Predicting the Future

This week was the open enrollment period for health insurance through my employer.  The good news is that I have health insurance and that my husband is on my plan.  The bad news is that our insurance premiums went WAY up this year.  To continue with the low-level insurance I have now, I would have to pay an additional $130 a month next year.  They gave us an even lower-level option for next year, but even that plan is $20 more a month than what they’re currently taking out of my paycheck.

Knowing that Tim and I will likely get pregnant within this next plan year (May 2010 – May 2011), makes analyzing the different options that much more important.  I had until midnight this Wednesday to renew and choose my plan, and I literally lost sleep over this decision.  In some ways, I guess I should feel fortunate that my husband and I have the opportunity to think ahead and select the best plan for our needs.  Still, I had hoped that my health insurance would cover more of the maternity stay, without a deductible.  If I knew for certain we would get pregnant right away and that I’d be giving birth before May 1st of next year, I’d probably opt for the more expensive insurance plan that does not have co-insurance or a $1,000 deductible for maternity hospital care.  However, if we go with the higher plan and I don’t give birth until May, that’s $1,500 we would likely be wasting on health insurance we won’t use.

We decided to go with the less expensive plan (saving over $1,500 year in premiums) and instead put a larger some of money into a Flexible (pre-tax) Spending Account that can be used for co-pays and if necessary, toward the $1,000 deductible. Again, the risk here is the possibility of not needing all of that FSA money during this plan year and then having to rush to use it up at the end of the plan.  If it’s not spent by July, it evaporates.  I wish I could predict the future.  Wouldn’t that make life easier?

This money talk is complicated and probably boring to an outsider (fortunately, no one else is reading this blog anyway), but it’s just one more thing to make this HUGE life decision that much more stressful.  Tim is good about calming my worry.  “We’ll make it work,” he says.  I know we will, but that didn’t stop me from waking in the middle of the night on Sunday with thoughts of, “Can we really afford this?”  (Answer: No, probably not.)  And I hate feeling as if people will judge us…I hear whispers of, what were they thinking, he doesn’t even have a full-time job.

Tim would say, “What do you care what other people think?”  I know I shouldn’t.  But sometimes, I do.

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