High-Deductible Health Insurance Is Winning Over Employees

With skyrocketing rates on health insurance, employers (particularly small businesses) are moving to options with lower premiums, such as high-deductible health insurance. Not all employees initially see any advantage in such a change in terms of their out-of-pocket costs, but many are finding they can save more after the change.

A Health Savings Account or an HSA can only be started in combination with certain as high-deductible health insurance policies. Money contributed to the HSA is only available to pay for qualified health care expenses. Try to withdraw funds for expenses that aren’t medically related and you’ll see a 20-percent penalty fee. The list of qualified expenses is extensive, though. Several services not covered by conventional health insurance can be paid for from an HSA, such as dental care.

To persuade employees that these plans have advantages that will work for them, some businesses are contributing to employees’ new Health Savings Accounts and the idea has been gaining popularity. About 22 million consumers are now enrolled in HSA-qualified high-deductible health insurance, according to the head of health research at the Employee Benefit Research Institute.

One of the advantages of an HSA is that employees control the accounts even if employers contribute funds. Employees retain the money when they lose their job, resign or retire and the HSA balance continues to grow year after year with tax-free earnings. Individual HSA annual contribution limits remain at $3,050 in 2011, while the contribution limit for family HSA plans is $6,150.

High-deductible Health Insurance Coincides With Low Premiums

Employees are reporting it’s easier to save with the lower cost of high-deductible health plans. For example, at the Atlanta Medical Center, just over half of the employees are enrolled in an HSA plan. To increase staff enthusiasm for the transition, the center increased contribution levels to employee Health Savings Accounts by hundreds of dollars.

After a few years, some of the center’s staff are surprised at the additional savings they’re seeing. For Andrea Sweeten, who’s a contract administrator at the center, high-deductible health insurance meant much lower premiums.

With an 18-year-old daughter, the 45-year-old was paying $260 every two weeks. Since they rarely went to the doctor, she could see how that was just a waste of money. After switching to a high-deductible health plan with a $2,400 deductible, her premium dropped to $62. She deposits much of the savings in an HSA and plans to buy laser eye surgery with the surplus.

High-deductible health insurance plans typically have deductibles from $1,000 to $5,000, but those that are qualified to work with an HSA must have deductibles ranging from $1,200 to $5,950 for individuals and from $2,400 to $11,900 for families.

That kind of out-of-pocket expense can be trouble for consumers who do not plan for the unexpected. One way to cut that deductible until the HSA balance has had time to grow is with accident insurance. Preventive care is 100 percent covered before the deductible is met with insurance purchased after the passage of health care reform, but accidents take consumers by surprise. For low monthly premiums (as low as $22), $5,000 worth of accident insurance coverage is available with just a $100 deductible.

Prescriptions may also be troublesome because few people realize the total cost of their prescriptions with co-pay health insurance. Several strategies promise to cut prescription costs until an HSA balance has time to grow. Discount cards are readily available on the Internet. In addition, prescription drugs can be purchased online at amazing discounts from overseas providers.

Careful planning and HSA tax-free earnings are proving valuable for more employees. Back at the medical center, assistant trauma coordinator Emily Page has been won over by the advantages of high-deductible health plans and now equates her HSA with a 401(k) plan. In the three years she has invested in an HSA, she and her husband have been able to save almost $8,000. It’s that kind of success story that is fueling the move to high-deductible health plans and Health Savings Accounts.

Health Insurance Know How

Why do you need health coverage? These days, a single day in the hospital can cost thousands of dollars. The financial risk you take without health insurance coverage just isn’t worth it.

Several things you should keep in mind when buying health insurance: Will I be able to afford the monthly premiums? Selecting a plan that fits your budget and lifestyle is most important. If you can’t afford the monthly premiums, you will have wasted a lot of time selecting a good plan option. Individuals should make sure to select a plan that covers the basic needs that are most likely to be used and available without meeting the plans annual deductible; like office visits to see a doctor with a copay, good preventive care most likely covered at 100 percent, emergency room visits and prescriptions, especially generic, all without meeting the annual calendar year deductible. Next, don’t select the lowest deductible, the lower the deductible the higher the monthly premium. Also, don’t select the highest deductible, you just might have to meet that deductible if you develop an illness or have an accident that requires a lot of testing, treatment and followup doctor visits.

Finally, make sure you read your policy information after you receive your id card and contract booklet. Know when premiums are due and the grace period most plans have to get your payment in before being cancelled. Then go online and select a great doctor from the plans website for the policy you purchased if you don’t have one. Most insurance companies will provide details on where the physician went to school and the hospitals they are associated with. Having a great doctor can save you lots of money and get you on the right track for a healthier lifestyle.

Atlanta Health Insurance Online Quote – Instant Online Quotes

Looking for instant Atlanta health insurance quotes? At the end of this article, there are links that will take you to them. All you have to do is answer a few basic questions, and you’ll get immediate quotes for health insurance plans in Atlanta.

Atlanta Health Insurance Plans

There are many insurance companies offering quotes for health insurance in the Atlanta area. Here is a list of companies you can get online quotes from: Aetna, Assurant Health, Blue Cross, Blue Shield of Georgia, Celtic, Golden Rule, Humana, and Kaiser Permanente.

Each of these insurance companies have a selection of health plans for you to choose from. Whether you’re looking for just the basics, or a plan with more comprehensive coverage, there’s a health insurance plan to fit your needs and your budget.

Many people are switching to an (HSA) health insurance plan because of it’s lower price and tax savings it provides. Monthly premiums for an HSA are substantially lower than with conventional health insurance. Individual plans start as low as $129.00 per month. Be sure to learn more about an HSA before you buy health insurance.

Atlanta Free Instant Health Insurance Quotes

One of the best ways to learn more about Atlanta health insurance is to go to an insurance quote website and request free quotes. Immediately after you complete their short form, you’ll get several low cost HSA, HMO, PPO, and POS quotes while still online. After you have your quotes, you can compare plans and visit their websites for more detailed information.