A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a convenient way to store funds specifically for medical expenses. If you qualify for an HSA, you will get to enjoy a few tax advantages as well. While this might sound like an ideal setup, not everyone is eligible for a health savings account. To qualify for a health savings account, you must be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan (HDHP). The details of these plans are revised every year by the Internal Service Revenue (IRS), which sets the bar for:
Here are some of the key advantages of having a health savings account:
While there are many advantages to having a health savings account, there are a few things to consider. For one, in order to qualify for an HSA, you must hold a high-deductible health insurance plan. The tax benefits might entice you to purposely sign up for insurance coverage under one of these health plans but think before doing this. Here are some of the disadvantages to having a health savings account:
In many cases, if your employer offers high-deductible health plans, they probably offer health savings accounts as well. Talk to your employer to find out what they offer. If your employer doesnât offer HSAs, then you can sign up for a separate one through a different institution.
You get to decide how much you would like to contribute to your HSA annually, but keep in mind that you cannot exceed the HSA contribution limit. Once you are set up with an account, you will either receive a debit card or a series of checks that are linked to your HSA. Right away, you will be able to use the funds in your account for:
Generally, you cannot use HSA funds to pay your insurance premiums.Â HSAs are not the same as flexible spending accounts, because HSAs rollover. Once you turn 65, you are no longer eligible to make contributions to your account, but you can still use the available funds for eligible out-of-pocket expenses. If you use the funds for non-eligible expenses, you will owe taxes on these amounts.
Another benefit of HSA that you may or may not have heard of is that you can invest the money in mutual funds and stocks. If this is something that you are interested in, seek advice from a financial advisor for more information.
What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)? is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
Hello friends! Praise be, the election is over and I just marked my birthday over the weekend – my official holiday season milestone. Whenever the calendar passes November 8, I feel like I can finally turn 100% of my attention to all things holiday. Obviously, the holidays are going to look and feel very different than years past. Perhaps instead of the holiday season, we should start referring to the next few months as the hunker down season. Because that’s what holidays in the time of Covid are going to require of us. But I’m not entirely mad about the idea of holing up at home. I’ll take a very valid excuse to look for ways to make my home as cozy, comforting, and beautiful as possible.
Enter the new rug collection from Beni Rugs, designed by my style soul twin, Colin King.
Called the Shape of Color, this new rug collection offers eleven Moroccan style rugs. Each rug features shocks of color inspired by Tangier and Marrakech. The hues are deeply saturated in simple geometric shapes or big bold stripes.
While I typically eschew color, rugs are a wonderful spot to inject something fresh into a room. I used a bold colored rug in my own living room. The particularly nice thing about a rug – it’s an easy way to reenergize a space without really having to change anything else.
There are a few secrets to picking out a rug. First, you want to think about size. A common mistake is getting a rug that is too small. You want all (or nearly all) your furniture in a space to sit on your rug. That helps a room feel anchored and like everything is working together. A too-small rug will actually make a small space feel even smaller!
Next, you want to think about foot traffic. If you’re looking to put a rug in a high foot traffic area, you’ll want to ensure any rug you select will withstand an onslaught of dirt and use.
Finally, when adding a colorful rug to your space you don’t need to “match your decor. You just want to keep everything in the same design family. Do you decorate with mostly warm colors or cooler tones? That will help you pick your colors.
If you’re looking to upgrade the coziness of your home before the holidays hit, I definitely think one of these rugs would be a great way to do it. I’m already debating which one I might add to our house. I do have a home office refresh in the works! If I pick out one of these rugs – I’ll be sure to share.
How are you planning on sprucing up your spaces for the holidays?
images c/o beni rugs
The post A Cozy New Rug Collection appeared first on Apartment34.
Losing your job is stressful. Losing your health insurance on top of that is even worse. And whether you have health concerns now or want to safeguard yourself and family for the future, you might be worried about how to cover medical expenses if you’re out of work. Find out what to do when you lose your health insurance because you lost your job.
COBRA is a health insurance continuation option that many employers offer. It allows you to voluntarily extend the health coverage you have under your former employer’s plan. If you qualify for COBRA, you must be given the option to extend your coverage up to 18 or 36 months, depending on what event qualified you for COBRA.
However, your employer does not have to continue
contributing to cover the premiums of this plan as they did when you were
employed. If they elect to not offer contributions to the premium, COBRA
coverage can be fairly expensive.
Job loss that causes you to lose employer-sponsored or provided health insurance counts as a qualifying event. That means you’re eligible for a special enrollment period.
