Medical Savings Account

housefulApril 3, 2005

I am fed up with insurance companies. I am disgusted that we pay so much in premium and still end up having to pay out of pocket. Yet, if I didn't have any insurance, I could get treated for free (well, free to ME anyway)!

Don't need to bore you with the details, but we are now considering a Medical Savings Account. Over the last 15 years (since marriage), we have been to the doctor no more than 20 times (not including chiropractor, which we decided was more of a luxury anyway). Thankfully our children are healthy, although they are still young and aren't into sports yet, if you know what I mean.

Anyway, the two things that I am concerned about would be those emergency situations and if I have another child and that child does have health issues at birth. As far a doctor visits and prescriptions, I think we can pay as we go. But again, these are very, very rare occasions.

Are there any good sites that can explain the MSA, how it works, etc. I don't want to do anything stupid but I am just sick of what throwing money down the drain, so to speak.

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susanjn

How exactly would you get treated for free if you don't have insurance? I find that the first thing any doctor's office asks is if I have insurance. I don't think they are going to waive the fee if I don't.

I guess I'm the opposite of you. I don't mind paying for insurance, but I hate being treated like they'd just as soon let me die unless I produce that all important card.

One of my friends had breast cancer during a period of her life when she didn't have insurance. They wouldn't even write a prescription for the effective (and expensive) anti-nausea meds because of it.

    Bookmark   April 4, 2005 at 5:09PM
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nancyinmich

Here in Michigan, Medicaid funding is being cut drasticaly. No one can plan on getting the state to help pay for medical care. You might want to check your assumptions before giving up your insurance. The states are all getting less $ from the federal government.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 12:29AM
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houseful

Please don't get me wrong. I have NO intention of relying on the government for my medical care. What I meant was you cannot be refused treatment in the emergency room whether you have insurance or not. So if you don't have insurance, just show up at the emergency room. I say free to ME, but since I pay taxes, I would pay eventually.

I have heard about MSA's but don't really know where to go to research them. I wanted to find out what happens in those emergency situations, because we can afford to pay for our own doctor visits. I just want emergency and of course, terminal illness coverage.

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 5:39PM
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nancyinmich

Just because the hospital is required to treat you, don't expect that they won't bill you and send unpaid bills to collections. They will work with you on a payment plan. I am not aware of my county or city or state paying anything to a provate nonprofit hospital (which is all we have around here) for general support. They pay hospitals only through Medicaid payments, and they are cutting the reimbursement rate to hospitals so much that treating patients with Medicaid is a a losing proposition.

Did you check the irs.gov site about MSAs? We have one through work and I know how that kind works, but there seems to be another kind of MSA that I see referred to in the tax software. It is different than the kind administered by an employer, and I think that this is what you are asking about. Did you Google or Yahoo MSA?

    Bookmark   April 5, 2005 at 11:51PM
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houseful

I was being a bit sarcastic. I just get a little upset when I hear people say things like, "I didn't have to pay for it!"

I have searched the web but there were so many sites that I was hoping someone had already found something unbiased and concise they could share. It seems most of the sites were from companies trying to sell the MSA's. I didn't think to check the IRS site. I will do that. Thanks.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 10:47AM
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nancyinmich

Best of uck, I hope the IRS site gets you started. I know our employer-based plan is nothing like the ones referred to in our tax software. It is a good deal for us, though. Even with a 20% copay with our insurance we spend $4000-$5000 a year on heath care.

One thing to keep in mind is that should one of the children or you or your spouse become ill, as a new entrant into health insurance, you will have 6-12 months where preexisting illness are not covered. DH, who is very healthy, became suddently dizzy last summer. It woud hit when he was playing his trombone at a gig, or just when he was in his cubicle at work. It took x-rays, an MRI or two, and some very strange equilibrium tests at the ENT's office before they decided it was caused by excess fluids in the inner ear. They had to rule out a brain tumor, though. We spent $1800 on the MRIs, and that was just our share! He had to quit playing for a few months, losing his mad money income, and if we had not kept trying different speciallists, he might still be dizzy. The solution turned out to be a very low salt diet and a cheap generic pill daily, but the diagnosis was probably $7000-$8000. Just something to think about.

    Bookmark   April 6, 2005 at 2:04PM
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