Since my wife works in a local school district that offers TRS ActiveCare to employees, this is a question I actually had to ask. Her immediate reaction to the three choices of plans was to focus on options one and two. The first option, TRS ActiveCare 1-HD was attractive because the premium contribution was by far the lowest, $204 per month lower than option 2. Simply put, that means more money in the paycheck. The deductible, however, caught her attention. In order to qualify for an HSA, the deductible has to be high. In this case it is at $2400. The deductible on TRS ActiveCare 2 is $1000 which is $1400 less. That seems like a significant difference until you go back to the $204 a month premium difference. That means her deductible plus premium payments on TRS ActiveCare 1-HD total is $3120. The TRS ActiveCare 2 option total for premium and deductible is $4168. My wife is healthy so she doesn’t anticipate using enough medical care to meet the deductible either way. In that case, the ActiveCare 1-HD option costs only $720 in premium compared to $3168 for the ActiveCare 2 option. Again, given that my wife is healthy and historically hasn’t used very much medical care in the past, the decision to choose TRS ActiveCare 1-HD was fairly easy and straight forward.
Since she chose the TRS ActiveCare 1-HD option, she now qualifies for a Flexible Spending Account or a Health Savings Account. This is where you have to be honest with yourself and use a little introspection to decide what will work best for you.