Innovative Employee Benefits Planning for Oregon & Washington Healthcare Insurance
Throughout contemporary history the employer and the employee have fought to have health care options that benefited each group. Usually whatever the possible gain, it was not or did not seem mutually beneficial for one party or the other. Fortunately in the last several decades, particularly the last decade, there have been some innovations in employer-employee health care options.
Health Savings Accounts and Self-Funded Insurance Options
Whether your interested in HSAs or self-funding insurance options, or a combination of the two, there are certainly some interesting and innovative benefit options available to explore. Let us help guide you for all your Oregon and Washington health insurance questions!
The skinny on HSAs
A health savings account, referred to as an HSA, is a tax-preferred medical savings account that is available to taxpaying Americans with high deductible health insurance plans. HSA plans receive tax-favored treatment on funds saved for medical expenses. In 2014, the qualifying annual deductible for individuals must be at a minimum $1,250. The individual's out-of-pocket expenses must not exceed $6,350. The annual deductible for a family must be at least $2,500 and their out of pocket expenses cannot exceed $12,700. Once these and other eligibility requirements are met, the search for an HSA administrator can begin. Employees tend to choose an administrator that provides them with excellent, easily accessible live one-on-one customer service. They want conveniences like debit cards for their accounts and uncomplicated methods to understand their HSA and its functions. Employees can deposit funds into their HSA and those funds are not subject to federal income tax. Sometimes these deposited funds collect interest depending on the type of HSA. The funds that are not used in these accounts roll-over yearly. HSA plans are intended to promote preventative care. We all know that preventative care is always less costly than emergency care. However, funds can be withdrawn from these accounts for health care costs ranging from regular doctors visits to unexpected hospital visits. Upon reaching 65 years old, those retired from the work force can withdraw from their HSA for nonmedical expenses without incurring penalties, which makes the HSA an ipso facto retirement fund as well. Another final perk of an HSA is that family and employers of the account holder can both contribute funds on the employees’ behalf.
Employers and Employees want Self-Funded
Employers nowadays tend to look for health care options that benefit the company but also retain and attract employees. The popular option for employers to do this is investing in self-funded health insurance plans. Employers pay their own claims in a self-funded health insurance plan. With the help of a third party administrator, the employer is able to have a more tailored healthcare package for their employees. The employer no longer has to lose an excess of capital in unresolved outside insurance company claims, which allows them to use the funds more wisely for the benefit of the company and their employee health care needs. The company is also protected by stop loss insurance which they purchase when self-funding to cover any unexpected excess in claim expenses. In a way, self-funding has cut out a middleman between necessary health care coverage based on the needs of the work force and costs to provide that health care from employers. There are even Self-funded HSA options available for employers and employees. Self-funding seems to save money across the board and especially for employers.