Normally, you can only sign up for insurance plans through
the health care marketplaces during open enrollment periods, which typically run
from November to January. Exact dates for enrollment depend on the state.
Special enrollment periods occur for people who have a
qualifying event, such as a change in marriage status, a death in the family or
job loss. You qualify for this special period whether you were fired, laid off
or quit your job.
You must apply within 60 days of losing your insurance coverage. If your employee gives you notice and you know you’ll be losing your insurance, you can apply proactively up to 60 days before that happens.
Short-term insurance policies are meant to bridge the gap when you’re between jobs. Not all states allow for short-term insuranceâeleven states currently prohibit their sale. But, depending on your state, short-term insurance could cover you for up to 364 days. These aren’t qualified plans under the ACA, which means they don’t offer all the benefits that the ACA requires by law. Typically, these are major medical plans meant to help cover the costs of a catastrophic illness or accident and not routine health care.
sure you understand what benefits are included and how the plan works if you
opt for short-term coverage.
If you have lost your job, that probably means your income has been reduced. That could mean that you’re eligible for Medicaid or the Childrenâs Health Insurance Program (CHIP). The income requirements vary by state, but you can find out more about eligibility from the Department of Health and Human Services.
can apply for Medicaid and CHIP at any time, but remember that you can lose
your Medicaid benefits if your income changes. Have a plan in place to budget
for health insurance if you get a job that doesn’t offer benefits or has a
waiting period before benefits start.
You can choose to go without health insurance until you find another job or until open enrollment happens again. This can be a risky move because a health emergency or accident could lead to mounting medical expenses that leave you in serious debt.
But if you’re healthy and think there’s a good chance you’ll get a new job with coverage soon, you might decide to take the gamble. If you do, it’s a good idea to set aside some money in savings to help cover the cost of doctor’s visits or other necessary medical care should the need arise. For example, during COVD-19, you might use your stimulus check for this purpose.
Losing your job and your health insurance is scary, but youâre not alone. Credit.com has resources to help you through. Check out our additional resources belowâand if you need more help, you can reach out to firstname.lastname@example.org for help from Credit Tips with Tiff.
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Having health insurance makes it possible to receive medical care while only paying a fraction of that careâs true cost. Insurance doesnât cover everything, however. Some of the cost of your care is still up to you to pay, and that cost comes in two primary forms: copays and coinsurance.
What Is a Copay?
A copay is a flat amount of money that youâre responsible for paying for a health care service. Copays typically apply for things like a doctorâs appointment, prescription drug or medical test. The amount of your copay is dependent on your specific health insurance plan.
You can typically expect to pay your copay when you check in for your service, be it an annual physical, dental cleaning or blood test. Copays are typically lower amounts ranging from $10 for something like a generic drug prescription to around $65 for a visit to a medical specialist.
Depending on your insurance plan, copays may not take effect until after you reach your deductible. Your deductible is the amount of money you must pay out-of-pocket before your insurance provider starts to pitch in. Deductibles reset at the beginning of every year.
When you are reviewing your plan information and you see the phrase âafter deductibleâ or âdeductible appliesâ in reference to your copays, thatâs an indication that the copay is only in place once you meet your deductible. On the other hand, if you see âdeductible waived,â thatâs a sign that your copay is in place from the beginning. It may go without saying, but the latter situation is vastly preferable to you.
What Is Coinsurance?
Coinsurance is another method of splitting the cost of medical coverage with your insurance plan. A coinsurance is a percentage of the cost of services. You pay the percentage, and your insurance company foots the rest of the bill. So, if you have a $8,000 medical bill and a 20% coinsurance, you would be on the hook for $1,600.
Coinsurance typically only comes into play after you hit your deductible. Further, you may have differing coinsurance percentages for the same services depending on your provider network. If you have a preferred provider organization (PPO) plan, your coinsurance could be a higher percentage for providers outside your network than it is for providers in your network.
Similarly, your coinsurance may not apply to providers outside your network if you have a health maintenance organization (HMO) plan or an exclusive provider organization (EPO) plan. Thatâs because these plans typically donât provide any out-of-network coverage.
Copay vs. Coinsurance
Copay and coinsurance are very similar terms. They both have to do with portions of the cost of your health care thatâs under your responsibility. Because of that, and their similar names, itâs easy to confuse the two. There are a couple of important distinctions to keep in mind, however.
