New HSA information released for 2022

New guidelines for Health Savings Accounts in 2022 have been released and there are several ways this type of account may work to your advantage. Just like all health plans, an HSA isn’t the right fit for everyone. But for some, it can result in big savings financially and be just the plan you need.
Let’s start with what exactly an HSA is. A Health Savings Account consists of two things: a high deductible health plan purchased from a private carrier, such as Florida Blue, in which you pay a monthly premium for… as well as a qualifying savings account at a bank where pre-tax contributions can be made. That account would then be where funds come from to pay for things like copays at the doctor, certain medicines, etc.
Some examples of qualified expenses that can be purchased with an HSA account are:
·        Prescription or over the counter medications
·        Eye glasses, contacts, solution, etc
·        Acupuncture and chiropractic care
·        Vaccinations or immunizations
·        Dentures or dental treatment
·        Hearing aids
·        Insulin and diabetic supplies
·        Allergy testing
·        Wheelchairs, walkers, crutches, etc
·        Sunscreen and first aid
There are limitations and guidelines to abide by with an HSA account. These can vary each year so it’s important to pay attention to them at every renewal if that’s the plan you choose. For 2021, an individual can contribute up to $3,600 of pre-tax money per year and for a family, the maximum contribution is $7,200. The out of pocket maximum is $7,000 for an individual and $14,000 per family.
Meaning, one can put $3,600 into that bank account and then use however much of it they need for health expenses. Then after $7,000 out of pocket is spent, their plan’s coverage kicks in and they pay nothing more for that calendar year.
For 2022, those limits have increased to a $3,650 contribution limit for an individual and of maximum of $7,300 for a family. The out of pocket maximum was also increased to $7,050 per individual and $14,100 for a family.
The tax-deductible contributions, tax-free interest and tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are all huge perks to an HSA plan for health care. But another big advantage is that it is 100% yours. If you get it through an employer and leave that job, you keep it. If you don’t use it, it remains there as a savings account and the contribution allowance starts back over the next year.
Again, Health Savings Accounts are not the right fit for everyone but are definitely worth exploring. And if you’re ever uncertain about a qualified expense, you can contact your carrier for clarification. It is also recommended that you always keep all receipts in the event of an audit.

What exactly is Comprehensive coverage?

When it comes to auto insurance, the coverages on your policy can get a little complex. Some are for your injuries, some for injury to other people, some for your car itself, and some for other people’s cars or property.

Regarding your car, Comprehensive and Collision coverage can get confusing since both apply to damages sustained to your vehicle. In this video, Michelle and Jessica break down what exactly Comprehensive coverage is for and when you would use it in the event of damage.

Stay tuned to our You Tube channel for more videos to come! Thanks for tuning in!

 

Struggling with disengaged employees on your team?

It’s always fun and exciting to go through the onboarding process of a new employee. Both you, as the employer, and the newest member of team are excited, things are fresh and new, and the future of working together is bright. Of course the hope is that those feelings will continue, it will remain a good fit for all and everyone will benefit from the partnership.

However, sometimes the honeymoon phase wears off and employees can become disengaged. Sure, part of that is natural and happens in all aspects of life. But as Jon Gordon refers to negative or disengaged employees as “energy vampires”, they can be detrimental to your team, clients, and goals as a company. This negativity can be toxic and needs to be addressed sooner than later.

So what can you do as a leader to prevent and recover from disengagement on your team? Here are a few tips we’ve compiled that may be helpful if you’re noticing the morale and engagement heading south.

