Expert: Health Insurance Shoppers Should Consider Out of Pocket Costs

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(Sacramento, CA)
Monday, March 10, 2014

Gregg Stokes of Reno had been paying more than $1800 dollars a month for health coverage for his wife and two kids – more than his mortgage payments.

So Stokes was looking for a better deal this open enrollment period.  

“I wasn’t looking for bronze, or gold I was looking in that sweet spot, a silver plan…that met my family’s needs and my budget,” says Stokes.

Stokes had problems enrolling through the Nevada Health Link website, so an insurance broker helped him.

“My rates went down. I got a better plan, for $400 plus dollars a month less,” he says.

But monthly premiums are only one part of health care costs.  

The non-profit Consumers Union says a lot of times, plans with lower premiums have higher out of pocket costs.

Julie Silas of Consumers Union says shoppers should consider how they use health care.

She says they should look at associated costs like deductibles, doctor co-pays and x-rays. 

“The idea of the bronze plan is that it’s going to cost less per month but how much you have to pay in services is going to be higher. And the higher premiums you pay like in a platinum plan, the less the services will cost. So that’s a trade off,” says Siris.  

Gregg Stokes’s family deductible changed in his new plan, but he says he still comes out ahead.

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