Soliciting Opinions On Health Savings Accounts

For a long time now my wife and I have been exploring health insurance options. Right now we’re covered under my employer’s plan, and while that plan was ok when I was the only one covered adding my wife and newborn daughter to it has proved expensive. We’re paying $395/month for a family plan with $25 doctor visit co-pays, $75 emergency room co-pays, a $5,000 deductible per person and 80/20 coverage after that.
According to an agent we met with today we can get a $7,500 single deductible plan (meaning that our of pocket expenses for all three of us covered by the plan count toward the yearly deductible) with 100% coverage after the deductible is met for $160. Obviously, this plan doesn’t cover routine doctor visits.
We’re thinking about getting this plan and then putting the $235/month we save into a health savings account to use for doctors visits, prescriptions, etc. Given that we’re young and have little need to go to the doctor on a regular basis we think we can build up quite a bit of money in our HSA and, once we have a substantial amount there, back off some of our contributions to it and save money monthly.
The benefits to this are:
1) We’re not throwing all of our health insurance money away. Some of it goes into an account, and if we don’t use it we can keep it. If we die, we can pass it on to our heirs.
2) After several years, once we’ve built up what we feel is a comfortable amount in the HSA (I’m thinking at least $15,000) we can lower our monthly contributions a bit and save some money on the health care.
3) Paying for routine medical bills will be much easier. We get the bill, we pay it from our HSA, and that’s it.
4) We can use the HSA for things like vision and dental care which aren’t covered by our plan now.
5) As we get older, and as our HSA grows, we can change our policy to a lower deductible.
6) Worse comes to worse, we can always fall back again on the group coverage provided by my employer.
The only drawback is that in the short term before we’re able to build up a lot of money in the HSA, we may have to take out a loan to cover the deductible if one of us gets hurt or seriously ill.
This is a move we’ve been thinking about for a while. I’m putting it out there both to show other people what we were able to find in terms of HSA coverage and to have those of you who may have some experience with this kind of coverage provide us with some feedback.

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I'm a Grand Forks native and alumni of North Dakota. I want to be Rob Port when I grow up.

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