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Kim

Has anyone here switched over from "regular' health insurance [or no insurance]...................

to a "Health Savings Account????" If so, what has been your experience: pros-V-cons. We're considering the switch--any good links to offer as we're in the very preliminary 'research" phase? Or: just ANY opinions welcome. Thanks QNAers:))K
Glenda:

More info on what a Health savings account is, please, never heard of it, Kim,

Goodbye, Cruel World:

If this is for a family, look for an embedded deductible. This is more like what traditional major medical insurance plans had. Otherwise, your family must meet the family deductible even if only one person had the medical conditions.

Kim:

Please see maggies and criados answers---they obviously know much more than I do and a great [!] place to start your research. I only know of one person that has one and he seems to be quite happy other than the rather high deductibles [in his cases $4000].....but....he set aside that much $ in another acct only to be used to meet his families deductibles.:))
Kim

Kim:

Criado...I can [and will] look it up but would you mind explaining to me "embedded deductible? Thanks for the great info so far............
Always,
K

Thekevin:

cant answer..... just to say i have put a Q up about the qna poem with a link... hope you are well speak soon have fun

MaggieD:

Hi, Kim. A health savings accounts does not take the place of insurance. The amount you can contribute to the account is either $2,500 or $3,000 per year. Tax deductible. (The exact amount escapes me.) Medical bills are not tax deductible until one reaches the 7% aggregate of deductible expenses. By putting money into a HSA, you can deduct, obviously, dollar one. It's used to pay your co-pays (if you have insurance), your initial deductible, whatever. It is not a substitute for a full health insurance policy, but is a great adjunct. Here's more: http://www.treas.gov/offices/public-affairs/hsa/ -- Your back-up policy must have a deductible of "so much" in order to be eligible for an HSA. I think it's $1200...

Kim:

I guess I had that part wrong: I thought it "took it's nasty place." Dang......Thanks for the great answer and the link...if you think of anything else: I'll be checking back on this Q or send me an email please. Sure appreciate the well thought out and thorough answer [tho' is what I'm beginning to expect from you ol' gal---term of affection BTW---so THE heat is on!] Many thanks!
Always,
Kim

Goodbye, Cruel World:

Yes I did and, as a former actuary, I think it is an excellent system. It is probably the best model we have today but it can stand some improvements.

First, it is coupled with a high deductible major medical plan. Properly arranged, the premiums and all money put into the savings account are untaxed, even by Social Security and Medicare taxes. The savings account is used to pay the bills that are not covered by the insurance, including the deductible. Therefore ALL your medical bills are paid with pre-tax dollars.

In addition, you are not paying for the insurer's overhead and profits on the bills you pay yourself, out of your saving account funded with pre-tax dollars.

One of the principles of good insurance is to only insure against something that is highly unlikely to happen but if it does, it is financially devastating.

Another principle is that the cheapest insurance is self-insurance.

An H.S.A. meets that very well.

As to the cons, when one starts such a plan, the savings may not have built up enough when catastrophe hits. Newer plans are taking that into account with some supplemental coverage.

Another flaw in today's plans is providing first dollar coverage that does not meet the definition of an insurable event (principle one). That might be an annual physical. In my opinion, such costs are normal maintenance, like oil changes for your car. They could be conditions to keep one in a better premium class rather than something the plan covers.

Kim:

Thanks you SO much Criado---great answer. If you think of anything else or have any links I ought to look at please feel freee to email me or, I will come back to this Q. Gosh, doesn't everyone just LOVE QNA---so much knowledge, interest, and friendly and kind people to confer with. Holy Shoot....I LOVE this site! Thanks again Criado!!!
Always,
K

Wolfhound:

I did not know there was a health savings account plan available.

Kim:

There is and there are a couple of great answers here already. About all I know at this point is that it allows more freedom of choice in one's own health care and can be much less expensive [as a family of 4 right now our premiums are damn close to $2000/month and I'm guessing that's not totally out of the ball park. At least it does cover something: for a long while we just had a major medical policy that covered the bare necessities and cost almost as much!]. Hey Stal: nice to see ya'....long time no see: how's the baby?
Kim

Newyorkerbaby:

I have never heard of that, Kim. Not sure how it differs from a regular ol' savings acct.. But it does make me think there might be ways to get a large group of people to pool money privately to provide their own insurance. Perhaps it works that way?

Kim:

Hey "B".........again pls see Maggies answer [and link] and Criados answer: Both are GREAT preliminary info and a good source of [beginners---that's ME] info. Thanks for chiming in:))
Kim

Alabama:

If you don't use the entire amount that you allocate to a health savings plan, you lose it at the end of the year. Just something to consider.

MaggieD:

No, you don't. It is fully cumulative. Always your money. Always available.

Kim:

Thanks wonderer although some confusion and I sure as heck am NOT coming between you and maggie-LOL. But will get it figured out. As always. appreciate seeing any of your answers to my Q's! Hope all is well w/ you and yours:)))
Fondly,
K

Alabama:

MaggieD. The health saving plan where I worked and where my wife works are both drained at the end of the year. The money goes back to the company. There may be more than one type plan but both of ours were losers. If I had that option, I would certainly find out before signing up. Check it out, Kim. See y'all later.

Kim:

Thanks as always wonderer: something we will definitely keep in mind!:)))
Fondly,
K

MaggieD:

Just saw this, Wonderer. Sorry, we were talking two different things. I was talking about the IRS's Health Savings Account rather than one set up by your company.

Suzy570:

as of July, i am uninsured... just what has to happen for now!... no money honey!

Kim:

Hey Pork.....most of us have been there [and "we're IN the medical field so how pathetic is THAT???]....just stay safe, do not walk in front of any buses, keep your bling-bling to yourself you you won't get knocked over the head and pray like the dickens...........Your health and that of your family WILL be in my prayers today [no offense intended my friend]! Thanks for the answer.
K

Kim:

Thank you Ron:)
K

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