Health insurance choosing time again. The time where I have to try to pick the least bad option from a number of ambiguously bad options. This year, the same plan as my current plan is actually cheaper by $3 a month. Of course, the deductible is $1200 higher. Will $3 a month make up for $1200 a year if I need a lot of care?

The cost for insurance premiums is relatively straightforward: Pay a fixed amount each month. The cost to receive health care is very confusing, though. I went to the doctor for a checkup and got some fairly common labs done twice this year. The “billed charges” were something like $7000. Then “plan discounts” brought that down to like $1000 total. But then I only received actual bills for like $50. So, how do I know what I would actually pay with any given plan?

The plans tended to have higher prices, higher deductibles, and higher max out of pocket than last time. The prices bump up on average every year, of course, and other increases happen most years, and as a long term trend. Most of the bronze plans this time had a higher deductible than my current max out of pocket. Most of the silver plans had a higher deductible than my current bronze plan’s.

Ambetter, who I’ve used in the past, had a good low deductible silver plan. It cost like $100 more a month, with a $3000 lower deductible. May have been a good trade-off. Unfortunately, they don’t seem to support my doctor. I’m not sure I want to change doctors just yet. This one already knows some information about my problems, and has spent some time trying to find solutions. It’s somewhat of a gamble moving to someone else as to whether they’d be better at finding solutions, and we’d have to start somewhat from scratch.

I ended up sticking with the same plan, through CareSource. Seemed like the best overall option.