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"Being on a high deductible health plan has made me a better consumer of my health insurance. It gets me to have a dialogue with my physician as to alternative and cost-effective procedures and medication." -Mary, HDHP/HSA participant

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In This Issue
Spring will be here soon--why NOW is the time to think about flooding
Owning your health care--how consumer driven health plans put you in control
Sam's story--how an HSA saved his family money
2010 Tax Relief Act = money in your pocket?
Spring will be here soon--why NOW is the time to think about flooding
The powder you enjoyed all winter will soon begin to melt. Don't let this spring go down in memory as the year you learned the hard way that flood loss isn't covered.

 

Flooding isn't just people sitting on their rooftops waiting to be rescued. Overflow from a storm sewer into your parking lot or water seeping through your foundation can cause a significant amount of damage. Wildfire burn areas are particularly susceptible to catastrophe caused by rain. And most standard personal and commercial policies won't cover it.

 

The only way to protect your home or business from water damage from flood is to purchase separate flood insurance. And now is the time to act. The National Flood Program requires a 30-day wait before you are covered.

 

Contact Jennifer Klein or Kristin Stepien at 720-858-6280 for more information.

Owning your health care--how consumer driven health plans put you in control

Whether you are a business offering health insurance to your employees or thinking about purchasing individual coverage, a high-deductible health plan and health savings account may be the way to go.

 

HSAs were established as a tax-advantaged way to save money for future medical expenses. In order to contribute to an HSA, you must be covered by an HSA-qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP). HDHPs offer a relatively low premium for coverage. You pay "up front" for medical treatments received until you reach your deductible. Many plans cover preventive care at 100 percent and cover 100 percent of costs incurred once the deductible is reached.

 

HSAs allow you to pay for current medical expenses (including expenses that your insurance may not cover) and/or save money in your account for future needs. Many HSA accounts earn interest and you control everything from how much money you contribute to what investments to make with the HSA funds. The account is yours-meaning you keep your HSA even if you change jobs, change your medical coverage or lose your job. There are no "use it or lose it" rules for HSAs.

 

HSAs offer triple tax savings:

  • Tax deductions when you contribute to the account;
  • Tax-free earnings through investment; and
  • Tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses.

HSAs and HDHPs may be worth considering for many practices and individuals. Contact Andrea Levine at (720) 858-6287.

 

See all of COPIC Financial's health insurance options.

Sam's story--how an HSA saved his family money

Five years ago, Sam switched from his employer-offered PPO plan to their high-deductible health plan option. Although initially nervous about "owning" a greater proportion of his health care dollars, he realized that the plan made sense for his family.

 

"As a family, we're pretty healthy. The fact that we are putting the majority of our monthly health care payment into an account for the family instead of paying a premium for services that we may or may not use, well, it just seemed so much smarter," said Sam.

 

But, even in the "not-so-healthy" years, Sam is still happy to have an HSA. And 2008 proved to be Sam's "year of the doctor."

 

But they had been saving. Sam, who in the last 20 years had been to the doctor for nothing more than a routine physical, found himself a regular fixture at Presbyterian/St. Luke's.

 

"I came down with influenza, broke my ankle, and was hospitalized for three days with some kind of weird illness. All told, we received bills totaling more than $20,000."

 

But it affected his family's budget minimally. He had saved enough to cover his $4,000 deductible, which he paid with a swipe of his HSA MasterCard. 

 

"The icing on the cake? After we reached our deductible, our plan covered everything at 100%, said Sam. "So that trip to the ER later in the year to remove a peanut from a certain little one's nose...well, it was covered."

 

2010 Tax Relief Act = money in your pocket?

Many of the Bush-era tax cuts that were scheduled to sunset in 2010 have been extended to 2012.

 

This includes the extension of individual income tax rate cuts. Rather than revert back as scheduled to the rates of 15, 28, 31, 36, and 39.6 percent, the rates will remain "cut" at 10, 15, 25, 28, 33, and 35 percent until Dec. 31, 2012.

 

Additionally, higher-income earners will save more than $20 billion from the repeal of the phase out of the itemized deduction limitation and personal exemption phase out. For 2011, deductions can be itemized no matter what percentage of income they comprise.

 

Workers will pay two percent less in Social Security taxes during 2011. This applies to all individuals earning up to the taxable wage base of $106,800.

 

The maximum tax rate cap of 15 percent on qualified capital gains and dividends will continue through 2012. Without the Act, the maximum rate on capital gains would have risen to 20 percent and the rate on qualified dividends could have reached as high as 39.6 percent.

 

The Act makes estate and gift tax limits portable between couples. This means that if one spouse does not use his or her limit, the other spouse can use it. Gift-givers pay no tax on gifts of $13,000 or less ($26,000 for married couples) to any one person, with a lifetime limit of $5 million - up from $1 million last year.

 

The Act also extends the ability for people age 70 or older to exclude from gross income up to $100,000 of qualified charitable distributions.

 

To learn more, visit http://www.irs.gov and/or talk to a tax professional.
 

Contact Mike Edwards, LUTCF at (720) 858-6289 for more information.


Securities offered through Woodbury Financial Services, Inc., member FINRA, SIPC. COPIC Financial and Woodbury Financial Services, Inc. are not affiliated entities.

 

 

Even if you're not currently in the market for insurance products, we're always available to help make sure you're getting the best coverages at the best prices. Call us at 720-858-6280!
 
Sincerely,

Wendy Heckman
President, COPIC Financial Service Group
 
COPIC Better Medicine, Better Lives
 
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Copyright 2011 by the COPIC Trust. All rights reserved. No part of this publication can be produced or transmitted in any form or by any means without written permission from the publisher.

  COPIC Financial Service Group, Ltd. is an insurance brokerage firm representing a variety of insurance carriers. Products offered by COPIC Financial are not issued by COPIC Insurance Company.