HSA - Embedded Deductibles vs Family Deductible

Aug 24, 2007

  1. GreenSky
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    GreenSky Guru

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    This is posted primarily for Al who I think is incorrect as to the value of a separate deductible (embedded) in an HSA plan.

    I ran the following quote in my zip code of 91316. Family of 4, ages 37/40/7/9.

    Here are the results:

    $243 Health Net $8,000 Family Deductible
    $265 Blue Cross $7,000 Family Deductible
    $336 Aetna $5,000 per person/$10,000 Family
    $405 Nationwide $3,500 Family Deductible
    $425 Aetna $3,000 per person/$6,000 Family

    My interpretation of the results:

    Why would anyone spend $852 more per year to go from Blue Cross to Aetna 5K deductible plan? In other words, you are guaranteed to spend $852 to save $2,000 in the event of a catastrophe that happens to ONE person. What if more than one person has a major claim?

    Let's look at the Nationwide plan that is cheaper than the 3K Aetna plan. I would spend $240 more for Aetna to save $500 on ONE person. If more than one person had claims, the Aetna policy would likely cost me more money.

    Bottom Line:

    You have to do more than believe something is better. You need to do the math. A professional insurance agent will do this. A hack will just go with their gut feeling.

    Rick
     
    GreenSky, Aug 24, 2007
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  2. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    In GA BX & Aetna offer embedded deductibles. The rest offer a family deductible.

    I always run the numbers to see. Sometimes it makes sense to use an embedded deductible.

    Sometimes not.

    Like with anything else dealing with insurance, the answer is "it depends"
     
    somarco, Aug 24, 2007
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  3. Guest
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    Guest Guest

    Rick makes good points but as others have pointed out it is not always easy to make a dollar for dollar comparison. In this case I think the Aenta plan gives better value:

    It has an immediate PT benefit
    It has an immediate well-woman benefit
    It has an immediate well-child benefit
    It has a Prosthetics benefit
    It has a DME benefit

    And of course it has an embedded deduct so that if someone has $7,000 worth of damage, they will get $2,000 worth of benefits with Aetna. With Cross they get zippo.

    I would tell the client that the $82 a month is worth the difference. They may not see it, but that's what I would buy.

    I see insurance as a bet, same as Rick makes in Vegas. You are betting you will get sick, the house is betting you won't. I'm willing to place a bigger bet for better odds and a better payout. YMMV.

    Al

    (Same ages an Rick's example, but in 95628 zip code)

    [​IMG]
     
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    Guest, Aug 24, 2007
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  4. GreenSky
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    Al:

    So you're saying it's better to spend $1000 more to have the Aetna policy? That difference effectively raises the cost for one person under Aetna to max out to $6,000. Blue Cross only costs $1,000 more than this for the entire family.

    By the way, I have yet to find a case where I couldn't beat Blue Cross with Nationwide. If you want a better comparison with a plan that gives a better well-care benefit, try them. I see you went to Zapquote for this information - try it with another carrier. If you don't like Nationwide, use Health Net.

    Al, you really need to look at your math better. The chances of anyone hitting the deductible is about 5% or less. Would you like to spend $1,000 per year to have a claim covered better once in 20 years?

    Rick
     
    GreenSky, Aug 24, 2007
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  5. TXINSURANCE
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    The carriers need to do a better job clearly stating which have INDIVIDUAL or FAMILY deductibles. Even on Norvax it will show $5000 individual / $10000 family on embedded deductibles - the consumers are completely confused on this issue and 90% of agents I speak to have no clue either.

    It is a good topic since most consumers and agents are not up to speed on this mathematical variation.
     
  6. Guest
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    I think it is a better policy because it is a better overall value. Given the choices, it is what I would buy. Thus, it is what I would sell.



    I don't sell cost or price. I sell benefits. I find that most people don't care what it costs as much as what they will get FROM the plan. That's the pitch I make. "You can have X for one dollar or Y for two dollars. I think the two dollar plan is better because you have a better chance of getting benefits."

