Rethinking Health Insurance

Overview:The cost of healthcare is driving a difficult dilemma — Few of us can take the risk of a major illness or injury which can often be many thousands of dollars, yet health insurance that offsets this significant financial risk can be very expensive. The combination of a High Deductible Health Insurance plan along with a tax favored Health Savings Account (H.S.A.) can be a sensible middle path; Health Insurance for major medical situations while the Health Savings Account allows you to set aside your own money for routine or future medical costs. If you are self-employed and are paying for your own healthcare insurance coverage, this can be a path to affordable medical insurance that still provides important financial protection. An H.S.A. qualified High Deductible Health Insurance policy still has the substantial protection of a major medical plan, just not the “low-end” benefits. Don’t be fooled by “Cheap” Health Insurance or “Affordable Healthcare” plans that limit benefits that you might need and still leaves you vulnerable to catastrophic medical expenses.Two Parts:Health Insurance Component. A High-Deductible H.S.A. compliant health insurance contract.
Savings Account Component. A tax advantaged “Health Savings Account.”It is important not to confuse the two components.The High-Deductible Health Insurance: It is your backstop to protect you from the financial risk of a major illness or severe injury. The health insurance contract completely stands on its own but is a prerequisite for the tax advantaged Health Savings Account. These insurance contracts are really misnamed. You can indeed have a H.S.A. compliant health plan with a range of deductibles and maximum out-of-pocket limits. Insurance companies offer a range of “H.S.A. compliant plans” with different features within the IRS rules — just find a plan that makes sense for you. Be sure that any plan you select is labeled as H.S.A. compliant or compatible. Very few of us can afford the healthcare costs of an illness such as cancer, heart attack or a severe injury. These costs can run into the hundreds of thousands. My older brother’s struggle with Lymphoma, for instance, resulted in over $500,000 in healthcare costs over two years. A High-Deductible Health Insurance is often lower cost because you are not buying the “low-end benefits” but it still offers financial protection similar to any “Major Medical” health insurance plan beyond the maximum out-of-pocket. This is a critical component to this overall healthcare finance strategy.The Health Savings Account: An optional, tax advantaged savings account that you can use to set aside your own funds toward future medical costs. You are required to have a High-Deductible Health Insurance plan to take advantage of this exceptional tax deal. In 2009, the maximum contribution to your H.S.A. is $3000 for an individual account ($5950 for a family account) plus a “catch-up” contribution of an additional $1000 for people age 55 or more. This contribution limit is adjusted for inflation by the IRS each year. One of the very important advantages of the Health Savings Account is how broadly you can use the funds for healthcare expenses while retaining the tax savings. Examples are over-the-counter medicines, eye glasses, dental expenses and more. A second important advantage of a Health Savings Account is the tax impact. Essentially, the money you set aside in a tax year in this special account and then either retained or spent for qualified medical costs is reduced from your taxable income. A third very important benefit is with a Health Savings Account, if you don’t spend the money contributed, you keep it. What you contribute this year and don’t spend is retained for future healthcare expenses. Don’t confuse the H.S.A. with a “Health Reimbursement Account” (H.R.A.) which you may have had with an employer sponsored plan.Core Advantages:Lower health insurance cost. Why pay for benefits you don’t use?
Insurance protection for a major injury or illness. The “major medical” insurance protection of the High Deductible Health plan is a critical component.
Tax Savings. Optional but productive tax deal with the Health Savings Account.
Broad Eligible Expenses. Your H.S.A. funds can be spent for many different qualified healthcare costs.
Use it or Keep it! Money you set aside in your H.S.A. can be spent for qualified medical bills but is retained if you don’t use it.Is it a Good Fit?This healthcare financing strategy, a High Deductible Health Plan paired with the Health Savings Account, is a good fit for many folks but not everyone. Here are the criteria that I want my clients to consider:Can I qualify? Normally, you have to be in good health before the health insurance company will make you an offer.
Can I save? This strategy is better for folks that are willing to save for future healthcare costs.
Can I decide? This strategy is better for folks that want to make choices on what to buy with their healthcare dollars.
Can I spend? For this strategy to work safely, you have to be willing to spend your money when you need to for necessary healthcare expenses.Summary:I purposely have not focused on the tax rules, plan details, etc. Most folks get caught up with this extensive detail and become completely confused. The big picture is what I want you to see — This can be a great deal! — Buy health insurance for the catastrophic risk only and self-insure your normal healthcare costs with contributions to a Health Saving Account. You save on your insurance costs, save on your taxes and have an overall better outcome.

