We lowered our health insurance premiums, and our new bill starting in January will be $341/month. It had gone up to $498/month as of November, and we decided it was time to increase our deductible. By raising our family deductible to $5000 (it was $3000), we save ourselves $1884 in premiums for the year. That’s pretty much a no-brainer, considering that as of today our whole family is perfectly healthy. The worst case scenario is that we end up having to meet the new $5000 deductible. In that case, we’d only be $116 worse off than we would be if we kept our $3000 deductible (because the $1884 savings would be offset by the additional $2000 we’d have to pay to meet our deductible). But the odds are better that we won’t have to meet our deductible (we’ve only ever met it once – this year – when my husband had knee surgeries). In that case, we just get to pocket the $1884 savings. We’ll be using that money to fund our HSA, just in case we do end up having to meet the deductible.
Sometimes it’s not so clear cut – it’s always less expensive to go with a higher deductible, but the savings might not be as close to the increase in out of pocket exposure. It’s a personal decision about how much risk one is willing to assume and how healthy (and lucky) one feels. But in this case, it was pretty obvious. I’d rather keep the $1884 and maybe have to use it to meet the higher deductible instead of spending it for sure by having to send it to the health insurance company as premiums.