It seems like everything is bundled these days—from cell phone plans to bulk purchases at Costco, the most cost effective way to spend is buying in multiples. Right? When it comes to health insurance, sometimes you can actually save money by purchasing individual policies for your family.
A Dallas family learned about the option of separate plans for their family last year when a job change led to a change in benefits. Our Take Command Health team interviewed our customer, Leigh, to find out more.
“Insurance can be very intimidating, and the thought of looking for it on my own was scary,” Leigh explains. In her previous career, Leigh had always received health insurance through her employer. Her husband, an independent contractor, has individual coverage that he purchased last year. When their first baby was born, Leigh switched career paths to allow for more time at home. Her new part time job didn't offer benefits. So now, with Leigh's job change, dropped benefits and a new baby, Leigh was overwhelmed at the thought of shopping for health insurance for herself and her daughter.
After talking with Leigh, she relayed some advice about how to shop for health insurance for your family:
Ask for Help
Insurance can be very intimidating, and the thought of looking for it on my own was scary.
“Two things that scare me the most are buying a car and purchasing health insurance,” Leigh admits. At the end of the day, don’t we all want to trust how we invest in our health? Leigh heard about Take Command Health from a family friend. Reassured that it was a reputable, family-owned business, Leigh ventured to the website and began the general survey to learn about her health insurance options.
“What I noticed right away,” she says, “was they allowed me to pick my doctors. I love my OB/GYN. In hopes that we will have more children, I would really like to keep my doctor.” She was also able to enter in her daughter's pediatrician, another doctor she’d like to hold on to.
“The survey was very user friendly and straightforward. Within five minutes, I learned which health insurance options were available to us.”
Leigh wanted to clarify her options, so she took it one step further by emailing Take Command Health. “Right away Jack at Take Command Health got back to me. He answered all of my questions. It was like having someone in my living room sitting down and walking me through all the options.”
Focus on Your Priorities
Doctors: Leigh learned through this process that keeping the doctors she knows and trusts is priority number one for their family. Between her OB/GYN, her husband’s endocrinologist and her daughter’s pediatrician, they wanted to be able to find a plan where they could each keep their doctors. With many insurance companies dropping coverage, it can be surprisingly challenging to find a plan that allows you all to keep the doctors you love.
Cost: They wanted to minimize the cost of their monthly premium. When comparing all the different options, purchasing three separate plans was actually the cheapest way to go. This is particularly true for families in which one family member has a chronic disease. If one family member will be utilizing health insurance more frequently, purchasing routine medications and using specialist doctors, it can be beneficial to have a separate plan for that family member.
What about deductibles? Leigh explains, “For us, deductibles weren't super important because I was not pregnant. Our main purpose for our insurance was to cover our preventative doctor visits and my daughter’s vaccinations, which were included in our monthly costs. We are overall healthy so deductibles weren’t a priority.”
Separate Plans Can Best
While the initial thought of three separate plans seemed overwhelming, it has been very easy.
“While the initial thought of three separate plans seemed overwhelming, it has been very easy.” She describes, “It hasn’t felt any different.” This was her greatest hope. Her daughter continues with the same pediatrician and she can follow up with her OB/GYN. Practically speaking, Leigh keeps two insurance cards in her purse and enrolls in automatic payments for monthly premiums.
Why Take Command Health?
“I could not have navigated the insurance world without Take Command Health. They were able to explain everything to me in terms I could understand. With Open Enrollment season upon us, I will be reaching out to Take Command Health again to learn the best to way to get health insurance for our family.”
It was like having someone in my living room sitting down and walking me through all the options.
About Take Command Health
Take Command Health launched three years ago with the goal of bringing awareness, advocacy, and transparency to the confusing world of health insurance for small businesses and individuals. Take Command Health is at the forefront of this issue, a recognized leader in QSEHRA administration and small business HRA tax strategy, with customers in every state.
I wrote this blog because I care about ideas (big and little) that can help fix our healthcare system. I used to work on projects for Kaiser Permanente and the Parkland Health & Hospital System so I've seen the system inside and out. It's so important that consumers keep up with industry shifts and changing health insurance regulations. I'm also Take Command Health's Content Editor and a busy mom. Learn more about me and connect with me on our about us page. Thanks!