3 identical job offers, only difference is health insurance

Wow. Congrats on the job offers. Having a choice of 3 offers is awesome.

I wish details about employer offered health insurance was more transparent and available before enrolling in it. Unfortunately, they are usually not very transparent (before you enroll).

I don’t think there exists any publicly available tool that would make it easy to compare plans from different employers. Usually, that information is kept private within each company and between the company and the insurance broker or insurance company. And I don’t think most private companies would publicly post the information unless they were required to.

Frustratingly, from my personal experience, even as a current employee, I find it difficult to get the kind of details I want from my own company’s HR dept. during open enrollment time in order to do the kind of detailed comparison that I would like to of the plans being offered by the employer for the new year.

I usually try to ask for the Plan Documents (sometimes called Certificate of Coverage or Evidence of Coverage) which is a very, very detailed document about how the insurance plan works and what it covers. Unfortunately, it’s usually not available for employer provided plans until after I enroll in the plan. And I doubt any employer would give it to you if you’re not even an employee yet.

However, there is another document that is usually a little more available (although, in your case, the employer’s HR department would still have to be willing to share it with someone they haven’t even hired yet – but as an existing employee, they’ll usually give it to you if you ask for it): It’s called a Summary of Benefits and Coverage (sometimes abbreviated SBC).

The SBC is a decent document for comparing different plans although it won’t have all the details of the Plan Document.

In your case, if you think it wouldn’t hurt to ask, then try asking each of the 3 prospective employers if you could have a copy of the SBC for each of the insurance plans they offer. This would allow you to better compare the different plans.

Note, however, that some employers may be reluctant to give it to you if you are not already an employee.

Good luck.