I switched to a Health Savings Account and it is like putting another $350 a month in my pay check.
Healthcare costs are getting out of control. I work for an agency and don't get benefits so I have to pay for my own.
I have been with Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Florida for several years and the monthly premiums started out at around $150. I got older and the premiums kept going up so I changed my deductible from $500 to $1,000. They continued rising so I went for a $2,000 deductible.
Three years ago at age 56 my premiums were over $400 a month and I was only having a yearly check up with my G.P. and a yearly woman's check up. So I decided to look for more options.
I found out about a Health Savings Account. I could still use my provider or change to another one. I checked on Humana and the premiums were almost identical so I didn't change
The great thing was my monthly payment went down to $200 a month. I did have to go with a $2,500 deductible and an 80% – 20% co-payment for the next $2,500. However I was already saving over $2,500 a year by paying less than half on the premium.
I set up a Health Savings Account and contributed to it and kept my money. It is an interest bearing account, which is another bonus. I received a checkbook and a debit card so when I go to the doctor's office or buy my prescriptions I can use either. The money builds up and when it comes to tax time, you don't pay taxes on it. It has to be used purely for medical expenses, which is fine, by me. I have been putting $2,500 in the account each year. This is the same amount as my deductible.
This year my monthly premium is $248 and some of my friends of similar age are paying $600 or more. I would much rather put money into my pocket and into my H.S.A.
I am fairly healthy and only spend between $300 and $500 a year on medical visits etc. so my account keeps growing. At age 65, when I receive Medicare, I can still use this money tax free for out of pocket medical expenses. At age 70 and a half, if I still have money in the account, it will be treated like an I.R.A. and I will have to take money out and pay taxes on it.