March Madness: Picking Your Health Care Plan

In the spirit of March Madness, our office is all a twitter with anticipation to see whose bracket will be the least destroyed after the National Championship game.  We were all like little kids on Christmas morning last week, finalizing our brackets and bragging to one another about who was going to be proclaimed master of the universe (read: the luckiest person in our office).  Alas, the first day of games left some certain Ohio fans (who shall remain nameless) crying at their desks and others laughing maniacally about their unforeseen success.


March is about more than just basketball around here though. As the month draws to a close, we’ll be chatting more and more about price shopping and health care coverage options with the deadline to select your coverage plan being March 31st.  Health care transparency isn’t all fun and games like March Madness, as a patient’s decision about their coverage plan carries much more weight.  However, there are a number of similarities in the decision making process.  With so many options, how is a person supposed to choose?! 

Do you pick your health care the way you pick your March Madness bracket?


The “Top Seed Snob”

You go with the most expensive option because you figure that high cost must equal quality. You’ve heard that a certain provider is top notch, so you pay their high costs without question. Your health is the number one priority after all. Bad news is, this might not be the best strategy. This is like everyone who had Duke going all the way because they’d heard they were basketball legends, only to realize that Mercer crushed their dreams.


The “Overly-Researched, Overly-Confused”

You look at the list and are overwhelmed by your options, so you start by reading everything you can about each provider. You become a wealth of knowledge regarding statistics and survival ratings, but the more you know, the more confusing your decision becomes. This is like the bracket player who picks winners based on rebound rates and average points per game, only to have their team lose in the first round to a team like Dayton.

The “Randomized Hopeful”

You figure there can’t really be a bad option, so you close your eyes and pick. You never know what’s going to happen or how much coverage you’ll need, so you just hope for the best. This is basically the same as filling out your bracket based on the team names you like the most or the mascots who sound most ridiculous.

The “The Sounds Familiar”

You’ve seen the commercials or recognize a logo from your newspaper, magazine or that billboard on your way to work, so you pick that provider without much research.  It’s essentially the same as picking your cousin’s alma mater as the champions just because you visited during spring break one time.

The “Cinderella Story”

You decide your best option as far as health care coverage is to go without any plan. You’re healthy and young and don’t anticipate any high costs coming down the pipeline, plus you figure if you end up needing an expensive one time procedure like an MRI, you’ll just shop around to find the lowest self-pay price. This is kind of like FGCU last year, flying under the radar and crushing everyone’s brackets. Ultimately, a win wasn’t in their future, but they did better than anyone expected.

For a little chuckle, check out this Buzzfeed article about the many thoughts going through your head when picking your brackets. You could say that while picking your healthcare plan, you might have many of the same thoughts.

64 Thoughts You Have While Filling Out Your March Madness Bracket