Whenever Kyle and I discussed what we wanted to do in life, health insurance never came up in conversation.
N E V E R
We never made plans to make sure health insurance fit the puzzle.
We never discussed who would have to find a job with the health insurance benefit.
We always moved ahead and that piece was part of the other loose ends we tied up later.
I come from generations of couples that purchased health insurance without an employer. I honestly didn’t even know the extent of some of the incredible plans offered by companies as a part of the compensation package.
What a perk!
And for us, that perk wasn’t worth the trade.
Right now, we purchase a health insurance plan similar to an option we’d have through an employer.
$1250 a month
…is the amount we spend on health insurance. We buy it through a local insurance company in town and it’s underwritten by BC/BS of ND.
We had the opportunity to sit down with the agent and sift through many options! We were able to choose a deductible, out-of-pocket max, coverage level, and monthly premium that fit the needs of our particular family at this stage of our lives.
Our other option was to join the farm’s plan.
The farm has an older plan that’s been grandfathered in multiple times. It has great coverage and with it, a higher price.
Ultimately, based on our needs and what the plan offered, we opted to forgo the increased price and coverage of the farm’s plan to do our own.
Is it affordable?
I mean, I would rather spend $1250 a month on something else!
However, we always framed the conversation around, was keeping a job in town worth $15,000 a year?
Which also wasn’t even fair math for our situation. Back when I was employed, my single health insurance was covered completely, but I would have had to pay in for a family plan. From memory, it amounted to about half of what we pay now. So, for us, was $7,500 a year worth the trade?
What were we trading in exchange for the health insurance benefit?
Time. Opportunity. Fulfillment.
Were those worth the trade, for us?
Could we find a different way to make $29 a day?
EXPENSE VS BENEFIT
Health insurance for us is another business expense right next to crop insurance, fuel, supplies, etc.
Framing it in that mindset always felt like it gave us the freedom to go find a way to make it work.
Thinking of the expense in that way allowed us to include it in our budget and move on to moving the needle.
To be really honest with you, health insurance is hard for me to pay because we don’t use it.
We keep it for the risk of racking up millions in bills from a NICU stay or an accident.
Our out-of-pocket maximum is higher in order to reduce our monthly cost, knowing the odds of reaching the max are low. Same with our co-pay, we keep it high since we use it so little.
For us, right now, we are using health insurance as a risk management tool.
ALL THE NUMBERS
$1250 per month premium
IND DED $4,500
IND OOP $8,700
FAM DED $9,000
FAM OOP $17,400
Out of Network
IND DED $9,000
IND OOP $17,400
FAM DED $18,000
FAM OOP $34,800
Office Visit Copay $50
Specialist Copay $50
ER Visit Copay $300
WITH THAT SAID
1. Insurance is an incredible benefit! Something I never fairly factored into job offers because I was still on my parent’s plan at the time. Knowing what I know now, benefits can drastically impact the value of dollars per hour paid by an employer.
2. There are options for insurance outside of an employer if working for insurance doesn’t feel like the best fit for your family.
WORTH A MENTION
In all of my discussions surrounding health insurance with other families, the Medi-share option comes up frequently. I have overwhelmingly heard positive reviews but haven’t made the jump to look into it more seriously.
I’ve briefly looked into it and so has another family member. During our family discussions the fine print of it not actually being an insurance company has enough of us hung up that we don’t continue to pursue.
Either way, we have options.
I’m a firm believer that life is always giving us options. Even when we are backed into the tightest corner, with creativity, patience, and prayer we can find the most optimal solution.
Would love to hear what’s working for your family!