7 Things You Should Know About Health Savings Account Plans and Five Easy Steps to Lower Your Car Insurance Price

Source: Energepic

7 Things You Should Know About Health Savings Account Plans

Health savings accounts (HSAs) are very popular. Since its introduction in 2004, approximately two.five million Americans have enrolled in these so-called consumer-driven health plans. But, sadly, the HSA plan isn't for everyone.

Here are some pointers to help you consider whether an HSA will be of benefit to you and your family.

1. HSA plans can cut healthcare costs by an average of 40% for many people.

However, some people will not notice the net savings. Those most likely to notice significant savings are people who pay all of their own health insurance premiums, such as self-employed persons, who are relatively healthy with few medical expenses.

2. health savings plans restore freedom of choice.

The HSA plan puts individual consumers back in control of their own health care. It also means that each individual should be more responsible for his or her own health care decisions. This self-reliance approach isn't always popular or appropriate for everyone, especially those who have become comfortable with HMO-type "co-pay" plans.

3. Health savings accounts reduce income tax.

Every dollar contributed to your HSA account is deducted from your taxable income in the same way as contributions to a traditional IRA account - regardless of whether you spend it or just keep it. Interest and investment income in an HSA accumulates tax-deferred, much like a traditional IRA.

Unlike an IRA, withdrawals are tax-free when used to pay for eligible medical expenses. In many situations, new account holders can almost fully fund their HSA with the money saved from premiums from their previous, higher-priced plans. By depositing all or most of these savings into an HSA, account holders realize additional instant savings in the form of tax deductions.

4. You must have a high-quality health insurance policy first before you can open a health savings account.

 One of the biggest misconceptions about HSA plans is that any high-deductible insurance policy will qualify the policyholder to create an HSA account. The IRS regulations, however, are quite specific.

Not just any policy with so-called "reduced height" will suffice.It is important to ensure that you are insured under a properly qualified policy. Your best bet is to work with a qualified, licensed health insurance broker experienced in properly marketing a qualified HSA plan.

5. You must be insured to qualify for an HSA-qualified health insurance policy.

Since most people don't have a properly deductible high insurance policy, they will need to change insurance plans to qualify for HSA. Unless coverage is offered under small class reform laws (generally groups of two-49 employees), new deductible policies will be covered on an individual basis by the insurer.

This means that some "pre-existing" conditions may not be fully covered. Alternatively, some companies may choose to cover certain "pre-existing" conditions in exchange for a slightly higher premium. Unfortunately, some health conditions make a person uninsurable (eg diabetes, chronic disease, heart attack, etc.). Underwriting requirements vary by state, which is another reason to rely on an experienced health plan broker.

You should not switch to an HSA plan when managing your existing medical expenses is more important than saving on health insurance premiums up front. Do not change health plans  in the midst of ongoing medical treatment after a major health problem has been diagnosed.


Health savings account plans offer lower premiums and lower taxes for many individuals. However, before switching to an HSA plan, it is advisable to seek advice from an experienced benefits specialist who is familiar with insurance companies offering high deductible policies that qualify for HSA account participation. In some situations, the anticipated lower costs may not be realized, or may not be worth the trade-off required to achieve those savings.

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Five Easy Steps to Lower Your Car Insurance Price

Source: D'Vaughn Bell

It wasn't that long ago when contracts were made with handshakes and promises. Individuals don't really care about things like insurance because they rely on the goodwill of their neighbors to compensate for wrongful damage. For a variety of reasons, including increased speed and the cost of car accidents, auto insurance is soon becoming an essential purchase for responsible individuals.

Not long after, the federal government mandated that auto insurance be carried, at least at a minimum, by all car owners. The increasing need for auto insurance over the last 10 years has led to an increase in insurance complexity, while at the same time, reinforcing the need to be more cost conscious in purchasing auto insurance.

Buying car insurance today requires as much dexterity as buying the car itself. It is important to know the factors that auto insurance companies consider when offering a quote. This will allow you, as a consumer, to know what steps you need to take to qualify for a lower offer. Five easy steps to getting a lower insurance quote are:

1. Describe yourself as a 'safe' candidate

Insurance companies are interested in managing risk. As a result, they offer drivers who are less likely to have accidents or at least accidents of lower severity, lower insurance deals.

-Maintain a clean driving record, free from traffic violations or accident claims.

-Install an anti-theft device in your vehicle.

-Attend Driver Safety Training program.

-Buy a 'safe' vehicle. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) and the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety jointly collect information on the safest aspects of various vehicles. Buy a car that is officially designated as 'safe'.

-Park your vehicle in the garage.

2. Demonstrate your Creditworthiness

As a risk management entity, insurance companies are also concerned about timely payments. If you can demonstrate that you are creditworthy, there is less risk of you not making payments on time, thus guaranteeing lower rates.

-Maintain a good credit score and clean up any mistakes on your credit.

-Reduce the total number of credit cards owed by two or 3.

3. Practice Financial Wisdom

The way you structure and pay for your policy can reduce the risk the insurance company faces with respect to you as a customer. By taking steps to lower the risk, you receive a lower insurance quote and policy.

-Buy an annual policy instead of six-month coverage to get you a lower rate that stays the same for a year.

-Select automatic payment deductions from your bank account or credit card to avoid billing payments in the mail.

-Increase your deductible on comprehensive and collision policies to reduce rates.

-Get loyalty discounts by purchasing your home and car insurance from the same company.

4. Assess Your Insurance Needs Accurately

It is clear, the more coverage you get, the more it will cost you. Add-ons are a killer in the insurance business, remove your policy to the minimum you need.

-If your vehicle is not used much or you have an old car with a small market value, choose minimum liability only. It will cost you less.

-After fulfilling the legal mandate on car insurance, insure according to your needs only.

5. Another wise thing you can do

There are a number of other considerations that go into your insurance quote. Some of these are not sensible steps to take, while others you can do with minimal effort that can result in huge savings.

-If your car is only used for a specific purpose, notify your agent, as this will limit costs.

-Students who score well are often entitled to a discount.

-Quit smoking; it can help you get a better quote.

-Change your job if you can help. A delivery man carries a higher risk than a shopkeeper.


It wasn't that long ago when contracts were made with handshakes and promises. Individuals don't really care about things like insurance because they rely on the goodwill of their neighbors to compensate for wrongful damage.

Insurance quotes, Auto Insurance, Insurance

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