Trim the Fat Tuesday: The Health Insurance

One of the other perks of Kirk's new job is that it forced us to go back to the drawing board and re-research our health insurance options. Not gonna lie, that's a ginormous pain in the ass. Despite how irritating it is to try to compare plans and change insurers, we were able to

Comparison shop our employer-sponsored health insurance plans for the best deal.

This all seems like a no-brainer, but the (admittedly extreme) hassle factor meant that, whenever possible, we ignored open enrollment and stuck with our current insurance plan, without really checking out the competition. It also didn't help that open enrollment at my job is in May, while Kirk's is in November or December — that made it hard to remember to do an apples-to-apple comparison of all our options.

And, I know, we are very lucky to have so many choices.

We were prompted to shop around when we found out that the health insurance at Kirk's new job was nearly twice as expensive as his old plan. And you know what we discovered? That the plan from my employer is cheaper than all of them.

Of course, my plans are extra complicated, as they are overseen by the Group Insurance Commission for Massachusetts public employees. You have to cross-reference where you live with the doctors and hospitals you want, then check their ratings to figure out your copay, and blah blah blah. Yeah, it takes some serious Google commitment time to sort out, but was totally worth it.

So, I'm feeling like a dope for not switching it sooner. Still, now we know that it pays off to make a scan of all of our options during open enrollment, just to double-check that we are getting the best deal.

The numbers are as follows. Our old insurance cost $260 a month for health and dental, and our new insurance is just $186 per month. That's a big difference!

Pro tip: our best deal came by using my health coverage but using Kirk's dental. Don't forget that you can mix and match with your spouse!

Savings per month: $74

Total Savings for September: $1,571.50 (this month's savings plus the savings already in place from previous months!)

Total Savings in 2014: $6,123.50


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