Health Insurance Choices: High Deductibles and Health Savings Accounts
Like everyone else, I have a decision to make soon -- what health care plan is right for me. My first post-college employer answered the question for me. Everyone got the same plan which was comprehensive and free, at least to me. But over the years, that deal changed and I was asked to bear more and more of the cost of my health care. In 2004 a new option was available, the Health Savings Account (HSA). But should you choose that option? Few people at my college do and I think many of them are making a mistake. The high deductible plan may be the best bet for a lot of people.
Don’t Sweat Health Care, the Magic of HDHP and HSA
A reader recently mentioned to me that I wasn’t taking the cost of health care with respect to early retirement seriously enough. They were right. If you’re planning an early retirement there’s only three options. By self-insuring you can expect to pay a monthly premium for an HDHP until Medicare kicks in at 65. The good news is that the cost isn’t all that extreme. As long as you save and add money to your HSA to cover the high deductible, and stay healthy by eating well, exercising and being of sound mind, you can make inexpensive health care a reality.
More High-Deductible Plan Members Can’t Pay Hospital Bills
As employers and insurance companies shift more health costs into workers’ pockets, hospitals are making a discovery. The pockets aren’t bottomless. “The number of accounts that we’re seeing that relate to these high-deductible plans has been building, and it has been putting pressure on our bad debt levels,” Tenet Healthcare financial chief Daniel Cancelmi recently told stock analysts. “We’ve seen it building over the past several years, and it’s continued into 2013 as well.”
Shelley Toreson had health insurance for years, but not anymore. Instead, she is part of an unusual Nevada nonprofit that helps connect 12,000 uninsured residents to doctors and hospitals who are willing to accept a lower-cost, negotiated fee for their services. She's joined the Access to Healthcare Network, a medical discount plan that helps uninsured residents with low and moderate incomes get care from 2,000 providers around the state offering a wide variety of medical services.
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Mission:Healthcare Choice Coalition believes in protecting the freedom of citizens to choose their own health care, strengthening their relationship with their personal physician, and preserving the free market so that consumer-driven health care can flourish and remain viable under any regulatory regime.