Are you the type of person who never gets sick and is frustrated with having to pay so much for health insurance coverage. After all, shouldn’t you be eligible for a discount for taking such good care of yourself?
Insurance companies are just now starting to introduce plans that give you financial reward for good behavior. Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield recently introduced their Lumenos Health Incentive Account plan which gives you monetary credits that you can use to get free health services.
However, most people opt to go with an even less expensive catastrophic plan. These plans basically allow you to trade off lower premiums in exchange for greater financial risk, in the form of higher deductibles. However, don’t think that high deductible plans mean second rate coverage. On the contrary, many of the high deductible health plans have outstanding coverage after the deductible is met and some will even pay for 100% of your preventative care costs before your deductible is met (i.e. free in-network preventative care).
A more recent development in the world of catastrophic or high deductible health plans is the advent of Health Savings Account qualified health plans. Health Savings Accounts or HSA’s, as they are more commonly known, require a special type of high deductible health plan that meets specific requirements established by the US Treasury Department. These special plans are called HSA qualified high deductible health plans.
While all the HSA qualified high deductible health plans must meet the same minimum criteria established by the US Treasury Department, don’t think that they are all the same. Some offer very basic coverage while others offer very comprehensive coverage after the deductible is met. Some HSA qualified plans also offer great “first dollar” preventative care benefits. It definitely pays to shop and work with a knowledgeable broker to make sure you are getting the best value for your money.
Getting a HSA qualified high deductible health plan not only allows you to get a lower cost health insurance plan, but it also allows you to open a 100% tax deductible Health Savings Account. The HSA itself is a special type of account that you can often open up at your local bank. Any money that you deposit into the HSA is 100% tax deductible so long as you spend it on HSA qualified medical, dental and vision related expenses. Some forms of Alternative Medicine and Chiropractic Care are considered to be HSA qualified expenses by the IRS.
The money you don’t spend rolls over from year to year. Annual contribution limits for 2009 are capped at $3,000 for an individual or $5,950 for a family. Get a free instant HSA quote
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