The most notable difference between copays and coinsurance is that copays are always a flat amount and coinsurance is always a percentage of the cost of the service. Another difference is that some copays can be in place before you hit your deductible, depending on the specifics of your plan. With coinsurance, you have to hit your deductible first.
If youâre choosing between health insurance plans, make sure to examine the provided copays and coinsurance for each option. While they may not be the most important factor to consider, a high copay can be quite a pain, especially over the course of years of appointments and procedures.
Tips for Staying on Top of Medical Expenses
Photo Credit: Â©iStock.com/DuxX, Â©iStock.com/SARINYAPINNGAM, Â©iStock.com/Aja Koska
The post A Guide to Coinsurance and Copays appeared first on SmartAsset Blog.
Whether you are acquiring it through your employer or on your own, shopping for health insurance coverage is a task that many adults will be faced with at some point. Health coverage is not a one-size-fits all amenity, and it comes in many forms such as Point of Service (POS), Health Maintenance Organizations (HMOs), Preferred Provider Organizations (PPOs) and more.
Buying health insurance is a big commitment, so do the research and look over all your options before making any hasty decisions. Technical information about different health insurance policies can be overwhelming, which is why seeking the help of a licensed insurance agent or a health insurance broker might be your best bet. In the following sections we will discuss ways you can prepare to meet with a health insurance agent as well as what questions to ask.
Health insurance exists to protect us financially when we get sick or injured, which is why itâs so important for you to look at plans that fit the unique needs of you and your family. Whether you are an employer shopping for insurance plans for your employees, or just an individual browsing your options, choosing a caring agent who takes their job seriously is key to finding the right plan. To start, you will want to work with an insurance agent who is experienced, knowledgeable and trustworthy.
Finding the right agent to work with isnât the only important piece of the puzzle, youâll also want to do your part as well. Coming prepared to the appointment will help things run more smoothly and will ensure that you to ask the right questions.
Before meeting with the insurance agent, make sure that you:
Before meeting with a licensed insurance agent, you should write down a list of questions that you want to have answered during your appointment. Here are some questions you should be asking your agent about your insurance before buying:
What happens during an emergency? When going to see a doctor for a normal visit, you have time to plan and make sure that the doctor is in-network. However, during an emergency, we may not have the same luxury. Itâs possible that in a case where you need dire medical attention, the closest health care provider may not be in-network. You should ask about your prospective companyâs policy on emergencies and what the standard routine consists of.
Questions to Ask When Shopping for Health Insurance is a post from Pocket Your Dollars.
Hi friends. So sorry to go completely MIA on you. Between attempting online school with a five-year-old, much of California burning to the ground, and the general state total chaos in which we find ourselves, getting to the computer for any length of time has been a bit of challenge, to put it mildly. And then I blinked and summer is officially over.
But I had to finally get on here as I have big news for you!
They say you shouldn’t make major life decisions during times of extreme stress, right? Well, we decided to throw all caution to the wind and instead have purchased a coastal cottage in Washington State! Apparently a global pandemic, homeschooling a kindergartner and the most consequential presidential election of our lifetime wasn’t enough to keep me busy.
In all seriousness, if the past seven months of Covid have taught us anything, it’s the importance of friends and family and so we decided to create a gathering place that can bring together those we love most for years to come. Nestled within the myriad of inlets and islands that dot the Puget Sound north of Seattle, the cottage enjoys sweeping views of the Olympic mountains and Hood Canal. I consider it my official respite from the impending doom. Sadly it looks nothing like the inspiration images I’ve collected here.
Instead, it is going to take a LOT of work to get our little coastal cottage visitor ready – and in a very short period of time. Over the coming weeks, I plan to take you along on the entire design journey. I will be sharing everything with you – from the cottage’s current state, to all of my design inspiration and through the remodel process. If all goes according to plan, I’ll share a major before and after reveal in time to spend the holiday season with our family rather than more than 800 miles away.
Trust me, we’re going to have plenty to discuss, as I have to pick an entire household’s worth of things – from paint colors and kitchen cabinets down to dishware, bedding and everything in between. No design decision will be left unturned. It’s both exhilarating and incredibly daunting. These mood boards are just part my first ideation session for my dream vibe.
I’m hopeful sharing this process with you will offer you some fresh design ideas and positive inspiration as we all hunker down to weather what will undoubtedly be a stormy fall – be it literally or just politically. It’s been a rather dark year and I feel like this might be a way to share a little bit of light. I know I am very happy for the creative distraction. I hope you are too.
I can’t wait to share more very soon!
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