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Mind Explorer  
#1 Posted : Monday, November 07, 2011 10:25:38 PM(UTC)
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I'm 34, I wear glasses but other than that I have no medical problems and I take no medications.

I got the fedvip vision last year, but i'm going to drop it this year since my prescription isn't up until 2013.

The only other reason I use health insurance is for a dental checkup/cleaning twice a year ($20 co-pay with BCBS basic).

Is there something else better (cheaper) that I could have given my lack of health issues.
shelter1  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, November 08, 2011 1:42:36 AM(UTC)
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BCBS Basic is a very good plan. You might also look at GEHA Standard - $92.72 a month which is also a very good plan for someone not taking prescription drugs on a regular basis.
Mind Explorer  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, November 08, 2011 3:23:35 AM(UTC)
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I would pick them but GEHA Standard has a $350 calendar year deductible.

The difference between BCBS basic and GEHA Standard is $349.92.  LOL!  Might as well stay with BCBS.
 
Apparently before I can get my dental cleaning i'd have to pay the $350 first.  If this is not accurate someone please let me know.
upandup  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, November 08, 2011 12:00:49 PM(UTC)
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The GEHA deductible does not apply for the preventive dental visits (paid at 50%).

You might consider a high deductible health plan with a pass-through Health Savings Account contribution. GEHA and Aetna both offer good HDHP plans. The deductible doesn't apply for preventive care. Both will even cover an eye exam and provide some money towards glasses.
Mind Explorer  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, November 09, 2011 5:41:45 AM(UTC)
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I just checked and my dentist isn't covered my GEHA or Aetna. For Government they only accept BCBS.  I've been going to that place since I was 14 so I'd like to continue.

I looked at GEHA and I see where the 50% reimbursement is covered for out-of-network providers. How exactly does that work?

Here's from GEHA brochure: "50% up to the Plan allowance and all charges in excess of the Plan allowance..."  However, I can't find what the plan allowance is.

Also, about the Health Savings Account...do you have to contribute to this?  I've never had a HDHP before.

Skooby2011-11-09 13:51:02
upandup  
#6 Posted : Wednesday, November 09, 2011 6:12:25 AM(UTC)
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You can check the GEHA Dental Plan Allowance for your provider's zip code here: https://webaccounts.geha...ember/pricing_lookup.asp
They will pay 50% of that allowance for cleanings/xrays/exams twice per year.

You do not have to contribute to a Health Savings Account. It does make sense to, as your contributions are tax free (pre-tax or a tax deduction). You also that way have money set aside in case of a need for expensive medical care. You can, however, just take the $62.50/month plan contribution and use that money or save it without ever contributing directly yourself.


Mind Explorer  
#7 Posted : Wednesday, November 09, 2011 7:17:54 AM(UTC)
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I need to find out how much the semi-annual cleaning and fluoride is from my dentist.  I never worried about how much it actually cost...I just always paid the co-pay.

It's looking like I will probably just stick with what I have.  BCBS basic plus United Vision from FEDVIP.

My glasses requires high-index...and I didn't see where that was covered with GEHA HDHP. I plan on getting a new pair before open season is up but with my vision I need a backup pair as well.


Skooby2011-11-09 15:26:23
upandup  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, November 09, 2011 11:00:44 AM(UTC)
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Skooby wrote:

I need to find out how much the semi-annual cleaning and fluoride is from my dentist.  I never worried about how much it actually cost...I just always paid the co-pay.

It's looking like I will probably just stick with what I have.  BCBS basic plus United Vision from FEDVIP.

My glasses requires high-index...and I didn't see where that was covered with GEHA HDHP. I plan on getting a new pair before open season is up but with my vision I need a backup pair as well.



The FEDVIP vision plans are indeed more comprehensive than the EyeMed plan provided by the GEHA HDHP. You could of course just by your backup glasses from an online retailer and then file for out-of-network reimbursement (up to $70 for single vision glasses+frames) from EyeMed. If you had the HDHP, you could also make a withdrawal from those funds to cover your out of pocket prescription eyewear expenses.

There's nothing wrong with BCBS Basic. It is a good plan.

