(PRWEB) April 4, 2005
Q. Jeff, I want to ask your opinion regarding Health Savings Accounts. On April 1st, the company I work for is changing our current Blue Cross health insurance to Guardian Insurance set up as a HRA. I am single and currently have a $500 deductible. Under the HRA, the deductible will be $2,000.
Currently, the premium is split 50/50 between employer and employee. I pay $205.00 per month. Under the HRA it will still be split 50/50, but the employer is going to fund each employee's Personal Medical Fund up to $900. As I understand it, my responsibility will be $1,100 of deductible before any insurance coverage kicks in. We have not been given any rates for the HRA insurance, but I imagine it will be lower than the monthly $205.00.
I am trying to decide if this is a "good" thing to change to or if I should obtain an individual policy of my own. I contacted my insurance agent and was quoted a price of $213.20 per month for similar insurance ($500 deductible).
I assume a portion of the amounts I pay in to the "fund" would be tax deductible, but I am still not sure that a HRA is the right thing for me to do.
A. A lot will depend on your health status and how much you use your insurance. If youÂre healthy and don't take many medications, then the HRA could benefit you because the amount the company contributes to your account is yours and can grow from year to year.
On the other hand, if thereÂs a good chance of using your coverage, then the HRA might be more expensive because the amount of deductible youÂll have to pay, although it sounds like the company is paying $900 toward your $1,100 deductible. Private insurance most likely will not cover any existing conditions and itÂs very likely that you will see those premiums rise at a faster rate then those of the HRA/HAS.
The days of company paid health plans are quickly coming to an end and employees will have to bear much more of the cost. This may help the overall situation in the long run because people may not seek medical care as often if they have to cover a portion of the cost. Companies are being forced to explore these alternatives to remain competitive in todayÂs global environment.
Q. I was reading your estate planning article about a power of attorney (POA). I thought your spouse automatically had POA. Do I need to state that I want my husband to have POA? Can you name a secondary POA? We travel a lot and if something would happen to us both, I would want one of my children to have POA.
I have just moved to Florida from up north, is my will still legal here?
A. First, just because you are married does not mean that your spouse automatically serves as your POA. There are also two kinds of Powers of AttorneyÂone for assets and one for healthcare. A spouse CAN make medical decisions for you, but if you have a checking account or own property in your name only, there's nothing your spouse can do to touch it before or after you become incapacitated. Your spouse (or anyone else you desire) would need to be named as your Power of Attorney. And you can have multiple people mentioned who would serve in succession.
For instance, your husband can be named as your primary attorney-in-fact, your child as secondary, etc. If your husband were unable or unwilling to serve as your attorney-in-fact when you became incapacitated, your child would then be able to.
Your Will should still be legal even though it was written prior to moving to FL. Florida does have certain homestead exemption laws that your previous state may not have had. So even though your existing will is valid, it may be worth having a FL attorney review it and your situation to make sure there aren't any changes that could benefit you.
I love to answer readersÂ questions. Email me at email@example.com. IÂm in the enviable position of not having to garner new clients and IÂd be glad to give you my unbiased opinion.
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In addition to being a nationally syndicated columnist and Certified Financial Planning Practitioner, Mr. Voudrie serves clients nationwide using a proprietary money management system he's personally developed.
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