Updated June 1, 2021
Changing jobs? Open enrollment? Recently, we were choosing between a variety of health insurance plans. Before I thought to look online, I had already made my own, but I guess that’s all well and good because it was a nice, eye-opening experience to think through the ridiculous rules of each of the health insurance plans myself. Even the plan representatives barely understand the rules. Later on, I found a few different health plans spreadsheets online that I thought were helpful and collected the links below. There are also various calculators and comparison widgets on health websites, but they hide the logic and calculations they’re using to compare, so it’s not as useful. In the end, it’s a bit like picking stocks because of the assumptions and guesses you have to make about your future needs, but I still found it more useful than not thinking about it at all. Hope some of these are helpful to you too.
What I Found
These two spreadsheets that I found on the forums of Mr. Money Moustache and Reddit are quite similar and straightforward to use. They compare a PPO plan to an HDHP w/HSA. They graph out the costs of the plans based on medical costs which is helpful to see around what cost point that the plans are most cost-effective. Again, it comes down to what you think your costs are likely to be:
This one posted by Anisha Sekar on businessinsider.com had a thoughtful, step by step post accompanying the spreadsheet: https://www.businessinsider.com/spreadsheet-for-picking-perfect-healthcare-plan-2016-11
I also liked this spreadsheet on spreadsheetsolving.com (interesting site, BTW, and worth further review for those of us who like spreadsheets!). The poster did a nice job of talking through the logic behind the calculations: https://spreadsheetsolving.com/healthcare-plan/
To use any of the spreadsheet versions below, log in to your Google account while you are accessing the spreadsheet, then you will be able to select “make a copy” and modify it however you want in your Google Drive.
In each of the versions below, there’s a tab to estimate usage costs, and then another tab to see how the different deductible amounts for the plans actually played out based on the estimated costs. Don’t forget to adapt the spreadsheet logic to your own plans’ rules. Also, If you catch some obvious errors, I would love to be notified!
Health Insurance Plan Comparison V1 – February 2020
In the February 2020 spreadsheet, I was comparing an HDHP w/HSA with 4 different PPO plans (different deductibles, copays, coinsurance).
Health Insurance Plan Comparison V2 – May 2020
- In May 2020, our plan options changed yet again, so I had to modify the spreadsheet to reflect different calculations for having separate in-network and out of network deductible accruals, etc.
Health Insurance Plan Comparison – Reader-modified 2021
- In the Reader-modified 2021 version, a reader customized my spreadsheet with more details and a more clear way of incorporating copays and coinsurance. I’m looking forward to trying out this modified version pretty soon as we have the option to change plans again this year!