Before you make up your mind, consider that:
The GEHA HDHP costs $262.86 less per year than BCBS Basic
The GEHA HDHP gives you $750/yr for your Health Savings Account--money which can be withdrawn for healthcare expenses including dental care and prescription glasses. Money not used can be saved for later use--even if you switch plans or leave federal service.

upandup2011-11-09 19:06:06
Mind Explorer  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, November 09, 2011 8:30:45 PM(UTC)
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Would I have to pay the calendar year deductible to use those funds for dental care and prescription glasses?
upandup  
#10 Posted : Thursday, November 10, 2011 8:42:25 AM(UTC)
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Skooby wrote:
Would I have to pay the calendar year deductible to use those funds for dental care and prescription glasses?

The HSA is meant in part to be used to pay the deductible. It is available for withdrawal for IRS allowed expenses as soon as the money is in the account regardless of the plan's coverage of that expense. Bear in mind that you get $750 per year, but it comes in monthly $62.50 deposits. Also keep in mind that an effective user of an HDHP should set aside money in the HSA to meet the deductible should care be needed.

(The GEHA HDHP benefits have no deductible for preventive medical, preventive dental, or the associated EyeMed vision care plan)
Mind Explorer  
#11 Posted : Tuesday, November 15, 2011 1:48:56 AM(UTC)
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I wish their dental was more.

With the dentist I go to, with what I would have to pay outside of their 50%, i'll only end up saving $65 dollars for the year.

I'm going to have to make a decision soon...


Skooby2011-11-15 12:48:46
Mind Explorer  
#12 Posted : Tuesday, November 15, 2011 4:54:54 AM(UTC)
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On second thought...I'm just going to drop health insurance all together.

Nothing seems to save me anything.  Everything I need isn't covered.


Skooby2011-11-15 13:50:08
upandup  
#13 Posted : Tuesday, November 15, 2011 7:05:44 AM(UTC)
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Skooby wrote:

On second thought...I'm just going to drop health insurance all together.
Nothing seems to save me anything.  Everything I need isn't covered.



This seems foolish. The primary purpose of insurance isn't to pay for planned minor expenses, but rather for unplanned large expenses.

Before you drop completely, do consider an HDHP.
For example...
Yearly employee premium payments for the GEHA HDHP are about $1100 (pre-tax) and then you get $750 back in contributions to your HSA to use as you wish for covered and non-covered medical, dental, and vision expenses. You benefit from in-network rates for covered services, free preventive care, and gain the peace of mind knowing that if you have large medical bills, you have coverage.
Mind Explorer  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, November 16, 2011 12:46:48 AM(UTC)
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Just thinking out-loud here...

With GEHA 50% I would have to come out of pocket $197 (i'd have to pay $25 co-pay with BCBS basic so it's really a $147 difference).

At my dental provider cleaning is $78, exam is $46 and 4-bite Xray is $54.  I get the Cleaning and Exam twice a year, the Xray is just once.  GEHA local rate is Cleaning $58, Exam $29 and Xray $36...50% of that is $29, $14.5 and $18...so that's $105.  Regular price is $302 ($124 + $178). Minus the GEHA savings that's the $197.  I normally pay a $25 co-pay with BCBS so total difference is the $147.

I also get United Healthcare vision (standard) which goes $78 for 2012.  With my vision I need to get high index lenses and also Anti-Reflective.  United has a $25 co-pay, High Index would be $82 (normally $130), Anti-Reflective $60. With EyeMed it's a $10 co-pay, High-Index is $104 (20% off $130) and Anti-Reflective is between $45 (standard) or $57-$68 (for premium). If my premium is $68 then the difference is $15 in favor of United.  But then is $78 for the insurance itself tips the favor to GEHA's EyeMed by $63.

The difference between BCBS basic and GEHA HDHP is $262.  $262 minus the $147 is $115. 
$115 + $63 is $178 difference.

I guess i'm going with the GEHA HDHP. I wouldn't need the United Vision...even though they give better vision benefits, their vision premium nullifies it.



Skooby2011-11-16 08:53:39
Mind Explorer  
#15 Posted : Sunday, November 27, 2011 11:20:29 PM(UTC)
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I just made the switch!
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