Wednesday, October 18, 2006

About Your Health Insurance

I am seriously thinking about changing my health insurance from Guidestone's Health Choice 1000 plan to their Health Saver 2600 plan and opening a Health Savings Account.

My premiums would decrease by $2,088 annually—an amount that I would ask my church to contribute to my HSA. I would also hope to contribute to my account up to the maximum contribution ($5,200). By my calculations, there are a few scenarios in which this plan could wind up costing me more money in any given year than what I'm paying now. On every year that I've had since I've been in the ministry, however, I would wind up saving boatloads of money. And whatever money I don't spend out of my HSA I can keep from year to year, accruing it indefinitely. It is my money. I can leave it to my heirs. I can spend it at any time on health-related expenses without paying taxes on it—it is tax-free both going in and coming out.

This is a great deal for retirement. Let's face it, we're all going to have some health expenses in retirement. All of that money you're socking away in your 401k or 403b? You're going to have to pay taxes on it as regular income when you withdraw it to pay your medical bills. We all probably ought to have a significant amount of retirement money in an HSA if we can manage to do so, just to decrease our post-retirement tax liability.

I'm seriously looking at this. I'm 99% sure I'm going to do this. I cannot advise you as to what is best for your family, but I recommend that you look at a Health Savings Account, and talk to a financial planner or someone else who can give you good advice about this.

Thanks, President Bush, for making this available!

Oh, by the way, I'm going on vacation tomorrow and will be out until October 30. I may try to log on occasionally and approve your comments, but I'm not going to comment myself (it wouldn't be a vacation...) :-)

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