Managing your health care costs

Thoughtful everyday decision-making about your health can make a difference in not only your well-being but your wallet, too

A black stethoscope whose tubing is laid out to create a dollar sign


How do we manage health care costs? By keeping our health top of mind. The decisions we make each day to support good health—eating well, exercising regularly, keeping up-to-date on annual checkups and preventive visits, and managing stress—can make a big difference in our overall well-being, and on our wallets, too.

Staying informed and using health plans wisely can also have an impact. Choosing the best medical option for you and your family, using in-network providers, opting for telemedicine when appropriate, requesting generic prescriptions when available, and participating in tax-advantageous spending accounts are all ways to keep costs in check.

Review your health plan options

While health care choices for JHU employees are not changing for 2023, be sure to review your options so you can make an informed decision and take advantage of your benefits. During this fall's Annual Enrollment period for 2023 benefits, set for Oct 12 to 28, you will again choose from the following medical plan options:

  • CareFirst BlueCross BlueShield Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) Plan
  • EHP Classic Point-of-Service (POS) Plan
  • CareFirst BlueCross Blue Shield High-Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)
  • Kaiser Permanente Health Maintenance Organization (HMO)

Keep in mind that the BlueChoice HMO (available to current participants only) will be phased out as of January 2023 for nonbargained employees. It will continue to be available for bargaining unit employees. If you are a nonbargained employee participating in this option, you will need to select a new medical plan.

If you choose to waive medical coverage, you will be eligible for the annual waiver credit of $800 if your salary is $40,000 or less, or $500 if your salary is more than $40,000.

You can continue to choose from two dental options: Delta Dental Standard or Delta Dental Enhanced Plan, which provides higher coverage for basic and major services and is the only option that covers orthodontia services. If you do not make a new election, your current dental coverage will continue for 2023.

What to know about the high-deductible health plan, or HDHP

With lower paycheck deductions, a higher annual deductible than JHU's other medical plans ($1,750 per person/$3,500 per two or more people in-network), and a tax-advantaged health savings account, an HDHP can help you:

Save Take Control Plan

Keep more of your money each paycheck, with lower paycheck deductions and a JHU contribution to your HSA.

If you earn $60,000 a year or less, JHU will contribute to your HSA to help offset the higher deductible. The amount of the annual contribution will depend on your pay band as follows:

  • $40K or less in pay: $500 single / $1,000 family
  • $40,001 to $60K in pay: $250 single / $500 family

The JHU contribution will be fully funded in January 2023 following Annual Enrollment. If you are newly eligible for coverage and elect the HDHP after Annual Enrollment, the JHU contribution will be prorated.

Have more control over when and how you spend your health care dollars.

You can contribute pretax dollars, and you can contribute to your HSA on a pretax basis:

  • In 2023, up to $3,850 per individual and up to $7,750 per family (including the JHU contribution)

You can adjust your contribution amount anytime throughout the year.

The HSA is triple-tax-advantaged.

You can use funds in your HSA to fund out-of-pocket health care expenses now or save the money for the future. The choice is yours.

Make the most of your health care dollars and take advantage of a triple tax-savings opportunity.

  • Contributions to the account are tax-free.
  • Funds, and any applicable dividends or interest, accumulate tax-free.
  • Distributions used for qualified expenses are tax-free.

Be sure to review your options and consider whether the HDHP might be right for you this year.


It's important for you to understand your benefits so that you can make the right choices for yourself and your family. ALEX, JHU's interactive decision support tool, acts as a virtual benefits counselor to help you learn more about your options so you can choose what's best for you.

ALEX is easy to use—just go to and log in to learn more about your medical options and watch informational videos. Then revisit the website in October for help selecting the best plan for you. ALEX will ask you a few short questions about your family status and health care usage, calculate your potential out-of-pocket costs under each medical plan, and make recommendations to help you choose the one for you. All your responses to ALEX are confidential.

Posted in Benefits+Perks

Tagged hr newswire