-How much do you go to the doctor? If you're pretty healthy and only go for your annual, then a high deductible plan will have lower premiums. However, if you have any chronic medical conditions that require frequent visits, labs, meds, you want a lower deductible. Some insurances don't offer a high deductible plan.
-How important is it to stay with your current doc/have your choice of docs? PPO offers more flexibility, but HMO offers more coverage.
-Do you have/will have kids? Pregnancy care coverage can be different. Kids, esp babies, require frequent doctors visits.
All of this will really depend on your health and your healthcare needs. FH is coming onto my plan when we get married just because Aetna has better coverage than United Healthcare. Also pediatric care under my plan is covered at 100% for when I decide to have children.
When my husband and I did this, we primarily looked at how much each plan cost and based our decision off of that. It ended up being more cost effective for me to join his plan. I also have some chronic health issues that require me to see a specialist on a regular basis, so we didn't want a plan that I would constantly be needing to get referrals. My plan needed referrals and his didn't, so that was another big factor in choosing his insurance. Each of you should look at your current doctors, if there is anyone you would be upset to not be able to go to anymore, and make sure they are in-network for whichever plan you go with. If either of you take any prescriptions on a regular basis, also check if they will be covered under the plan. It can be super annoying to have to switch brands for a medication that was working for you just because the new plan doesn't cover it.
When we were considering joining we looked at the cost and coverage. It turned out is was SIGNIFICANTLY less expensive to have 2 separate individual plans than to have us on the same plan.
Cost, coverage, options that are available to you. DH is self-employed, so we thought about adding him to my insurance last year, but it was actually cheaper for him to buy insurance through the exchange. Adding him to my insurance is about $100/week more than just me. Unfortunately we may end up doing that this year because even a catastrophic plan is now $400/month.
My FH insurance started this new thing where if your spouse has insurance avail at their(mine) job but you choose to sign them on yours(his) you pay a penalty. I think he said it’s like $500/year. My insurance at work is super cheap and awesome coverage. I’m talking $22/week.
One more thing: If you don't have a lot of health issues, you might consider a high deductible health plan. With one of those, you can put pretax money into a health savings account. The account can be used for health expenses if you have them. However, if you don't, it becomes an extra retirement plan. However, it is better than a 401(k) or IRA, because so long as you use the money for medical expenses (including payment of Medicare premiums, the money is never taxable.
It was far less expensive for us to keep our own plans - both charged a significantly higher amount to add a spouse. For our employers' options, it only made sense to be on the same plan if 1 spouse is unemployed or doesn't work full time...or wait to join up when we have kids
Basically, "If your spouse has coverage at their job and you choose to cover them on your insurance here at your job, then you'll pay a penalty for it." I think ours is $100 but I'm not sure. But that's something I didn't even know until I was sitting down and pricing things out. He doesn't have insurance through his employer so we don't need to worry about it, but I still think it's silly.
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