Florida Health Insurance
Low-Cost Insurance Plans
Health Insurance and Taxes
Who needs universal healthcare? The United States has long needed a debate over health care and taxes. Will President Bush?s offer to make health insurance a more viable option for individuals in America work?
With all of the moaning and groaning in America we still have the most advanced health care in the world. This is partly due to the fact that we still have a private market for insurance. Although the current tax programs available are pretty good by no means are they perfect. One of the current problems is that current tax policy lets corporations get bigger tax breaks than individuals. We need to close this gap in the years upcoming. Are corporations the entities that need these tax breaks? Or is it the small business owner that falls into the tax bracket labeled ?middle class??
This new "standard deduction" for health care by the president would at least be a progressive thought in the right direction of solving the problem. With the current laws giving employers the unlimited deduction and the little guy none, we will now give every family a $15,000 deduction ($7,500 for individuals) regardless of their insurance source.
Will wee see a slight tax increase for those who currently have the most expensive insurance plans? You could probably answer that question with a yes, but those are the people who can afford to do so. The national average of an employer-sponsored family plan runs about at about $11,300 annually. Nearly 75% of the 159 million employer insured Americans would benefits.
Who would be the big winners? Those that plan on buying their own insurance policy would save the most. This will not solve the problem for low-income earners, but because the tax deduction would apply on payroll and income taxes they will get a double savings. A good example would be family making $60,000 would have a tax savings of $4,500. Another would be a persona making $40,000 could buy high deductible plan (HDHP) $1,000 annually and get the $2,250 actual tax break. New private insurance products will be on the rise to accommodate for this new tax code.
Individuals who buy their own health insurance now struggle because there are so few of them and they can buy only in a single state market. That means insurers have little incentive to develop and market innovative programs. This will change if the tax treatment changes enough people to thinking that it makes more sense to have their own, portable policies than take whatever their employer offers. Keep in mind that the capitalist individuals devoted to selling health insurance as you now see selling will now roll over like your 401k or IRA.
New health insurance products will now put the policyholder in charge for spending dollars accordingly for their basic health needs. Removing the tax advantage will now give people more choices. New awareness by the participants with these tax incentive programs will get most individual out of the ?what is my copay?? mentality.
Health Rates Vary
Rates for group health insurance will vary a great deal. They will vary based on the carrier, type of plan, how old, and even by how healthy your group is. It is very important that you get a wide variety of quotes from at least three of the industries top rated insurance carriers.
The correct process in getting group rates would be to first contact a broker, fill out a form on the internet, or ask someone else you know that has a group policy for more information. Once that has been accomplished have a phone conversation with the brokerage you have found and narrow down some of your options. Upon reviewing the options that the broker has shown you from three of the top insurance carriers, (UnitedHealthCare, Aetna, BCBS of Florida), and have a face to face meeting to get accurate answers to all of your questions.
Do you know what the key to finding the right plan at the best rates is? Ask these three questions to start:
- Is this an HMO, PPO, or Fee for service plan?
- What are these companies financial rating? (A.M. Best Rating)
- How long have they been doing business in Florida?
These three questions will get you in the right direction. Once you have all of these three questions answered by your vendor be sure to understand the different components your plan provides. The basic group health plan will have options for the following?
- Hospital Deductible
- Office Visit Copay
- Emergency Room Copay
- Prescription Copay
Most of the time employees on a group health plan will generally be thinking the question, what is my copay? And really don?t look any further than that. With these types of plans on the decline be sure to understand the newer programs available to you as an employer. These will offer you a great deal when it comes to tax incentives. Section 125 in the IRS tax codes gives advantages to employers that offer Health Reimbursement Arrangements (HRA), Health Savings Accounts (HSA), and Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA).
These are the health insurance programs of the future and you should understand how each work. Although all three of these programs offer great tax advantages you can?t usually ever beat an HRA. Ask an insurance professional to explain the three programs to you and start implementing one of these financial programs today!
Group health insurance rates can vary a great deal. HMO, PPO, and Fee For Services plans all cover medical, surgical, and hospital expenses in some form. In most instances, prescription drugs are also covered. Do you have a plan that gives you options for which employees contribute an authorized payroll deduction amount? If not be sure to revisit your HRA, HSA, or FSA options.
As an employer be sure to do your homework. Group health insurance is not always comparing apples to apples. In many cases group health insurance brokerages have risk managers that can implement special financial programs that can enhance your savings and increase benefits. Over the next few years you will be changing over to one of these programs, so why wait? Get the best possible group health insurance rates through a tax incentive based financial program.