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Health Insurance

  • 1.  Health Insurance

    Posted 11-01-2017 17:55
    So, how is everyone set for health insurance for 2018?  I have a three person firm in Chicago and for the past several years we've bought individual plans through the market.  One of us has insurance through their spouse's company plan, but the rest of us are freaking out over the costs coming next year.  What are the creative ways in which people are obtaining health insurance (other than by simply throwing money at it)?

    Michael Waechter
    Waechter Architects, PC
    Chicago IL

  • 2.  RE: Health Insurance

    Posted 11-02-2017 18:59

    Note that as small business owner you can deduct your own / your family health insurance on the front page of 1040 (at least on the current version of the form).  So, yes it still costs a lot, but at least you're not taxed on that.

    Look into "association" coverage groups.  Get an insurance broker who will do the digging for you.  A former firm of which I was director / shareholder / employee joined a construction-related association and thus had access to their plans; much larger total pool, many of those covered were younger construction workers and thus helped bring the costs down.  Company policy was to pay 90% of the individual coverage amount; to add family members came out of the paycheck, pre-tax, but at least at the rate of the greater pool.

    Do you make any contribution toward anyone's health insurance costs, as an action by the firm?  If yes, does the person covered by their spouse's insurance get the difference in cash? 

    We were able to offer two tiers of plans; one that was fairly loaded, the other a Health Savings Account plan.  Everyone with spouses covered by other insurance took the "better" plan, which was the one that the 90% was calculated on.  Everyone else, mostly, took the HSA because they could stretch that 90% amount to cover part of spouse or dependents.

    The time to have the broker start researching plans for you is about August ... may not have the final premium amounts then, but they can see which way the wind is blowing.

    And you will look on in disbelief when they tell you "such a deal we found for you - your rates are only going up 12% when the average in this state is 17%".

    Joel Niemi AIA
    Joel Niemi Architect
    Snohomish, WA

  • 3.  RE: Health Insurance

    Posted 11-03-2017 17:31
    And, wait until you get to Medicare....you are going to love it...!

    Nelson B. Nave AIA
    Nelson Breech Nave, AIA Architect
    Kalamazoo MI

  • 4.  RE: Health Insurance

    Posted 11-04-2017 14:05
    Please send me some more information, the flyer is too vague and does not provide all the information required to make a decision.
    Ramon L. Arronte A.I.A.

  • 5.  RE: Health Insurance

    Posted 11-03-2017 08:56
    Get old like me or get poor. Medicare is the best coverage have ever had but I hear Medicaid is even better.

    Sent from my iPad

  • 6.  RE: Health Insurance

    Posted 11-03-2017 09:30
    ​I find the highest deductible plans to have lowest total cost.

    If the plan is listed as qualifying for HSA, there is an added benefit of triple tax free savings (tax deduction going in, no tax on income, no tax going out).

    In addition, there are often also savings, at least in MA, in investigating association plans v. small business plans v. the state or federal plan site v. calling the insurance companies directly for the best plans.

    We are also the beneficiaries that the best insurers are non-profits with strong and inclusive HMO networks (kind of like Medicare for all).

    Lester Lloyd AIA
    Lloyd Architects
    Plymouth MA

  • 7.  RE: Health Insurance

    Posted 11-03-2017 10:44
    While I am on my firm's insurance, I have a 26 year old daughter who bought a reasonable plan in June when she turned 26.  Now to get a lesser plan she will pay 33% more.  This is what I am hearing across the board.  My personal strategy is to work on the political front for change.

    Ann Rosenwinkel AIA
    Project Manager
    House + Partners, LLP
    Houston TX

  • 8.  RE: Health Insurance

    Posted 11-04-2017 10:19
    I'm also facing these new, higher costs. I have it on good faith that this is a good place to look for small business insurance: http://simplyinsured.com

    Also, on a similar but unrelated note, check out http://gusto.com for payroll services (benefits, payroll processing, etc.)

    I have no relationship with either of these companies but these companies have come up in conversations I have with other architects I keep in touch with.

    Enoch Sears AIA
    Founder and Publisher
    Business of Architecture

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