    It took NW two and a half weeks to clear a 100% clean case... and it would NOT have cleared if I didn't get on their ass the past three days. Aetna did a similar clean case in 2 days. No more NW for me until the dust settles with the HealthNet take-over.

    HN has a horrible reputation up here. I don't know what they did in the past but a lot of people don't want anything to do with them.

    It's not all about math. It's about VALUE. Long ago I learned that business people (which is my largest market) don't care about SAVING money... they care more about making it... or getting benefits when they SPEND it. I sell what I think is the best overall VALUE for the money that my client is going to spend. There is no math you can show me that will compute your Blue Cross plan as a better VALUE than the Aetna plan.

    That's my story... and I'm sticking to it.

    Al
     
    Guest, Aug 25, 2007
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  7. James
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    James Guru

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    I have to agree with Al's mentallity here, Value is far greater then simple Cost. People such as Al is speaking of, the business class while they look for Value for their Dollar but that isn't always a pure Cost assumption. Remember, Insurance is all about how much Risk that you can afford to cover, if someone can afford to take less Risk will do so, even if they pay a few more dollars for it, that is the name of the game.
     
    James, Aug 25, 2007
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  8. somarco
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    somarco That Medicare Guy

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    Carriers do an outstanding job of designing plans to confuse the consumer. That works to the carriers benefit when a consumer buys a Saver or Right Start plan because the premium is lower.

    Agents that are confused need to stop calling themselves agents and perhaps seek a different line of work.
     
    somarco, Aug 25, 2007
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  9. GreenSky
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    Al - Clearly you have a very narrow niche market where your clients don't care about cost.

    There is no value in spending an extra $1,000 a year, each and every year, to save $2,000 in the event of a claim that mathematically happens once every 20 years.

    The only benefit to your "value" is that in your example, you will pad your commission by another $200.

    Rick
     
    GreenSky, Aug 25, 2007
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  10. Guest
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    You don't see the 'value' because you buy and sell on price.

    I spelled it out in chapter and verse along with four part harmony and full orchestration why the $800+ a year extra for the Aetna plan added value, but you don't see it.

    No one in my area who makes six figures (or above) and lives in Gold River and has a home there (where I market) really cares that much about the $800.

    And then there is your Cheech and Chong 'mythical' math. You are telling me that in a family of 4 you believe that one person will incur above $5,000 in medical problems only ONCE in 20 years? If so, you're not smoking the same stuff I'm smoking ('hisp, hisp... uh like wow this is good sheet man!).

    I think half of Gold River breaks a leg or ankle skiing at Heavenly each year. The other half dislocate a shoulder at my tennis and swmming club Gold River Racquet Club . Do you have any idea how many 'boomers' think they are still 27? Add in the usual assortment of kid-sports (soccer, little league, rock-climbing) injuries and the occasional bust-up of the Beemer and you are looking at some real money... and risk.


    I've heard this... I think we all have. After working with a client for a week or two, my response is simple. "I'm worth it. You are lucky to have me. Go to the phone book, call any 5 agents you see there and let me know if you feel they are being honest with you. I do my best to not let my clients be stupid... because I need to sleep at night. If you want a policy that I won't sell [i.e. anything with 'right' or 'value' in the name] or which I don't think is right for you, you don't need me to get it. Obviously you want to think about this, so I'll let you do some research and I'll call you in a week or so."

    I take the sale away from them. I giveth, I taketh away. I don't want clients who don't trust me implicitly or who are going to feel that I cheated them.

    Let me add one more comment to your accusation (which I think was fair and I don't take offense). At least 50% of the time I talk people DOWN from an over-priced co-pay plan or HMO into a better value HSA or PPO (especially for people with large incomes and big tax bills).

    I'm not in this business for the money. I already have the money. I'm in this business to help the people, to stay active in my 'senior' years, and to make a few bucks to help afford my very expensive wife... whom as she gets older gets more and more expensive. Have you priced what plastic/cosmetic surgeons get these days?

    Al
    Insurance Solutions 123
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Aug 25, 2007
    Guest, Aug 25, 2007
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