open season for health insurance is just around the corner and I'm newly diagnosed with UC (pancolitis) and my first flare was really bad; had to spend 5 days in the hospital plus a couple weeks of misery at home.
I haven't really had any significant health issues before this so I always just picked the cheap high deductible PPO plan and paid for my one or two Dr visits a year with my HSA.
We'll, that has all changed now. I'm thinking I may need to rethink what type of plan I want this year. I'm still on 40 MG prednisone since this all just happened less than two weeks ago. I'm also doing a mesalamine enima every night and taking Pentasa (2 pills, 4x/day). The meds are really expensive (~$1,700/m) and I know if these don't work some of the other meds I'll be trying are insanely expensive. I haven't seen the hospital bill yet but I'm guessing with all the scans, imaging, probing, specialists, meds and room charges it's going to be pretty expensive.
It seems that I need to consider my current meds and a number of visits to my GI and general Dr as static costs each year to start. I probably need to consider that my medications may change and that I might find myself in the hospital to recover from a flare again or worse need surgery.
With all that said, I work for a big company that has multiple insurance companies to choose from, each with multiple plans to choose from. So my question for the community is what type of plan have you found to be most cost effective and what company do you find is easiest/best to work with?
For a basis, I currently have a high deductible PPO with Aetna. The deductible is $1,500. After that I pay 10%, they pay 90%. My max out of pocket is $4,000. I have an HSA with this for which my employer contributes $750 per year (half the deductible). Aetna has been easy to work with so far and easy to get ahold of a representative who has always been very helpful. It seems like a really sweet plan but I'm not sure if switching over to a straight PPO or something else would be more cost effective. I imagine an HMO would be the least preferred. Also wondering if switching to another insurer would be beneficial?
I understand this question is more involved than what I'm making it out to be because each company and plan has different premiums and covers meds differently but without getting to into the weeds can you offer some advice, recommendations, suggestions, experiences, etc. That might help us green horns out?
~37 year old male
~Diagnosed with severe UC (pancolitis) Sep, 2017, after a 6 day hospital visit from my first flair up
~Currently on prednisone (40mg/day), mesalamine enemy (4g before bed), oral mesalamine (1g 4x/day)
~On a low residue diet
~Allergic to flagyl