Well, as you remember from my last healthcare post, I wanted to look into using the internet to research potential health care costs for myself and Mrs. 39 Months when we retire early. I thought it might be of interest to folks to see what I found, and what questions this raised.
After looking through some of the sites that I discussed on my last post, I chose to go with Healthsherpa.com as my source for finding information. The steps I followed are:
- Go to HealthSherpa.com
- You can setup account if you want, and then log in to keep your stuff
- Type in zip code . Very important. Some places have Healthcare exchanges, some don’t. I will cover some of those areas that don’t in another post.
- Who needs coverage (me & spouse)
- Put in ages, answer questions on disability, smoking, etc.
- Put in number of people in household (2) and estimated income (I went with $60K)
- Sherpa says that I can save $892/month on healthcare by reimbursement by government in my zip code (in southern NJ)
- It asks for the qualifying event, and gives me a list. I chose losing coverage (since I’d be retiring)
- Asks you to rate how often you use healthcare (low, medium, heavy) based on doctor’s visits, prescriptions, hospital visits, etc. Not perfect, but it will get you in the ballpark. I chose heavy use, because as we get older, we’d go more often
- Let’s you go into detail on the plan (visits, prescriptions, etc.)
- Also let’s you compare other plans & costs by clicking “view all 18 plans”
- This sorts by lowest cost to highest cost, and has a screen on the left side that lets you filter your search. Since I wanted an EPO and Silver plan, I typed those in.
- The result was a series of seven (7) different plans, ranging in price from $489/month to $2,076/month. Wow. The screen also lets you select up to three different plans to compare.
- The three plans ranged from $489 to $589 per month. Some of the areas they compare are:
- Max Out-of-Pocket (OOP)
- Primary Care co-pay
- This should help you get an idea of potential costs. Again, these costs reflect a reimbursement from the government of $892/month. If my income went above the 400% poverty level (around $64K right now), I would be adding about $900/month onto my healthcare bill.
Well, at least I’ve got a starting point for budgeting.
Next healthcare post, we’ll go over what to do when you have a state that doesn’t have a healthcare exchange.
Mr. 39 Months