The new Dr. W’s Equation app can be used to compare health insurance plans, and find the best deal. Ten bucks could save you thousands more on health insurance… (available NOW for Android devices; iOS version coming soon!)
Most people shop for health insurance with the idea being “I’m going to spend as much as I can, so I can save as much as I can.” To do this, they balance what they can afford in premiums against how good the coverage is, by looking at deductibles, and copays.
It can still get pretty confusing, though. And for anyone who has ever spent hours trying to compare all the options between different health insurance plans, there’s finally a way to make the process quick and easy.
Best of all, with Dr. W’s Equation you can also find which plans make the most financial sense, and potentially save thousands of dollars a year.
So forget copays, and deductibles – they’re just marketing tools used by insurance companies to sell lucrative policies. Instead, all you need are the Premium, and the Out-of-Pocket maximum. Use Dr. W’s Equation to add these together and see What you might have to spend on health insurance, and health care with each plan you’re considering:
Premium + Out-of-pocket maximum = What you might have to spend
P + O = W
The math couldn’t be simpler, but what really matters is understanding how each plan may result in tremendous savings – or cause you to do a lot of unnecessary spending.
The Dr. W’s Equation app does all this for you, by providing a detailed, step-by-step explanation of the analysis that is easy to understand and follow.
Is the cheapest, Bronze-level plan the best? Not always. But is it really worth spending thousands more in Premiums to upgrade to a Silver, or even “go for the Gold?” In some cases, yes, but again, not always.
To prove it, let’s take a look at the following excerpt from my book The Guide to Buying Health Insurance, and Health Care, and compare three plans from the largest health insurance company of them all, UnitedHealthcare:
Although a relative newcomer (having only been founded in 1977), UnitedHealthcare has certainly come on strong. From its very beginning it was involved in the managed care game, and has been so good at it that UHC now holds the top spot amongst health insurers, with over $185 billion in revenue last year.
That’s a lot of Gold. Some of which made it into UnitedHealth Group’s CEO Stephen J Hemsley’s pockets, considering he’s brought home hundreds of millions of dollars in compensation since he joined the company in 2006.
Its stock has performed spectacularly as well, tripling in five years from $45 in 2011 to $135 a share today.
Small wonder, since this company uses the same, tried and true marketing tactics as all the others:
Well, lookee there – our first, $0 deductible. Ahhh, the good old days. You just can’t find this kind of great health insurance anymore, without spending an arm and a leg to get it.
But in this case, you don’t have to. I mean, it’s only $122 more a month in Premiums, to go all the way – from the bottom Bronze to the top of the podium, the Gold.
Here’s where calculating your annual Premium cost comes in so handy. The difference in the monthly payments may not seem to be much, but paying the extra amount won’t get you any savings in the end. Once again, all that’s Gold doesn’t glitter, once you shine a spotlight on it.
Comparing these UnitedHealthcare Compass “Balanced” plans, that $0 deductible gets thoroughly unbalanced too, by the maxed out, Out-of-pocket maximum which, at $6,850, is $350 higher than the Bronze.
And when the highest P is combined with the highest O, we see that the Gold plan has the highest W value of all three, too, at $12,382.
Tisk, tisk. I guess, so much for deductibles. Again. Sheer genius.
You can see this along with nine other health insurance comparisons (in which the Bronze plans were also the best) in my Book, The Guide to Buying Health Insurance, and Health Care. Available NOW on Amazon, iTunes & Nook.
Don’t keep falling for the same old, confusing tricks, and wasting your money. It pays to know when to go for the Gold, and when not to, so use Dr. W’s Equation to decide which is the best plan for you.
To see a real-life example of how you can save thousands of dollars by using Dr. W’s Equation, watch this video: