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Do Health Savings Account Plans Work Question & Answers

2015 December 11
by Sarah Fields

Jenny asks…

Can I claim myself as a dependent on my taxes and still receive my mother’s health insurance?

I am a 20 year old full-time college student. I live away from home in an apartment and pay for my groceries, car insurance, and all other bills. Since I receive little financial support from my parents I would like to claim myself, but will not do so if it will affect my health insurance which is under my mom’s plan.

Sarah Fields answers:

If you meet the criteria to claim yourself, yes, you can still be on the insurance due to a law change last year.

However, do NOT assume you are NOT a dependent until you run the numbers on the support test in IRS pub 501.

As a college student, you are considered to be temporarily away from home. The cost of BOTH the apartment and living at home are part of your support. Yeah, yeah, I pay for my groceries,etc, but those are tiny bills compared to tuition and rent.

And, if you think you will file yourself *and* get the $1000 American Opportunity Credit, you’d have to show that you not only supported yourself, but that you had wages to cover that 51%. If you have loans to pay for tuition (or used college savings accounts), you can’t get it.

Helen asks…

What are the best/ cheapest private health insurance providers in wisconsin?

23 yr old male, good health
medical, dental, and vision plans?
Thanks!

Sarah Fields answers:

Best / Cheapest are opposing goals. When you are paying the premiums you want the cheapest plan you can get. But if your health falters you want the finest coverage money can buy. As everything else in life you can’t have both simultaneousy.

Ultimately, you are the one who determines the affordability of your health insurance plan by deciding how much you will participate in sharing the cost of your health care with your insurance company.

If you choose a plan that covers everything i.e. Doctors office visits, prescription drugs, preventative health benefits, optional dental and vision plans as well as low deductibles and low copays your monthly premiums will be significant.

On the other hand because you are young and healthy and presumably rarely use the health care system you could consider a plan that covers only the major health catastrophe which will result in a relatively low monthly premium. You then can use the monthly premium savings to pay for the occasional doctor visit and still come out ahead.

You need a trusted adviser to help you through the process of purchasing health insurance so that you understand what you are purchasing. That adviser can answer questions as to what is and is not covered by the policy, explain deductibles and copays and show you the hospitals and doctors that participate in the network. Check with the agent that writes your home or auto insurance he/she can provide you a health insurance proposal that takes into account your budget and health situation.

Some may suggest going on line to get a quote but you probably already know that there is much more to health insurance than price. Even worse, some will “pitch” a discount plan that is not even. Use the Internet to educate yourself but use an agent to purchase the coverage.

Steven asks…

What options are out there for me if I dont work for a company that gives healthcare benefits?

I have a decently paying job as a bartender at a neighborhood bar but im wondering what I can do about health insurance since I dont have any benefits? I pretty much doctor myself so I really just need something for emergency situations incase I ever get into an accident or something.

Sarah Fields answers:

You need a trusted adviser to help you through the process of purchasing health insurance so that you understand what you are purchasing. Ultimately, you are the one who determines the affordability of your health insurance plan by deciding how much you will participate in sharing the cost of your health care with your insurance company.

If you choose a plan that covers everything i.e. Doctors office visits, prescription drugs, preventative health benefits, maternity coverage as well as low deductibles, low copays and optional vision and dental benefits your monthly premiums will be significant.

On the other hand if you are young, healthy and use the health care system rarely you could consider a plan that covers only the major health catastrophe which will result in a relatively low monthly premium. You then can use the monthly premium savings to pay for the occasional doctor visit and still come out ahead.

Check with the agent that writes your home or auto insurance he/she can provide you a health insurance proposal that takes into account your budget and health status. They can answer questions as to what is and is not covered by the policy, explain deductibles and copays and show you the hospitals and doctors that participate in the network.

Some are going to suggest you go to their site so that they earn a few pennies on a “click through”. Some may suggest going on line to get a quote but you probably already know that there is much more to health insurance than price. Some might even “pitch” a discount plan that is not insurance at all. Use the Internet to educate yourself but use an agent to purchase the coverage.

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