tomryan's public profile
|Organisation||Aiskew, Leeming Bar Church of England Primary School|
|Current Role||Head of department/Subject Lead|
High deductible health insurance plans are not for everyone. Learn what you can do to make these lower premium plans work for you.
A high deductible health plan can offer sizeable savings on insurance costs. It's an especially good deal if you're young and healthy. You don't have to pay high premiums, but your coverage usually doesn't kick in until after you've paid out a substantial amount of your own money. In other words, you're really only covered for a major emergency or serious illness.
That's why it's important to take care of a few matters beforehand. Taking out a high-deductible plan means exposing yourself to a few risks. Following these five steps will allow you to be prepared, just on the off-chance that something serious does happen.
Get a checkup. Make sure you're healthy enough for a high deductible policy. It's really not a good idea to sign up for limited coverage if you don't know the status of your own health. Get as thorough a screening as you can. If something does come up, make sure you can correct it before you switch policies. If not, it might be a better idea to keep your current coverage.
Get fit. It's a known fact that certain habits can contribute to illness. Taking out a high deductible plan means betting that you're going to stay healthy. Getting into shape will help you improve those odds. If you're overweight, try to shed those excess pounds. If you smoke, take a cessation class. If your eating habits are unhealthy, start thinking about alternatives.
Set aside your deductible. With this kind of plan, you have to pay for the first $1,000 to $2,000 of your health care. And the figure may go above $3,000 for a family plan. Why not have it handy in case you need it? Park it in a savings account, where it will collect a little interest. Make sure you replenish the account at the start of each year. There's nothing worse than having to scramble around for money when you suddenly need it.
Read up on HSAs. If you sign up for a high deductible plan, you automatically qualify for a Health Savings Account (HSA). The HSA is a sweet deal. Money deposited in an HSA is not subject to federal income tax (if spent for qualified medical expenses.) You own your HSA, so the funds roll over and they can accumulate year after year. This is unlike a flexible spending account (FSA).
Get organized. Hopefully, you'll stay healthy and never have to use that coverage. But if you do, you'll need to keep track of your own spending first. Keep up with your receipts to prove you've spent the entire deductible. Start some kind of filing system, or set up a special spreadsheet. Your insurer is going to want some proof, after all order ED pills online. If you need to dip into your HSA, the receipts will come in handy at tax time.
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