The world of health insurance is changing dramatically. In addition to refundable tax credits and subsidies available to employees and employers, the overall landscape has changed from the traditional medical underwriting scenario. The whole range of new programs, benefits, plan designs, and opportunities are available now that the Affordable Health Care Act has become the law of the land. If your current broker is not showing you anything new give us a call!
Many employers in an effort to attract the best employees offer competitive benefit packages providing health insurance to qualifying employees working at the company. The employer may contribute towards the premium on behalf of the employees. Employers may give multiple plan choices to the employees from which an employee may choose. This allows an employee to better tailor their health insurance program to their individual or family situation. In addition, certain tax advantages may be available to the employer and employees when the premium is billed and paid by a qualifying company. New tax consequences have been implemented under the Affordable Care Act for individuals and companies who don’t meet certain parameters in regard to offering or obtaining health insurance.
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A Health Savings Account is an alternative to traditional health insurance; it is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-advantaged basis.
You must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be able to take advantage of HSAs. An HDHP generally costs less than what a traditional health care coverage costs, so the money that you save on insurance can therefore be put into the Health Savings Account.
You own and control the money in your HSA. Decisions on how to spend the money are made by you without relying on a third party or health insurer. You will also decide what types of investments to make with the money in the account in order to make it grow, although investment options may be limited & require minimum account values
What is a “High Deductible Health Plan”?
You must have an HDHP if you want to open an HSA. It is sometimes referred to as a “catastrophic” health insurance plan, an HDHP is typically a lower premium health insurance plan that generally does not pay for the first several thousand dollars of health care expenses (i.e., your “deductible”) but will generally cover many health care related expenses after that. Of course, your HSA is available to help you pay for the expenses your plan does not cover.
How can I get a Health Savings Account?
Consumers can sign up for HSA’s with banks, credit unions, insurance companies, and other approved companies. Your employer may also set up a plan for the employee as well.
How much does an HSA cost?
An HSA is a savings account, which you can deposit money on a tax-advantaged basis. The only product you purchase with an HSA is a High Deductible Health Plan, a lower cost plan that will cover your medical expenses exceeding the funds you have in your HSA.
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