Healthcare, taxes, and the HSA solution

Brad Willis

Brad Willis is a writer based in Greenville, South Carolina. Willis spent a decade as an award-winning broadcast journalist. He has worked as a freelance writer, columnist, and professional blogger since 2005. He has also served as a commentator and guest on a wide variety of television, radio, and internet shows.

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8 Responses

  1. You know i work for a major insurer that begins and starts with the letter A. I have gone the HRA (Health reimbursement account route for the last three years). I too am healthy as an ox thanks to strong Italian stock. My company give mes $300 a year towards my $1800 single person deductible. I put in $65/paycheck to also cover the deductible.
    Whatever I dont use rolls over and accumulates much like an IRA does.

    Why I love it. It comes with a debit card. I can use the debit card to pay myself back for my dental deductible and copays I have to come up with as well as for OTC drugs like Prevacid for the agita I get for carrying a few extra pounds as well as the generic claritin i buy at Costco cause its cheaper as well as other supplements like Acidophilus and flaxseed oil to ward off all those things that come with middle age. I use the debit card only for healthcare expenses even though I have enough money accumulated now to fund a whole bunch of poker tourney buys.

    What i like also is that anymoney i accumulate and dont use Ill have at retirement for a medi-gap plan. I can use this Healthcare IRA to pay for the premiums.

    i obviously get this stuff since i work in the field and have always done financial planning/benefits work. The hardest part is educating the consumer. Most people dont want to take the time or responsiblity to understand the different offerings. there no longer are human resource people to guide you thru what plan to pick as there was when I came out of college. Its all online and lets face it people would rather twitter and watch reality TV then take responsibility for their own personal financial planning. And lets face it healthcare is a big part of our finances as you well point out.

    Im glad i have smart educated friends who are excellent writers who get this!!

    See you at Mohegan

    Lori

  2. Astin says:

    Quick question – why private school?

  3. otis says:

    Thanks, Lori (and you were one of the people I was thanking…)

    Astin–Short answer: South Carolina. Long answer has a lot more to do with our son’s age, personality, brain wiring, and our family’s way at looking at the world. We may not keep him in private school for the duration of his education, but right now, it’s the right thing for him.

  4. gamecock says:

    Two solutions (one requires government intervention):

    1.) You change your coverage to a better insurance plan, or one with less coverage based on the acceptable risk that you are healthy.

    2.) The government takes over your health insurance, you pay more taxes, you get “free” health care that consists of everyone’s money. Of course you will be paying for their’s as well.

    Here’s a question. It isn’t socially necessary for you to transfer $50K to a random ne’er do well to extend his life by 6 months. Why should society as a whole do it?

  5. Astin says:

    Gamecock: That’s a tired argument. Otis as touched on it in the past. Anybody using a US hospital is already paying for that ne’er-do-well with the 3000% charges on sundries, supplies, and double-billing practices. It’s already a tax, just levied by a private company instead of the government. So the question is if the taxes everyone is forced to pay would be lower than the hidden recouping already in place.

    Otis: Ah. Unless this is still Montessori he’s in, which I recall suggesting myself. I’m definitely a supporter of that sort of program in the early years, as it’s far more fruitful than playing with alphabet blocks and trying to colour within the lines. I’m always concerned about private school as kids get older though, as I believe parental involvement is a far larger factor in educational success than the actual schools. Granted, there are exceptions at either end of the scale. A terrible school or a truly excellent one makes a difference, but the middle ground that most fall into seem to have less of an effect.

    Then there’s the people I went to University with who came out of private schools. Nearly all of them failed and retook first year because they weren’t socially adapted to handle interacting with the masses. Then again… South Carolina.

  6. otis says:

    Astin–Montessori is great and fit our kid perfectly. As for the future…well, I’m expecting a flying car before I make any decisions.

  7. Astin says:

    Keep the kid engaged and educated and maybe he’ll provide you with one. Or at least a jetpack.

  8. Su says:

    I have a High Deductible Health Plan with a Health Savings Account. If you are someone with very high health care costs or very low health care costs I think it is the way to go as far as insurance goes these days.

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