Even though medical costs are rising and there is no perfect health insurance policy to ease the pain, you can still save money on health care by following these 5 simple steps.
Know what your health insurance plan covers
Shop around for medical prescriptions
Double check your bills and negotiate big ones
Use a flexible spending account
Prevent, Prevent, Prevent!
The last thing on the mind of a young, healthy 20 or 30-something is health insurance. Deemed the “young invincibles”, young adults who have no serious or ongoing medical concerns often try to justify not paying for health insurance.
It might seem like a waste of money to pay a monthly insurance premium when you only visit the doctor 1-2 times a year for a head cold or stomach bug. However, most people don’t realize the risk they are taking by not carrying a health insurance policy.
Here is why you should purchase health insurance coverage even if you are a young, healthy adult:
1. It’s the Law
With new Affordable Care Act, otherwise known as Obamacare, everyone is now required by law to carry health insurance. If you choose not to, you will be penalized and required to pay fines when you file your annual income tax. In 2015, the fine is $325/adult and $162.50 for each child or 2% of your family’s yearly taxable income. In 2016, these fines double.
2. It’s Financially Smart
There are countless stories of young adults who do not have health insurance being financially devastated by one little injury or illness. It doesn’t take much to rack up the costs. For example, a ride in an ambulance can cost up to $3,000, a single night in the hospital might be near $10,000, and an MRI up to $4,000. Even a quick trip to a doc-in-the-box can be upwards of $100. Not to mention the doctors fees, medicine, and income you’ll miss from not being at work.
3. No One is Invincible
At some point, everyone needs health insurance. Whether it’s the flu, a sprained ankle, or something more serious, health insurance can go a long way to cover some hefty bills.
If you have no significant, ongoing medical concerns, then it’s easy to feel invincible and justify not carrying a health insurance policy. But the truth is that life is unpredictable. You might be healthy and strong one day and bed-ridden the next.
In summary, don’t ever, ever, ever take the risk of not carrying health insurance.
As frustrating as it is to pay a monthly premium when you are young and healthy, it is financially, emotionally, and legally well worth it in the long run.
There are plenty of affordable health insurance plans available if you know where to look. Let us know if you need any guidance on a health insurance plan that’s right for you. We’ve helped countless young adults purchase low cost health insurance policies.
Do you own or work for a small business?
Then you probably know that there have been significant changes as a result of the new Health Care Reform.
Depending on the size of the business, the requirements and benefits change.
Small businesses with less than 25 full-time employees have the advantage of receiving tax credits to help pay for employee premiums. Additionally, they will be able to offer their employees a range of plans from different insurers like larger companies do, while still receiving a single bill and writing a single check.
Businesses with fewer than 50 full-time employees are exempt from penalties and might also qualify for employer health care tax credits. However, they are encouraged to closely monitor their workforce so they don’t breach the threshold of 50 full-time employees and acquire steep penalties.
Larger companies, businesses with more than 50 full-time employees, will see the brunt of the changes the Affordable Care Act has brought. As of Jan. 2016, all companies with 50 or more full-time employees will be required to make some potentially costly adjustments.
Many large companies are struggling to comply with the regulations because they don’t have the personnel or budget to fulfill requirements. They are cutting employee hours, reducing hiring, or passing costs onto consumers or shareholders to meet the new regulations.
The first mandate is that they must track worker’s hours and absences. They will also be required to report to the IRS on the employee health care offered or not offered and how much they spend on health insurance. With this increased amount of record keeping and reporting, small businesses might have to hire more employees or spend more on human resource providers.
Secondly, companies with 50 or more full-time employees and will be required to offer employee health care coverage to their employees, or pay a penalty.
Lastly, these larger companies, as well as higher income employees, might be affected by some new taxes.
While we can speculate how the Affordable Care Act will affect small and large businesses alike, the only way to be sure of these changes and their affects is to let it play out.
Because the new Health Care Reform can be complicated, if you own a small business it would be worth your time to seek the advice of an insurance agent in order to make sure you are in compliance.
Don’t hesitate to contact us if you have any questions or concerns regarding the new Health Care Laws or your small business!
We’ll be sharing our perspective on insurance news, whether breaking down the Affordable Care Act (Obamacare) into bite-sized pieces, or keeping up with how small business laws are doing in Texas.
Keep an eye here for new posts!