Searching For Value In The Health Exchange

While listening to Ezekiel Emanuel defend the Affordable Care Act on Fox News Sunday I reminded myself that I should do a better job of being prepared for the inevitable cancelation of my grandfathered health insurance plan. Although I have toyed with the idea of going without health insurance I believe my best choice is to replace my current plan with the health insurance plan that has the lowest monthly cost after the subsidy. I currently use this catastrophic care strategy very effectively and all of my routine out of pocket medical costs are paid for directly from the HRA. In my case I had a pretty nice low cost, comprehensive plan, AARP-Aetna(3000/5000/20%). So what would I get with the lowest cost plan offered by the exchange?

The lowest cost bronze plan is the HealthSpanOne 6000 HSA. Here are the details from website. Like most exchange plans the deductible is pretty high, $6000/$12000. The 0% coinsurance is nice but like many exchange plans, it has its limitations. The biggest limitations for me is that it does not cover any out of network costs and I could not find my preferred hospital and family doctor on the provider list.

The next lowest cost bronze plan from a different insurance company is the Anthem Bronze DirectAccess ”“ cabu. It has a $5000/$6350 deductible and 30% coinsurance but it is has a higher monthly cost, deductible, and coinsurance than my unsubsidized insurance.

Once again I am reminded that my current plan is a much better deal than the new “improved” plans offered through the exchanges. The exchanges do not have much of a choice and after looking in detail at few of the plans, I can say that their only saving grace is that they are subsidized. They are not bad but they definitely fall short of what I was accustomed to in several areas. I guess Ezekiel and I have different ideas of what constitutes a good health insurance value.