Health Insurance Reviews




Review of my HSA Health Insurance Plan with United Healthcare

Back in 2007, my employer finally rolled out an option I had long been waiting for since passage of the Medicare Reform Act of 2003: a high deductible healthcare plan with a Health Savings Account or HSA. My main interest in both wanting this option and subsequently selecting it was to make use of the HSA. The HSA allows me to sock away up to $6,250 in 2012 for myself and my children. That money is 100% tax free. It reduces the payroll deduction to Federal & State income taxes and Social Security & Medicare payroll taxes also. It also saves on the FUTA tax. It is the only truly tax free savings account and unlike the flexible savings account or FSA has no "use it by 12/31 or loss it clause". The money stays in an account I own and I keep the interest it earns. Above $2,000 I can invest the money in a series of mutual funds and possibly grow the balance further. When I want to reimburse myself for prior medical expenses, I simply write myself a check and deposit it into my checking account. No forms to send off. I can't say enough about the benefits of the HSA; it is central to the success of a high deductible healthcare plan.

As for the insurance itself, I must pay the first $2,200 out of pocket myself before the insurance coverage kicks in at a 90-10 co-insurance. While that may seem daunting, it really isn't. Back in 2007, when I first enrolled my family into the plan, I added up our individual deductibles, the myriad of co-pays for every visit, and the 90-10 co-insurance and found that over the course of the year, it was about $2,700. That's roughly what I end up paying with the High Deductible plan from United Healthcare (UHC). The only difference is I pay the money up front with my current plan and with the other plan the payments were spread out over the year.

One benefit my current plan offers is first dollar coverage for preventative maintenance visits. Meaning, I can schedule 2-3 visits per year per person for preventative maintenance and I am not charged anything. My annual physical counts as preventative maintenance and costs me nothing. This gives me a financial incentive to live healthy and preserve the money in my HSA. As for UHC, they have been very good to deal with. I really have no complaints. They pay their claims promptly. I love having my son go to his specialist for a regular visit and not ever having to pay a co-pay. That $25/visit charge was what I called "death by a thousand co-pays". A high deductible plan has no such thing. It's all about meeting the deductible and subsequent co-insurance and making use of the "first dollar coverage" for preventative maintenance. My payroll deduction for the healthcare has been almost unchanged for four years since this plan has been proven to be saver for employees and employers alike.

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