Husband and wife can have two separate plans

My husband and I are married filing jointly, can we have individual health care plans, I have alot of health issues and so meeting my share of deductible is easy. He is thankfully healthy and hasn’t even been to the doctor for a couple years. Therefore, I had to meet the deductible for both of us before our insurance would kick in.

Wondering what the best option is for us, our rates have gone sky high compared to last year and I am self employed so until our taxes are done we don’t know where we fall.

Please help!

Cindy in Wisconsin

Dear Cindy,

You and your husband can buy separate health plans.  You will only have the additional hassle of two monthly premium payments (even if you have the same insurer).  You will have two sets of reports at year-end, one for each of you.  You will also have to report any family or life changes two times; so, for example, if your household income changes, you would go to and report it for him and for you separately.

Your rates may have jumped this year because you moved into a higher age bracket.    Some insurers use five-year groupings of ages; others increase for every year of age.  In any case, for 2015 subsidies, you could estimate your income slightly higher than you expect so that you are less likely to have to repay money back in 2016.  As long as you can manage the month to month cost of your plan, you might prefer to get some money back at tax time in 2016 rather than owing more.

You’ve got a smart idea to take separate plans to meet your very different needs.  As your needs and your husband’s change over time, you can choose a new plan at the annual renewal.

Linda Riddell

About Linda Riddell

A published author and health policy analyst with 25 years’ experience, Linda Riddell's goal is to alleviate the widespread ailment of not knowing what your health plan can do for you.