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Old Feb 9, 2013, 09:53 AM   #26
citizenzen
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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
I disagree with the first statement. Healthcare should be a top priority for all families. Putting money aside for that should rank right up there with putting money aside for the mortgage, food, water, and keeping the lights on.
If this plan made any sense, then why would it be extended to other areas as well?

Why not have a car accident savings fund?

A mortality (life insurance) savings fund?

A home fire, flood and accident savings fund?

Insurance works by spreading risk across a large population. A personal nest egg does the exact opposite, putting all the risk on one person or family. That plan is guaranteed to be financially catastrophic to a number of people on it.

Why would you promote a plan that guarantees catastrophe?
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 11:09 AM   #27
samiwas
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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
So the family putting back $2k a year would be out of pocket for $100 on a trip to the ER (going by my co-pay in this example, so obviously this number will vary a bit) plus whatever co-pays come up for any follow up prescriptions.
What awesome plan do you have where an ER visit costs you $100?

My wife was sent to the ER by her OB a few days after giving birth due to a fluid buildup. She sat there most of the day, was seen by a few people and a few tests and prescribed some pills. No actual procedures. Our out-of-pocket cost, with full insurance, was almost $1200.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 11:34 AM   #28
yg17
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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
I disagree with the first statement. Healthcare should be a top priority for all families. Putting money aside for that should rank right up there with putting money aside for the mortgage, food, water, and keeping the lights on.

As far as how far your money would go under the scenario mentioned, I'm not sure we're both on the same page as to what the doctor was getting at. Currently to have a HSA you also have to carry a high deductible insurance plan, so that you're limited each year in what your OOP expenses will be. My impression of what the doctor was proposing is that you make everyone eligible for the tax free savings account without requiring the high deductible plan. So if you had your health savings account to go along with your co-pay plan, be it a PPO or HMO, you could pay all of your co-pays and other expenses out of your health savings account. So the family putting back $2k a year would be out of pocket for $100 on a trip to the ER (going by my co-pay in this example, so obviously this number will vary a bit) plus whatever co-pays come up for any follow up prescriptions.
The family who has insurance that has a $100 copay for a trip to the ER isn't who I'm concerned with. $100 is not a lot of money, and if they're at a job that offers good insurance like that, they can probably afford the $100.

The idea of an HSA for everyone does nothing to help people who don't have insurance. Even if they manage to put $2k a year into an HSA (and if they don't have insurance, they're probably not in a job that allows them to contribute $2,000 a year and need every dime they can get), that is not going to cover a trip to the ER if they don't have any insurance.

----------

Quote:
Originally Posted by samiwas View Post
What awesome plan do you have where an ER visit costs you $100?

My wife was sent to the ER by her OB a few days after giving birth due to a fluid buildup. She sat there most of the day, was seen by a few people and a few tests and prescribed some pills. No actual procedures. Our out-of-pocket cost, with full insurance, was almost $1200.
Up until this year, I had insurance with a low ER co-pay. Somewhere around $100, but thankfully I never had to use it to see if I'd really get out of there with only $100 OOP costs.

My employer switched to a high deductible plan with an HSA this year, and the insurance company doesn't pay a penny until I reach the deductible which is around $1300. Last year, if I got sick and went to the doctor, $25 co-pay and that was it. Now, I have to pay for the whole thing. So basically I'm going to have to be knocking on death's door before I go to a doctor. I have an insurance plan that discourages me from getting the care I need when I get sick. America, **** yeah!

My employer doesn't contribute squat to my HSA. I do pre-tax deductions out of my paycheck, but even with the tax savings, it would still cost me a lot more out of pocket than my previous plan.
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 11:47 AM   #29
samiwas
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Originally Posted by yg17 View Post
My employer switched to a high deductible plan with an HSA this year, and the insurance company doesn't pay a penny until I reach the deductible which is around $1300.

My employer doesn't contribute squat to my HSA.
inb4...just go get another employer!1!11!
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Old Feb 9, 2013, 11:00 PM   #30
Macky-Mac
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Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
Unless I was misunderstanding him, we'd still have the same insurance system in place for people to get, only instead of paying the co-pay out of your pocket you'd pull the money out of this health savings account.
As you say, we'd still have the same insurance system in place, so this doesn't really qualify as an "Obamacare alternative" since it doesn't address the issue of basic healthcare for those without insurance in the first place.

Even as a savings aid for co-pays, an HSA is problematic because there are penalties for withdrawals other than qualified medical charges. Many a family needs their emergency savings to be flexible in a way that an HSA simply isn't.

And of course families need to save for non-emercency needs too......college education for the kids, home purchases, retirement, etc........how many families can really afford to have a large chunk of their savings tied up in HSA that they can't use for other things without paying a significant penalty? Maybe that's part of the reason why HSAs haven't proven to be particularly popular?
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Old Feb 10, 2013, 01:08 AM   #31
malman89
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Originally Posted by AhmedFaisal View Post
Dude, that's a sprained ankle... read 1. Maybe a bit of change for cold medication....
Quote:
Originally Posted by ugahairydawgs View Post
Maybe I'm missing something. Where are you getting charged $2k for a sprained ankle?
I was uninsured for a while during my senior year of college (parent job issues at the time and I was dropped mid-year) and thought I broke my ankle, but was a severe sprain. It was about $870 with an ER visit, x-ray, and for some tech to stare at them. Naturally I skipped the advised check in/potential physical therapy.

So just a bit off, heh. If I waited for urgent care, I guess it would've probably been a couple hundred less.
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