious illness or injury.

    I don't think adding him to my insurance is the least expensive option, as that would be an additional $500/month.

    Last year I grossed $39k/year, about $4000 of which was in quarterly bonuses that I'm not *guaranteed* to get. I contribute these to savings and do not count them towards my monthly budget. Of my regular $35k income, I take home approximately $1875 a month, after taxes and all deductions.

    My fiance grosses approx $23k/year, but I'm not 100% sure what that works out to after taxes.

    Because of the lovely changes to our healthcare system, MY income will be considered towards determining his health insurance premiums, will it not? 9.5% of 23k is $182.08 a month. This is what would be considered "affordable" for a single person with his income.

    But when we marry...9.5% of 62k is $490.83 a month. I do not have an extra 300 a month to contribute towards his health insurance premium costs - if I did that, I would have nothing (or very little) each month to put toward savings! That is 16% of my by-weekly take-home pay. Why should being married suddenly make him more than double of an expense to the health insurance companies??

    What kind of options do we have to keep his health insurance costs down?

    #2
    I assume your employer will not allow your husband on your plan when you are married? if so that sucks as that would likely be the most affordable option by a considerable margin.

    If your employer will allow him in, I dont recommend keeping that part of your finances seperate as that would most likely be a poor financial decision on your part.

    WOOPS, jsut reread that adding your husband adds an additional $500 per month on your plan. At my company (as we are enrolling now) the cost difference would be $204.50 per month to add a spouse to a single employee plan on PLAN A, and $90.40 more per month in the high deductible PLAN B.
    Last edited by bigdaddybus; 11-13-2013, 08:07 AM.

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      #3
      Mutual Decision holds the key

      Certain decision you have taken is completely your personal, but what I think is if you & your husband to be takes a single insurance cover which is for the family, it will help in covering more of your life and with premiums less than what you both will be individually paying. It will be more saving towards your pocket.

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        #4
        This year (2013) we paid $30/mo for single, $545/mo for family. Next year will be $45/mo for single, and they didn't say exactly how much for family, but they said "under $600." We don't have an employee + spouse option. It might be a good option for a family of 5, but I am not sure it's the best for spouse.

        As far as reaching our deductible(s), mine is $3000/year after which the plan pays 100% for in-network, or $6000/month family.

        The family option WILL be more than 9.5% of our gross income. (And where did they come up with that #?) Am I even understanding the way it works? "Affordable" for me alone on my income is $308.75/month. "Affordable" for him alone on his income is $182.08/month. But "affordable" for each of us on our combined income is $490.83 EACH? Is that really right?

        It would take a serious illness or injury to reach our deductible, we neither of us have been to the doctor for any kind of illness or injury in years, and have no medications.

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          #5
          Have you actually looked at prices for a policy for him on the exchange? I am going by what the prices have been in my own state, but you should be able to find something decent just for him that is considerably less than $500 a month. The policy prices aren't based on a percentage of your income. You just don't have to pay the penalty if you can't find anything for less than 9.5% of your household income.

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            #6
            Originally posted by hamchan View Post
            Have you actually looked at prices for a policy for him on the exchange? I am going by what the prices have been in my own state, but you should be able to find something decent just for him that is considerably less than $500 a month. The policy prices aren't based on a percentage of your income. You just don't have to pay the penalty if you can't find anything for less than 9.5% of your household income.
            Not really, or not understood it, anyway. Neither one of us understands ANY of this! I've always had employer-paid health insurance (but only been to the doctor 2 or 3 times in my adult life, other than annual exam), and he's never had health insurance, and doesn't go to the doctor.

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              #7
              Does your state have it's own exchange? I plugged your numbers into the WA state exchange and found a plan for $172 a month. But the costs will vary depending on where you live. You can also buy a private plan outside of the exchange. It shouldn't make much difference since your household makes more than 400% of the federal poverty level (so you won't be getting subsidies on the exchange).

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                #8
                Is his premium going to increase when we marry, or is that unrelated?

                TBH the whole insurance thing rather ticks me off. We're paying for the salaries of every person employed in the industry. If we have to go this universal care route, I'd rather just be taxed and have all health care be paid for. Bunch of red tape & inefficient management, insurance companies.

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                  #9
                  His premium should stay the same regardless, but he would likely be eligible for subsidies if you were not to get married. This right here is one of the biggest issues I have with the ACA. I hear you and totally agree that universal coverage would be better for everyone.

                  Start looking around for policies for him though. You should be able to find something affordable.

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                    #10
                    how many employees does your company have?

                    Noone that I know that have employer plans would be better off going with the ACA exchanges....but that is here in the midwest

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                      #11
                      The job I just left would have me paying 90 a month for myself or 900 for myself and my husband. They didn't cover any part of your spouse or family's coverage.

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                        #12
                        Originally posted by bigdaddybus View Post
                        how many employees does your company have?

                        Noone that I know that have employer plans would be better off going with the ACA exchanges....but that is here in the midwest
                        We have about 70 employees, in central Iowa.

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                          #13
                          OK, it looks like Iowa doesn't have a state exchange, so you can either go through the federal one or you can shop on your own directly with insurers.

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                            #14
                            I agree with you on that arrangement of separate accounts. I also practice that with my hubby.about choosing the best health insurance, many are available but you need to choose which best fits your necessities. you can browse websites online that would let you compare terms of different insurance companies to help you out in making your decision. Cheers!

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                              #15
                              I'm unwilling to offer advice, given you'll be getting married during the plan year; I don't know how or if that complicates things.

                              This forum really isn't the place to ask this question. Folks here are not experts on the subject, so you may get bad information.

                              I suggest you call the federal health insurance phone number and explain your situation, since Iowa decided not to help its citizens.
                              seek knowledge, not answers
                              personal finance

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