Group Health Insurance May Not Always Be the Best

With the rising cost of healthcare, more and more Americans’ are no longer provided health coverage through their employers, if your healthy that may not be a bad thing. Depending on your employer’s health insurance cost, an individual policy may cost less. With an individual policy you gain more control over your own benefits and cost, while with group you have very little say in the decision. Individual health insurance is not tied to your job and can provide you with piece of mind later if you lose your job or become un-insurable. The ability to reevaluate what’s important to you when needed can possibly save you hundreds of dollars. As the economy causes more employers and more people to tighten their budgets, it may be time to look at your health coverage differently, before it’s too late.Group health insurance can be expensive in comparison to individual, and in the individual insurance market pre-existing health conditions can cause denial of coverage. By law no one in a group insurance plan can be denied coverage due to medical conditions such as heart surgeries, diabetes, bi-polar etc. and having to insure these individuals creates a high financial risk to the insurance carriers. To help with those cost associated with the risk, the State of Missouri allows insurance carriers to increase premiums as much as 107% over the preferred rates for healthy people.* Rules vary state to state so check with your individual states’ department of insurance. Medical underwriting determines the medical risk associated with the group. Premiums are then increased accordingly and all group members pay an equal cost for these medical conditions, not just though with the conditions. Evaluating the percentage your employer pays for you and your family’s health insurance, plus the portion you pay, are all important in determining if an individual policy would be less or more favorable. Your family’s portion of coverage could be drastically more expensive if you are pay 100% of the premium yourself and your group has lots of health conditions. Insuring family members on a separate family policy has become more common as families try to save.With group insurance you have less control over deductibles, co-insurance and benefits unless you are the owner or decision maker, while with individual insurance policy the choice is yours. What one person can afford, another may not be able to. This can not always be taken in to account during the decision process when it comes to group health insurance. Needs may vary from one person who visits the doctor weekly to another who may only see a doctor every few years. Why pay higher premiums for benefits you might never use? Control over your money and your health for your individual situation can be maintained easier through an individual plan, not through a group.Employer paid insurance benefits can be nice but, what if you lose your job? Your employee health benefits are only good while you are employed. COBRA could be available but you are 100% responsible for the health insurance premium. On COBRA you are responsible for the portion your employer has been covering. Another scenario to consider is what happens if during your employment you have had open- heart surgery, was diagnose with diabetes, had a severe car accident or can’t work? Your only options would be COBRA if there is an option and only during the allowable benefit period, a HIPPA plan, state option where available, or to go without insurance. The Missouri Insurance Health Pool is the state of Missouri’s resource, but it is very expensive and has limitation. With an individual plan you own it for as long as you pay the premiums. If the premium is considerably less than your group insurance it could be easier to pay.Just as group insurance costs are on the rise, so are the individual insurance costs. Premiums do increase with age and your area’s claims history, not by your personal insurance usage with individual coverage. Insurance carriers are constantly battling for business and along with this battle they will bring out new plans, lower rates or both frequently. As long as you remain healthy, your health policy should be re-evaluated annually to help save you money. An independent agent’s job should include providing you with annual updated quotes, and most carriers should be available through the agent for honest comparisons. Individual policies can not be affect by other health conditions and/ or decisions, but are based on you alone while allowing you some freedom of choice.Escalating insurance costs are currently causing more business’ to cut benefits or eliminate insurance all together. Consumers are also trying to cut their own cost as our economy brings more worry, what better time to save money than now? Evaluating between your employer health insurance options or purchasing an individual insurance policy could save you hundreds of dollars annually. Investigate all options available to you and then call an independent agent for a free second opinion. Most agents are happy to sit down, help educate you and give you an honest comparison of what is available for your situation. Make sure to ask all the questions you may have, after all you have nothing to loss and only money to gain.

United Health Insurance For Your Healthcare

Yes, health insurance entails spending. But it is a necessary spending, as the absence of health coverage can be devastating for your family in the long run. If unpredictable healthcare needs arise, as unpredictable things are wont to do, you can safely assume that it’s going to prove more expensive if you have no insurance. That’s where United Health Insurance comes in.It can assist you in carrying your load. It can reduce the burden of spending a huge proportion of your retirement reserves on healthcare. It can also assist you in receiving a wider scope of regular services such as preventive care and annual health check-ups. It can show you how to get income tax exemption on insurance benefits. As one of the largest insurance providers in the USA, United Insurance can be one of your best allies.Copious Choices – United Insurance offers an array of choices and allows you to choose a plan that best suits your budget. Broadly its health plans can be categorized as those insurance plans provided by employers and those plans which are self-assumed. Co-pay health insurances plans cover all regular health check-ups and prescription drugs. Insurance carries some low cost, high-deductible insurance plans which are often preferred by most sectors of society. Plans that are high deductible are the ideal choice for those who opt to take responsibility for regular healthcare expenses. It also offers short term medical plans which fill the gap in insurance coverage during times of change and transition. Student medical plans are also available.Apart from these regular plans, the two special plans of Insurance are Medicare plans which cater to the needs of senior citizens and Medicaid health plans for families who meet state eligibility requirements and those individuals who fall under the low income category.United Health Insurance – A Social Responsibility the rise in the cost of& insurance is perceived as a big problem both in the west and in third world countries alike. Therefore, it a challenging task for insurance providers to provide quality health coverage when faced with rapidly mounting healthcare costs. On the other hand, offering state-of-the-art health insurance plans is a social responsibility; a healthier planet is built through such health insurance policies. United Insurance is proud to have been a pioneer in the healthcare industry. The innovative features added to insurance provision by Insurance are no doubt contributing to create a healthier world. It is the right of every individual to lead a healthy life and United Insurance plays a prominent role in sustaining this right for each and every one of us. Allow United Health Insurance to guard your serenity and peace of mind and allow you to focus on getting better.