High Deductible Health Plans In Pennsylvania

Pennsylvania High Deductible Health Plans are an affordable medical option that can reduce your premiums, help you take advantage of tax deductions and provide greater control over your health care.   Typically, these plans will save you approximately 25%-45% in premiums, when compared to more popular copay options. And each year, more consumers purchase them.

Although all off of the recent changes (PPACA aka Obamacare) have created guaranteed benefits (with federal tax subsidies), prices will be increasing (sometimes substantially) for many consumers, especially those that earn middle and upper-level incomes. It is this group that can be most aided by the HDHP and HSA. In 2014, the maximum out-of-pocket limits are $6,350 for single plans and $12,700 for families.

Many employers are also switching to this concept in 2014. Although  over-the-counter drugs are no longer deductible and the penalty for early withdraw has increased to 20% (from 10%), this type of plan is often a big money-saver for corporations. FedEx, with more than 400,000 workers, will be converting to an HSA-style system in 2014. Workers will be given a “credit” to deposit into their account while additional funds can be payroll-deducted. The combination of incentives and rewards, over time,  should become very popular with workers.

We’ll show you which policies are the most competitive in your area, and how to easily apply for coverage. You’ll be able to quickly compare the best HDHP policies. And when Exchanges are open for business in late 2014, we’ll make it easy for you to apply, since they will be one of the most cost-effective choices you will have. Not all carriers will participate in the Exchanges, so it will be important to verify your physicians are a participating network provider.

What is an “HDHP?”

Utilized with a Health Savings Account (HSA), it is an alternative to your traditional medical insurance.  Created in 2003, it is a savings policy that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their  expenses. Pennsylvania HSAs permit you to pay for current  expenses and also accumulate money on a tax-free basis. Qualified medical, dental and vision expenses are all eligible. Do you need new glasses? Or is it time for your six-month dental checkup? You can pay for these expenses with money from your account.

These types of policies will be very popular through the Pa State Marketplace thanks to IRS 2013-57 which states that HSA qualifications have been met (under IRC Section 223 (c) (2) despite preventive benefits covered at 100%. Previously, it was feared that since routine annual physicals (and other benefits) were covered in full, the tax deduction would be lost. This, thankfully, did not occur.

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An HDHP Is One Of The Cheapest Medical Plans In Pa.

Often, you are issued a debit card to assist in the record keeping process. You can view statements online or receive a monthly statement in the mail. It becomes very simple to manage your account. And the healthier you are, the more your personal fund grows.

If you are self-employed, it’s a great way to handle your medical benefits. We have more information for the self-employed and small business owners. Depending on how you file your taxes, you may also be able to deduct the premiums for the actual policy (in addition to contributions).

You must have a “High Deductible Health Plan” (HDHP) to take advantage of an HSA. An HDHP costs less than a typical  policy. Ideally, the money you save on insurance can then be deposited into your account. As you manage the money in your HSA, you decide the type of investments you make into the account.

At the end of the year, you do not forfeit any of your funds that were not used. You are not under an obligation to set up the account or make any deposits into the account. In fact, there are many single and married persons that wait years before they make any deposits. Often, it is just prior to having a family and utilizing maternity coverage.

Actually, the high deductible portion is sometimes referred to as a “catastrophic” plan. Normally, this type of coverage does not cover the first several thousand dollars of  medical expenses (often known as “the deductible”). However, after the deductible, coverage is often 80%-100%…depending on the policy.

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Negotiate Lower Costs With An HSA

All Pennsylvania HSAs have “first dollar” coverage for preventative benefits and higher out-of-pocket expenses for non-network expenses. And a negotiated-network discount will reduce your expenses that are subject to the deductible. The savings is often hundreds or thousands of dollars on typical procedures. For example, a CT-Scan may originally be billed at the retail price of $950, and later repriced at $400. Or, a more complex scan might be repriced from $2,600 to $1,700. Those are big differences.

Normally, deductibles of $3,000-$6,000 are the most popular. However, there are a few carriers that offer deductible options as high as $8,000 or $11,000. Since you typically do not meet the deductible, many persons choose to pay the lowest available price by raising the deductible.

What is the cost of a policy?

Technically, an HSA is not a policy you buy. It is a savings account that allows you to deposit money on a tax-deferred basis. When you have coverage,  the only policy you purchase is the HDHP, which is an inexpensive plan that covers your medical expenses if they exceed the funds you have.

Monthly premiums  will vary, depending on the insurer. In some areas, a policy from Aetna may be the best option. Yet, in other areas, UnitedHealthCare, or another company such as Keystone may be the better choice. Highmark in Western Pennsylvania and Independence Blue Cross in Southeastern Pennsylvania offer very competitive rates. Geisinger is a great option in the Harrisburg area.

What is the best way to purchase coverage?

You can obtain free quotes (the quote section is near the top of the page) or if you would like to talk to a live person, simply call us at (888) 513 6446. We’ll review the options that are best for you and email you the specifics in writing.

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Posted on: 4 Comments

4 Responses

  1. tani says:

    Your blog provides a fresh look at the subject. High Deducible are the way to go, I think. I still have a few questions on the family deductible, although I think you answered them in an email. I’ll be in contact with you.

  2. Henry says:

    Thanks for the information. I need coverage in April and am leaning towards the Golden Rule plan. I assume rates will not increase too much by that time. I’m most interested in keeping premiums below $300.

  3. Suzie says:

    Looks like the Aetna HSA is for me. I need a big Network since I travel to the West quite a bit. I’ll email you later to see how we apply. You said no physicals although if needed, I can get one.

  4. Mike Kammer says:

    HSA plans seem to be the best way to go. I have a group plan that ends in a few weeks and it’s very similar like an HSA anyhow.

    I assume the preventive expenses are covered with no out of pocket.