Archive for August 2010

SERIES: Health Insurance – Part Four – Ways To Save

Over the past 21 months, my family has participated in a wild ride with health insurance.   The experience has been enlightening, incredibly frustrating, annoying, confusing and intimidating.   Can I get an Amen! and a witness?!?!   In this series on health insurance, I am going to share my experience AND some helpful tips on saving money on health insurance.

Part Four Ways to save on health insurance

I need health insurance, but I don’t want to have to take out a small business loan to pay for it!   Here are some key ways that I have saved on my health insurance.

Increase the deductible By increasing the deductible, I have assumed more personal risk and decreased the risk being carried by the insurance provider.   This means that they can offer a much lower premium to me.   In chapter 12 of my book, I Was Broke. Now I’m Not., I share how I compare insurance policies using the premiums and deductibles to see which one is the best financial decision.

Live a healthy lifestyle In a large group health insurance plan, you are automatically admitted to the insurance plan.   In an individual plan, you will be accepted/charged according to your personal health history.   We can’t control all of our health, but by controlling what we can, we can have a healthier life and better rated insurance premiums.

Go to work for an employer with group health insurance coverage If you can not obtain coverage or you have health history that is hurting your ability to obtain affordable insurance, obtain a job that offers group health insurance that does not have a clause that excludes your pre-existing c0nditions.

Don’t work, be a complete slob, and live life on the government dole Be broke.   Don’t be productive.   Save nothing.   Go to the hospital and rack up HUGE charges and let all of us tax-paying, law-abiding, hard-working citizens pay it for you.

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Swagbucks – Boosting My Budget

I have written about Swagbucks in November 2008 and January 2010.   I continue to love this Budget Booster!   Swagbucks is a search engine just like Google, Ask, or Bing with one key exception – they PAY you to search!!!   Every so often, they reward you with a Swagbuck (or Swagbucks) when you search.   The Swagbuck is their own currency, and they can be redeemed for gift cards or merchandise.

I just redeemed my Swagbucks for a $5 Amazon gift card.   They also have Target gift cards and several others!   So far, I have personally earned 5,348 Swagbucks!   It takes 450 Swagbucks to obtain a $5 Amazon gift card.   It is FREE money that I receive for doing something I already do!   YES!

Here is a great feature of this program.   Once you register, you can refer your friends.   For their first 1000 Swagbucks, you can earn a matching Swagbuck!

You can check it out and register HERE.

SERIES: Health Insurance – Part Three – Group Plans

Over the past 21 months, my family has participated in a wild ride with health insurance.   The experience has been enlightening, incredibly frustrating, annoying, confusing and intimidating.   Can I get an “Amen!” and a witness?!?!   In this series on health insurance, I am going to share my experience AND some helpful tips on saving money on health insurance.

Part Three Group Plans (even when you are an individual)

Sometimes group plans are less costly and offer better benefits than individual policies – and individuals sometimes have opportunities to participate in a group plan if they are part of a network or business group.   For example, I am part of my local Chamber of Commerce.   They offer the opportunity for me to participate in a group health insurance plan.   Small business networks, home builder groups, and other membership organizations will offer group health insurance to their members.

It gets even better when you can obtain lower premiums by obtaining group health insurance AND it is a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) – which was Part Two of this series!

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SPECIAL ANNOUNCEMENT: On-Line Financial Coaching Training!

One of the biggest reasons the crusade is able to help people accomplish far more than they ever thought possible is because we have trained Financial Coaches all over the country.   When we partner with a church or organization for a live event, we teach valuable principles and tools that equip people and provide them with hope and inspiration.   But at the end of the day, we have to travel back home.   It is the Financial Coaches we train that provide the ongoing 1-on-1 help and assistance people need for their individual financial situations.   Helping people put together a plan and showing them HOW they can win with their money is the most important thing, and Financial Coaches make it possible.

You might be interested in becoming a financial coach as well, but haven’t had the opportunity to go through our live training.   The reason is usually we either haven’t been to your area or your church hasn’t launched a financial ministry yet.   It might be that your church has been waiting for someone like you to step up and start the financial ministry.

Do you want to be a vital part of this crusade to help others win with their money?   Are you winning with the management of your own personal finances, and are passionate about helping others accomplish the same?   We are PUMPED to introduce you to possibly the most life-giving and joy-filled opportunity you may ever find:

Become trained to be a financial coach!

For the first time ever, we are making it possible for the right people to become a part of the crusade no matter where you live!   The Financial Coaching Experience is going LIVE ONLINE!   If you are interested in this one-time opportunity, fill out the application form below to be signed up for an on-line (of course!) informational meeting where we will share the details of the training and answer any questions you may have.

If you are interested, click the link below to learn more details and fill out an application.   This is a LIMITED OPPORTUNITY because we can only train ten people at a time.   Fill out the application below NOW to reserve your spot in the informational meeting being held on-line Tuesday, August 31st, at 7:00PM Eastern Time!   If you can’t see the form, click HERE to access it directly on the web.

SERIES: Health Insurance – Part Two – HDHP with HSA

Over the past 21 months, my family has participated in a wild ride with health insurance.   The experience has been enlightening, incredibly frustrating, annoying, confusing and intimidating.   Can I get an “Amen!” and a witness?!?!   In this series on health insurance, I am going to share my experience AND some helpful tips on saving money on health insurance.

Part Two High Deductible Health Plan with Health Savings Account (HSA)

I was first introduced to a high deductible health plan (HDHP) with a health savings account (HSA) when I was an employee.   My first reaction was, “My deductible is that HIGH?!!”   Upon further review, I found out that it was a terrific deal – for me as an employee as well as my employer.   Let me explain how a HDHP with a HSA works.

  • High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) According to IRS publication 969, the minimum deductible eligible for establishing an HSA is $1,200 for an individual and $2,400 for a family.   In other words, the insurance policy must require the covered individual or family to pay the deductible before the insurance company pays any health care costs (with some exceptions related to preventive care – see IRS Publication 969)
  • Health Savings Account (HSA) This is a savings account that you can establish at a bank that is used solely for paying for health care expenses.   I have established my account at a local bank.   Each year, I am able to contribute an amount equal to the annual deductible of my insurance.   Here is the GREAT NEWS – whatever I contribute to my HSA is tax-deductible!   This saves me TONS of money!   Additionally, the money I have in my HSA is not a “use-it-or-lose-it” account.   If I do not use all of the money I have placed within my HSA, the money remains in my account until I actually need it.

As I have embarked onto this crusade full-time, I have had to obtain my own individual insurance policy.   HDHP with HSAs were by far the best option for my family.   We checked out the rates at eHealthInsurance and a local insurance agent.   The rates were the same, but using eHealthInsurance I was personally able to easily compare policies.

A HDHP is less costly to the insurance company because they substantially decrease their risk by forcing the consumer to shoulder the burden of the initial deductible.   For most people, this causes them to avoid running to the emergency room every single time there is a health care need.   Because the individual is going to have to pay for the entire ER visit, they become what I call a powerful person – an INFORMED and AWARE consumer!   This means that the individual will instead go to an urgent care facility which will charge less than 1/4th of the cost of an ER visit.   This is better for the individual AND the insurance company – and results in a lower premium.

Read the entire series

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