First, defining and understanding disengagement is important. It can be cause by things such as lack of:

  • Communication
  • Recognition
  • Trust
  • Flexibility
  • Teamwork
  • Autonomy
  • Support

Next, recognizing and identifying when an employee is disengaged can be done by:

  • Poor performance
  • Missed deadlines
  • Lack of interest in development
  • Isolation from coworkers
  • Increased use of PTO

Then, it’s time to approach the employee:

  • Address the issue head on, skip the small talk but be certain to listen well, ask questions and document conversations
  • Discovering that individual’s motivation and what makes them “tick”
  • Analyzing where engagement was lost and why
  • Identifying adequate skills and a plan to work to their strengths, even if it’s a change in their role
  • Come to a mutual agreement and commitment to action

The final step in this process is to work together towards a solution that will correct the problem by:

  • Create a specific and realistic development plan that includes your investment in them
  • Set goals and hold each other accountable
  • Encourage participation with the team, while keeping the personal plan confidential
  • Give consistent feedback
  • Recognize improved behavior and performance
  • Cheer them on to their potential and don’t give up!

What exactly is the American Rescue Plan of 2021?

Early in the new year of 2021, the Biden Administration implemented The American Rescue Plan (ARP) with the intent of reducing health care costs and expanding access to health insurance plans.

There are currently over 9 million Americans accessing health care through the Affordable Care Act Marketplace, which provides subsidized plans with lower premiums based on household income. Their goal is for there to be at least a few plan options available to every consumer at a monthly premium no more than 8.5% of their household income.

For example:

  • Uninsured couples earning over $70,000 annually could save more than $1,000 per month on their premium
  • A family of four making $90,000 annually will see their premiums decrease by $200 per month
  • A single individual making $19,000 annually will be able to find health insurance coverage with no monthly premium at all, saving roughly $66 per month on average

This plan also introduced an extended Open Enrollment Period that in past years ended on December 15th for the coverage to be effective the following year. For 2021, that new period was from January 15th-May 15th but has now been extended even further to August 15th and coverage can be effective on the 1st of the following month.

The ARP is reevaluating the level of subsidy that Americans qualify for based on their income. Those with new or existing Marketplace plans can visit www.healthcare.gov or call the Marketplace directly to confirm whether or not their tax credit will be increased, resulting in lower out of pocket monthly premium responsibility for the insured. You can also wait until you file your 2021 taxes next year to get the additional premium tax credit amount. However, it is recommended that you update your application and review your plan options during the allotted period up until August 15th.

There is something to keep in mind regarding coverage if you change plans during this time. It is important to consider the new plan’s deductible as it’ll likely start over. If you change plans or add a new household member, any out-of-pocket costs you already paid on your current 2021 Marketplace plan probably won’t count towards your new deductible, even if you stay with the same insurance company.

These are variables that a licensed agent or Marketplace representative can discuss as they pertain to specific situations. The website again for resources regarding the Affordable Care Act is www.healthcare.gov.

“But the chances of me needing disability insurance are low…”

Have you ever thought or said to yourself that you don’t NEED disability insurance? Think your job is low key enough that injury or illness couldn’t ever limit you from working? Do you feel like you’d be able to manage paying for your lifestyle and bills with no income, even just temporarily?

These are all valid questions and pretty important ones to spend some time on. Of course like all insurance, disability (or “income replacement” as some may refer to it as) is protection against the unknown and a bit of a gamble. But similar to life insurance, it’s peace of mind for your spouse or family – or even just yourself – that in the event you are sick or hurt in a way that you’re unable to work, you can still have some financial means to cover your obligations.

Before you can decide if you need this protection, you need to understand what your options are. There are two main types of disability insurance:

  • SHORT TERM
    • Covers 40-60% of your base salary
    • Can last from a few weeks to a year
    • Short waiting period for coverage to kick in
  • LONG TERM
    • Covers 50-70% of your base salary
    • Benefits are much longer, typically to age 65-70
    • 90 day waiting period after onset of disability

We challenge you to check out these interesting stats on disability insurance and ask yourself honestly if you still believe you don’t need it:

  • 1 in 4 people will become disabled during their working career… 1 in 4!
  • Only 48% of Americans have enough saved to cover 3 months of living expenses with no income
  • 90% of disabilities come from unpredictable health conditions such as cancer, heart disease, arthritis, lupus and MS
  • 52% of disabled individuals without coverage took more than 2 years to recover financially

If insurance can be required to cover material things such as your home and car, you really should consider your paycheck something worth protecting too.