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A Guide to Using an HSA

Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Monday, March 3, 2014 - 12:00pm

You contribute to your Health Savings Account (HSA) to defray medical expenses and take advantage of many tax benefits. The Internal Revenue Service limits your annual contributions, though. Here’s how to use these accounts.

You may deduct 100% of HSA contributions from your federal income tax and withdraw them tax- and penalty-free to pay for such out-of-pocket medical expenses as co-payments, prescription drugs and insurance deductibles (not premiums).

The Health-Care Maze

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Friday, February 21, 2014 - 12:00pm

Obamacare is extremely difficult to navigate. Here’s a preliminary guide to how you find your way through the labyrinth.

It’s reminiscent of where I-85 and I-285 intersect near a host of heavily traveled feeder roads, in the northeastern suburbs of Atlanta. This is a maze of on-ramps, exit-ramps, underpasses and flyovers that locals call Spaghetti Junction. Also dubbed Malfunction Junction, the roads can be confusing, jammed, delay-prone and frustrating.

Obamacare’s Impact on You

Submitted by Wes Moss on Tuesday, February 18, 2014 - 12:00pm

Obamacare brings health insurance to millions. Have you been left behind?

My insurance company recently wrote me to say that it may soon drop Piedmont Hospital –source of most of my family’s medical care —as an in-network provider. Piedmont and my insurer came to terms just before the contract deadline. Thank goodness.

As one of thousands who may soon search for a new health-care system, I want to know: Is the standoff completely the fault of the Affordable Care Act (ACA), known as Obamacare?

Avoiding Obamacare Penalties

Submitted by Jim Blankenship on Thursday, February 6, 2014 - 3:00pm

Health insurance changed a lot in the past few years. Here’s how to escape a socking from new taxes and charges.

Individuals must now carry health insurance on themselves and their dependents, according to the Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare, a requirement called the individual mandate. Beginning in 2015, businesses with fewer than 50 employees must also provide coverage for employees or face penalties.

Obamacare Mess Unabated

Submitted by Rick Kahler on Friday, January 3, 2014 - 9:00am

The Obamacare website is still a mess, as I discovered personally. Our elected officials and government agencies failed us miserably. So far, there appears to be no relief in sight. Despite some reported fixes, too many flaws remain.

A Coming Caregiver Crunch

Submitted by Lewis J. Walker on Tuesday, December 31, 2013 - 9:00am

As the giant baby boomer generation enters old age, who will be their caregivers? A shortage looms, with possibly dire consequences.

Most Americans are in the dark when it comes to understanding the true cost of health care. A collision between demographics, technology and the Affordable Care Act is a jarring trifecta that will affect multiple generations.

Preparing for the Unthinkable

Submitted by Josh Patrick on Friday, December 20, 2013 - 3:00pm

Scary things happen in life. Here’s how to make thinking about them easier.

You love your family and want to make sure they’re protected if something happens to you. One way to plan for disaster: Manage your risk.

The right variety of personal insurance. You already hold insurance for your car or home. Chances you need other insurance loom greater than you think.

Use an Agent for Obamacare

Submitted by Joe Pitzl on Monday, November 18, 2013 - 3:00pm

Rollout of the new health insurance exchanges and marketplace sparked headlines of spectacular demand and even more spectacular failure. Proponents say the Obamacare website sputters due to initial bugs; opponents call the whole idea nothing short of a colossal failure. Whether you agree or not, here’s a better solution when you look for health insurance: Use an agent.

Uncertainty’s Baleful Result

Submitted by Brenda P. Wenning on Wednesday, November 13, 2013 - 9:00am

The uncertainty that Washington policy makers foment is a big culprit in our economic stasis. What will happen next with the Federal Reserve’s stimulus program, the trouble-ridden Obamacare rollout and the chronic debt ceiling threat?

When uncertainty exists, businesses take no action. They sit on trillions in cash, as they don’t know whether to hire or fire, expand or contract. Investors, likewise, get stuck with more money in cash than they like, as the direction of the stock and bond markets is murky.

An Open Enrollment How-To

Submitted by Lea Ann Knight on Tuesday, November 12, 2013 - 3:00pm

Open enrollment for employee benefits kicks off this month. While you plan your Thanksgiving menu, review your benefit choices.

Benefits change this year like few years before. Even if little changed in your life in 2013, maximize what your employer offers.

Here are some pointers.