I’m incredibly lucky, the government has always offered good health insurance with multiple options. The whole ACA health care market place idea was based off of the system in place for Federal Workers. When I started I was advised to get the Blue Cross plan, which was the traditional Cadillac plan that came with a higher price of double my current plan. Since it was similar to what the plan I understood from my parents I was good with it. That is until the day I went to the doctor for routine tests in 2006. My in-plan doctor sent my labwork to Quest the week after Blue Cross decided they would only pay for labs sent to Labcorp. I ended up with a $400 bill. That day I decided the next open season I was gone.
When open season rolled along I had decided I wanted more flexibility than a traditional plan so I focused on HDHPs and their cousin the Consumer Driven Health Plan which was a hybrid of a High deductible and a traditional plan. In the end, I was scared and went with the less strange CDHP for six years. I think if I would have bitten the bullet I would have had to spend $1,000 out of my HSA over those 6 years. As I saved at least $4,000 in premiums over that time I would have still been ahead. In 2012 I bit the bullet and made the switch. With my new play I can also of course contribute to an HSA pre-tax. My HSA has about $7500 in it after 3 years and I just opened an investment account associated with it. I can only morn that if I had changed to it first I would have an additional $18,000 invested based on an average of $3,000 a year.