767Lover
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Informal Survey For Those Of You With HSAs

Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:46 pm

I am considering an HSA as an option for our health care. I don't know anyone who has one, and was wondering if anyone here does.

If so, do you think it's a good way to go, and are you happy with it vs. having a traditional plan?

I am a little overwhelmed by all the information online.

DISCLAIMER: I am NOT interested in getting into a war about the US healthcare system. I just want to hear from people about this specific subject. Thanks.
 
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stasisLAX
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RE: Informal Survey For Those Of You With HSAs

Thu Apr 02, 2009 10:58 pm



Quoting 767Lover (Thread starter):
If so, do you think it's a good way to go, and are you happy with it vs. having a traditional plan?

HSAs (health savings accounts) are really an investment vehicle with slight tax-sheltering benefits. Current market conditions can make these type of plans very risky.

Unless you're a younger person with excellent health (along with all of your dependents), I'd strongly recommend a traditional plan with as low as possible plan deductibles.

If you're interested in a great health-care related personal investment, look into a long-term disability health policy. Early onset Alzheimers or Parkinson's disease can be devastating enough to deal with - long term care insurance is your hedge against unknown illness/disability. John Hancock markets a good product for this need.  bigthumbsup 
"Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety!" B.Franklin
 
rfields5421
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RE: Informal Survey For Those Of You With HSAs

Fri Apr 03, 2009 1:51 am

For the last few years, I've used a HSA to the maximum amount and it has saved me about $1,000 per year in taxes.

However, I have not dropped my regular PPO health coverage. The HSA was just to cover predictable regular medical costs.

My wife and I require several medications on a daily basis. The HSA helped us pay for those medicines on a 'pre-tax' basis and some other annual items like new eyeglasses each year, dental device replacement, etc.

I actually think an HSA is more beneficial for someone with steady known health care costs to supplement traditional PPO/ HMO coverage than as a way to 'save' on the cost of health insurance.

It is certainly NOT a replacement for traditional health coverage.

One thing I strongly urge anyone is to never drop traditional health coverage.

I've seen too many people do that over the years, and later find that needed coverage is denied under prior existing condition rules.
 
767Lover
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RE: Informal Survey For Those Of You With HSAs

Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:14 am



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 2):
My wife and I require several medications on a daily basis. The HSA helped us pay for those medicines on a 'pre-tax' basis and some other annual items like new eyeglasses each year, dental device replacement, etc.

I am on a few meds myself, but my husband is on nothing but some allergy pills, I was thinking that the HSA would be appropriate for him since he rarely sees a doctor, and I would keep an individual policy, but I guess you're saying the opposite is true...

Quoting StasisLAX (Reply 1):
Early onset Alzheimer's or Parkinson's disease can be devastating enough to deal with - long term care insurance is your hedge against unknown illness/disability.

Completely agree with this. My Mom has Alz and her care needs are quite high. We're managing. However, since my husband and I don't have kids, our "hired help" requirements will be much greater if one or both of us becomes disabled.
 
rfields5421
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RE: Informal Survey For Those Of You With HSAs

Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:27 am

The real problem is that insurance companies are now basing some coverage limits, restrictions on past perscription history.

I take Metformin and it really helps keep my blood sugar under control.

But because I've had that drug perscribed once in my life, I cannot get new health insurance.

Even if I change companies and they have a different company medical plan. I will be restricted from any coverage related to diabetes - forever.

A simple traffic accident when gives a person a little nerve damage could result in the same situation. For young people, the changes of having to face cancer with no health coverage at all is too scary to risk.

I most strongly urge that no one drop traditional HMO / PPO coverage.

HSA's are good for SUPPLEMENTAL expenses, but never for primary health coverage, in my opinion.

Anyone who choses that option is risking too much in my opinion.
 
767Lover
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RE: Informal Survey For Those Of You With HSAs

Fri Apr 03, 2009 3:31 am



Quoting RFields5421 (Reply 4):
I most strongly urge that no one drop traditional HMO / PPO coverage.

HSA's are good for SUPPLEMENTAL expenses, but never for primary health coverage, in my opinion.

Anyone who choses that option is risking too much in my opinion.

Thanks for the feedback.
 
PPVRA
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RE: Informal Survey For Those Of You With HSAs

Fri Apr 03, 2009 4:17 am

The idea of having money sitting around when people are talking about big time inflation in the coming years makes me think twice about HSAs. Otherwise I think they are great for predictable medical costs, as stated above.
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