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    HSA or HMO?

    Do you have an HSA/HDHP health insurance or HMO? Which do you prefer and why? Do you wish you could switch to the other? I think I'd prefer the HDHP with HSA, however we've never had the option. So we have no health care savings account nor any opportunity to save into one. So when people talk about using it for retirement it's just not possible for us. What should we do? What do others do?

    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

    #2
    I think it depends on your health and your risk tolerance.
    As attractive as some make it look like to have another option in a HSA to save money tax free for retirement, all that can go out the door when you are faced with a large deductible and out of pocket bills. I think it is a way to attract those whom may have used all the other retirement options into looking at a HDHP.
    A company I used to work for started offering a HDHP and many were not interested .
    One manager just boasted about how much she could save and keep for retirement.... until that all that went out of the window with one health issue.

    I recently was asked by a friend if he should put his kids on his health plan too for double coverage, as they are on his wife's plan.
    I told him that as most insurance uses the parent whose bday falls first in year to decide who is primary insurance and so he would need to compare plans to see if it was worth it. comparing cost vs co pays/ deductibles etc.
    When I thought about it, Health insurance is becoming more like Auto insurance where you really find out how GOOD or BAD a plan is AFTER you need it. Maybe I should have told him that.

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      #3
      I wanted an HSA from the time they introduced them, but the premiums never made sense here in NJ. They weren't that much cheaper than traditional plans. It wasn't enough to justify taking on the higher deductible. A couple of years ago, it finally seemed worth it and I jumped on it and fully funded the HSA for the year. I was also able to fund it the following year before leaving that job. It has been great to be able to pay medical bills with pre-tax dollars since getting the HSA, which is the main advantage of having one. We still have a couple thousand in the account and use it from time to time. My new job doesn't offer an HSA option but if they did, I'd grab it. It's a great deal.
      Steve

      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

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        #4
        For those who can fully fund an HSA easily they seem great. I never understood just who these options were truly designed for.
        They are tied to HDHP that are often the choice of those whom want or NEED low cost options and then they simply do not have the funds to really fund these accounts.
        For those who clearly have the means to instantly completely fund a HSA, they are just looking for another tax advantage account.
        Maybe this is what is wrong with our medical insurance choices.
        I think ALL people should be able to have at least a small true health savings account to get people to have skin in the game in health costs.

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          #5
          It would be nice to get an HSA for those of us who can fund it. But most people probably come out ahead with HMO style plan.
          LivingAlmostLarge Blog

          Comment


            #6
            We have an HSA. It's been good so far.

            Actually my work deposits $1000 annually into any familys HSA should we chose the HDHP.

            We have been contributing for the past two years, but it keeps getting gobbled up with expended. Last year my wife got Lasik and had one emergency room visit (thankfully she was ok).

            This year I had a freak accident on a vacation in Thailand. And lost the tip of my middle finger plus an index finger injury. So we'll see how much they actually cover. Go figure it was @ the worst time to... 12/24/18 on Christmas Eve, and 6 days before the high deductible would have rolled over @ beginning of new year.

            So we never have gotten to amass any large savings amount. But I still like the plan. We're fortunate, my work charges no premium for high deductible plan.

            Lol and we had be aiming to have kids in the next year or two... So we likely won't have any savings in they'to survive a year (for the next year or two)

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              #7
              We don't have a HDHP so HSA isn't available. I think it would be an interesting way.
              LivingAlmostLarge Blog

              Comment


                #8
                We are not eligible for a HDHP.
                My sense is that the HDHP/HSA might work out well if you start it when you are young and you don't have any underlying medical issues and you can accrue a hefty account balance over the years. Also, I get the idea that some of the folks who use their HSAs for retirement savings don't tap into them--they use out of pocket cash for medical expenses, instead. Used this way long term I guess it could be a hedge against medical costs after age 65.

                Comment


                  #9
                  Originally posted by Like2Plan View Post
                  My sense is that the HDHP/HSA might work out well if you start it when you are young and you don't have any underlying medical issues and you can accrue a hefty account balance over the years.
                  I liked the HSA because it allowed us to pay our medical bills with pre-tax dollars. That alone made it worth it to me. We didn't accumulate much in the account because we were spending it as fast as we were putting it in, but it saved us a bunch in taxes.
                  Steve

                  * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                  * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                  * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                  Comment


                    #10
                    You saved only taxes on $6500. With our insurance we never could hit that except now for dental. But that's probably why the HDHP works with an HSA.
                    LivingAlmostLarge Blog

                    Comment


                      #11
                      Originally posted by LivingAlmostLarge View Post
                      You saved only taxes on $6500. With our insurance we never could hit that except now for dental. But that's probably why the HDHP works with an HSA.
                      My daughter sees a specialist who didn't take our insurance so we were paying out of pocket. We blew threw $6,500 in a year easily.
                      Steve

                      * Despite the high cost of living, it remains very popular.
                      * Why should I pay for my daughter's education when she already knows everything?
                      * There are no shortcuts to anywhere worth going.

                      Comment

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