Health Savings Accounts

In 2003, Congress created a help for medical and dental bills that is a tremendous tax savings, but five years later, very few people know about them.  A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a special tax-free savings account that is available to people who purchase high-deductible insurance plans.  To qualify, your insurance plan must have a deductible of $1,000.

With a Health Savings Account plan, you’ll save significant amounts of money annually on taxes, health insurance premiums and retirement savings all at the same time.  All of this can be accomplished without decreasing your real insurance protection or choices of doctors & specialists.   High deductible medical insurance plans are offered by almost all major carriers, and their monthly insurance premiums are usually less than one-half of standard plans.  They begin offering benefits once the $1,000 deductible is met.  The coverage of the plans vary, but they all have catastrophic care.

By placing the money that you save on insurance premiums in the HSA, you save to meet your deductible, and if your medical expenses for the year aren’t enough to meet the deductible, the money stays in your account – to cover medical expenses you want.  Like an IRA, the money can rollover at year end and earn tax-free interest.

In 2009, an individual will be able to contribute up to $3,000 per year tax-free to their Health Savings Account, and a family can contribute a total of $5,950.  You can use money placed in your HSA for medical bills, dental work for your entire family, eye care and a host of other eligible medical expenses.

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Local Phone: (606) 845-CARE (2273)

Toll Free (From the 606, 859, and 937 area codes): 1-888-917-CARE (2273)

Physical Location: 303 South Main Cross, Flemingsburg, KY

Mailing address: P.O. Box 474, Flemingsburg, KY 41041

Should I Buy Dental Insurance?

Many people in our area are not covered by dental insurance.  Several times a month, we hear patients wondering if they should buy dental insurance coverage before they proceed with their dental work.  This article will help you understand how dental insurance coverage works, and in what situations it can benefit you.

We all know that insurance companies have developed a reputation for putting themselves before their customers.  In reality, the customer for a dental insurance company is the employer who purchases a group insurance plan.  With the pressures on business from the high costs of medical insurance, dental insurance plans have suffered badly for several years.  In addition, more employers are offering dental insurance to their employees only if the employee pays for all or part of the premium.  So when is dental insurance advantageous?

Dental insurance is probably an excellent help if your employer covers the premium completely.  However, unlike medical insurance, most dental insurance plans only cover a maximum of $1,000 per year.  You may find it interesting that when the first dental insurance plans were offered around 1960, the average annual benefit was … $1,000 a year.  So accounting for inflation since 1960, today’s plans over less than $150 in 1960 dollars.  For patients that come into our office with more expensive problems, I like to tell my patients to consider their dental insurance as a $1,000 off coupon, rather than dental “insurance.”

But let’s say you have to pay for part or all of your insurance premium, or your employer doesn’t offer dental insurance and you are thinking about purchasing an individual plan.  For the insurance company to make a profit, they must charge enough premiums to cover your dental work, plus administrative fees, plus their profit.  If you must pay all of the premiums on your own, this makes it unlikely you can come out ahead.  If your employer pays for part of your benefits, the dental insurance might still be beneficial, but you’ll have to do some calculations.

Take some time to calculate how much you’ll pay in benefits per year, and compare that amount to the cost of your “two free cleanings and exams.”  In addition, if you are enrolling for the first time, you may have a waiting period before major work is completed, so that you’ve paid more insurance premiums before getting to enjoy many of the benefits of the plan.

I’ll be writing soon about the benefits of Health Savings Accounts that can provide tax-deductible benefits to pay for medical and dental expenses.  In addition, don’t forget that our office offers extended payment arrangements using several outside firms, so that your dentistry can be handled affordably.

Thanks for visiting,
Have a great day!

Subscribe to WebDMD by Email

Local Phone: (606) 845-CARE (2273)

Toll Free (From the 606, 859, and 937 area codes): 1-888-917-CARE (2273)

Physical Location: 303 South Main Cross, Flemingsburg, KY

Mailing address: P.O. Box 474, Flemingsburg, KY 41041

You Will Lose Your 2008 Dental Insurance Benefits Unless . . .

If you don’t act soon you will lose your remaining 2008 dental insurance benefits!

Believe it or not, our very own patients lost over $500,000 in dental insurance benefits last year!  How could it be that honest, hard-working people could lose over half a million dollars that were meant for them?

Well, it’s actually fairly simple.  Dental benefit plans do NOT allow you to “roll over” any unused benefit dollars beyond December 31st of the current year.  For example, if you have $500 of benefits left, and you don’t use them to help pay for your dental treatment by the end of this year, you will lose $500 that you could have applied toward your dental care–just by getting it done in 2008.

It’s as if your insurance company puts a pile of money on the table for you to use in 2008, but at the end of the year, you don’t get to keep that money.  Instead, they reach over and pull all of YOUR unused money off the table and put it in THEIR bank accounts!  Sounds criminal, but it’s legal…and true.

Many of our patients don’t realize that this is what actually happens.  Others do, but usually not until it’s too late to schedule an appointment in 2008.  Because many patients realize what’s happening too late, it can quickly become almost impossible to schedule to use all of your benefits in December.

If you have a health care flexible spending plan at work, you might also lose benefits you’ve paid for, unless you use them before year end.  Most of these plans also keep your hard earned dollars if not used by December 31st.

Rather than waiting until the last minute and losing a chance to use your benefits, we encourage you to act on this reminder today.  Call us at 606-845-2273 (or toll-free 888-917-2273) so you can schedule a time that works out well for you.

Warm regards,
Dr. Moorhead

PS:      You can also SAVE 10% off the total fee by prepaying in full for any treatment started during October and November, 2008!  We have a limited number of appointment slots remaining in October, so call 606-845-2273 today before they’re gone.

PS2:     This offer also applies for NEW PATIENTS!   We are always accepting new patients, and we greatly appreciate your referrals.  In fact, every referring patient will receive a special surprise gift!

PS3:    Win a NEW iPod Nano or iPod Shuffle!  For each referral you send who visits our office by December 20, 2008, your name will be entered multiple times in a drawing for a NEW iPod Nano, or iPod Shuffle!  Multiple prizes will be given away.  Call us if you should have any questions.

(No purchase necessary.  Receive 5 drawing entries for the first referral per patient, 10 entries for the second, 20 for the third, and 25 for each thereafter.  Referred patient must mention referrer’s name, and be present at scheduled appointment time.  Drawing will be held on December 20, 2008.  One iPod Nanos, and two iPod Shuffles will be given away.  Winners will be notified by phone on Friday, December 20, 2008.  Employees of Flemingsburg Dental Care and their relatives are not eligible.  Winners need not be present to win.)

Thanks for visiting,
Have a great day!

Local Phone: (606) 845-CARE (2273)

Toll Free (From the 606, 859, and 937 area codes): 1-888-917-CARE (2273)