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FSA vs. HSA: Know the Difference

If you are trying to deal with health care expenses, there are some ways to do so — and get a tax benefit. There are two main accounts that allow you to contribute money, get a tax deduction, and pay for health care services. The two accounts are the Flexible Savings Account (FSA) and the Health Savings Account (HSA). It’s important to understand the differences between these accounts so that you use your health care dollars to best effect. Flexible Savings Account These are plans offered by employers (sometimes FSAs are called “cafeteria plans”). You can have a portion of

5 Ways to Reduce Your Health Care Costs this Year

As you plan your spending for the coming months, it’s important to consider the impact that health care costs are likely to have on your bottom line. The average household spends more than $8,000 a year on health care, and for many households, that’s too much. If you are interested in reducing your costs, here are some strategies that might help you: 1. Take Advantage of Preventative Care Because of health care reform, health insurance companies have to cover one preventative care treatment a year for you. Take advantage of this, and go in to see what problems you might

Obamacare Brings Tax Changes in 2013

The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), often referred to as Obamacare, is being implemented in stages, and some of the changes as a result of the 2010 law are being introduced in 2013. Some of the changes that are coming as a result of the PPACA could very well affect your tax bill. Here are some of the changes you might see as a result of Obamacare, starting 2013: Change to the Healthcare Deduction Limit Right now, if your out of pocket healthcare expenses are more than 7.5% of your AGI, you are allowed to deduct the amount

Health Insurance Basics: In-Network vs. Out-of-Network

Among of the terms that you will run into when you deal with health insurance are “in-network” and “out-of-network.” These terms are generally used to describe health care providers. Understanding these terms is important if you want to know what is covered by your health insurance company. In-Network vs. Out-of-Network Not all health care providers accept all insurance plans. This means that your health insurance won’t be accepted everywhere. An in-network provider is one that is part of the health insurer’s network, and that is interested in accepting the insurance. On the other hand, if the provider is out-of-network, it

4 Tips for Choosing the Best Health Insurance for You

One of the most important choices you make when it comes to protecting your family’s health is your insurance plan. Your health insurance plays a big role in how healthy you are, and whether or not you feel as though you can get the treatment you need. As you choose your health plan, make sure that you consider your options carefully. Comparison shop, and read the terms of health insurance coverage. You want to choose the best health insurance for you: 1. Anticipate Coverage Needs While you can’t predict what’s going to happen with your health — and you certainly

What Is Open Enrollment? And Why Should You Pay Attention?

It’s autumn. The leaves are turning, stores are (already) putting out Christmas decorations, and it’s open enrollment time at many companies. Open enrollment is a yearly rite for companies and their health insurance plans. This is because American consumers don’t get the chance to switch up their coverage very often. Once a year, you review your health plan and, if you want to make a change, you are allowed to. Paying attention at open enrollment time can set the tone for your entire year as far as health insurance is concerned. It’s vital that you pay attention to what is

Health Insurance 101: How Does Health Insurance Work?

One of the questions that many ask is this: How does health insurance work? It’s a basic question about the way the insurance system is set up, and why someone might be able to have the heath insurance company pay for their high costs. You Pay Now, the Health Insurance Company Pays Later Health insurance is all about risk. If you have a major health catastrophe, you the run risk of becoming financially insolvent as a result. For you, health insurance helps reduce that risk. You pay a smaller amount of money each month — your premium — and the

Do You Know What Your Health Insurance Covers?

Your health insurance is an important part of your overall finances. After all, there are few things in this life as devastating as a major medical accident or health care problem. Health insurance can help you bear the cost and keep it from completely ruining your financial situation. But, before you feel good about having health insurance, it’s important to stop and think about your coverage. Do you know what’s really┬ácovered by your health insurance? What Your Health Insurance Policy Covers First of all, it is important to realize that each health insurance policy is different. You will receive coverage

What Goes Into Your Health Insurance Premium?

Each year, you have probably noticed that your health insurance premium changes. Even if you start out with a relatively low premium, over time it starts to creep up. Every year, your policy is reviewed, and your health insurance provider decides whether or not your premium should be raised. A number of factors go into this decision. If you are considered bigger risk, your premium might go up quite a bit. On the other hand, if you haven’t presented much of a risk, you will probably only see a smaller increase. Factors that Influence Your Health Insurance Premium There are

Health Insurance In An Obama Administration – Is it Working?

We’ve heard a ton about Barack Obama’s health care reform that was meant to help the millions of Americans that lacked private health care insurance. The fact is that prior to Obama taking office, the proportion of Americans that have access to health care insurance had declined for 10 straight years. No matter what you think about Obama;s plan, I hope we all agree that such declines were a very bad sign for Americans. Last year, for the first time in over a decade, both the number and proportion of Americans without health insurance declined. There are now 48.6 million

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