Those with group health insurance in Georgia that are making open enrollment decisions need to know the facts before signing up for next years benefits.
- Your adult children (yes, it is an odd term) over the age of 18 but less than 26 can be included on your plan . . . but this may not be the best option
- Children under the age of 19 may find it impossible to secure health insurance anywhere but on your group health insurance plan . . . even if they are healthy
- You may be able to save money by placing your spouse and/or children on a separate health insurance policy
- Dental insurance for dependents may not be a wise choice if you pay more than $20 to cover a spouse or $40 for the entire family
- Check provider lists to see if doctors and hospitals in your area are in network
- Verify that your medications are covered under the drug formulary and check the tier level copay
- Most will find that a high deductible (HDHP) plan + an HRA or HSA is a better value
- Consider taking advantage of all tax breaks including FSA, HSA and HRA offerings
- A POS or HMO plan may be a better financial choice but be aware of the restrictions on doctors and hospitals in those networks
Adult children (over age 18) may be better off with an individual health insurance plan of their own. A 22 year old healthy male in Atlanta can buy a good plan for less than $60 per month; for a female the rate is under $70 per month. I have several clients that have put their adult children on plans and save $200+ per month vs. putting them on the group health insurance plan.
Children under age 19 will not be able to purchase health insurance on their own (child only health insurance) due to Obamacare mandates. When children's health insurance mandates went into effect on 9/23/2010 the effect was to kill any chance of finding children's health insurance in Georgia. The only way to buy health insurance in Georgia and cover children under age 19 is to apply for them as dependents under an adult's plan.
Dental insurance is usually a waste of dollars, especially if you have an HRA or HSA. Unless the premiums are heavily subsidized by your employer, you may be better off finding a dental insurance plan outside of your work or going without coverage completely. Dentists are hurting for business and many may be willing to discount their fees in exchange for cash.
Employer group health insurance has built in maternity benefits. If you no longer need maternity coverage and are in good health, you may be better off looking for an affordable health insurance plan outside of work.
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