I try to stay out of politics and policy here, but I just couldn't pass on this one.
I'm in relatively good health and CaseySoftware is nowhere near the place of having a health plan, so I'm in a bit of a dilemma. Do I attempt to go without health insurance and be one of those 40 million Americans or do I pay through the nose for a plan with reasonable coverage?
The answer: Neither.
For those of you who are in relatively good health, have you ever considered a Health Savings Account? When that Prescription Drug boondogle when through Congress last year, Health Savings Accounts managed to sneak through also.
After hearing about this on a radio show last week, I looked into it. Essentially the plan was to get catastrophic insurance and put away money into an emergency fund. This is exactly the foundation of a HSA, except that it's pre-tax and can follow you for the rest of your life. It's not a “Flex Spending Accounts” that disappears at the end of each year. It's still your money and it follows you from employer to employer.
Imagine that, instead of paying $220/month to a faceless insurance company – I was doing this 18 months ago, I'll pay $40/month for coverage and put the balance into a HSA. Once I have enough to cover the double the deductible ($5000), I'll probably decrease our contribution. And it's all pre-tax funds.
Once CaseySoftware begins to offer benefits, it may go this route. We'll give the option: a) standard health insurance that ends when you leave or b) catostrophic coverage and a bank account for health care that will follow you. For those who are young and/or don't have kids, it's a pretty easy decision in my book.