Can I cancel my health insurance at any time if my premiums are deducted pre-tax?

Because your premiums are deducted pre-tax, this means that you purchase your health insurance through your employer and are responsible for paying a portion of the cost. Health insurance is canceled when you quit paying the premiums.

Assuming that you will be receiving health insurance from another source in the future, work with your employer’s human resources office (in a small company that might even be the person who handles payroll) to stop paying the health insurance premiums.

Make sure …

Can you get an extension on Family and Medical Leave Act unpaid leave?

The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) allows workers to take as many as 12 weeks of unpaid leave over a 12-month period to care for a newborn or a sick child, spouse, or parent. Workers can also use FMLA benefits to recuperate from their own serious medical condition without fear of losing their job and health insurance benefits, if any.

Designated non-work days under the FMLA can be taken intermittently (e.g., every second Friday for chemotherapy) or in larger …

How long should you keep Explanation of Benefit statements from insurance companies, including Medicare?

Hang on to explanation of benefits (EOB) forms at least until you are sure that a particular medical bill has been paid in full from all sources (e.g., a combination of Medicare and supplemental insurance or primary and secondary health insurance policies). This may require confirmation from the original medical provider with a statement showing a zero balance.

After your bill is paid in full, you might want to keep EOBs in an inactive storage file for up to three …

How do health savings account (HSA) contributions affect your income taxes?

By contributing to an HSA, taxpayers will save on federal and state income taxes. If your employer offers a high-deductible health insurance policy, you may be able to make pretax contributions, as you would with a flexible-spending account.

If you open the HSA on your own, your contributions will be deductible when you file your taxes, even if you don’t itemize. The total amount of savings depends on a taxpayer’s federal and state income tax bracket and the amount that …

How do health insurance companies and Medicare determine “reasonable” amounts for health care services? Where can I go to get information about this?

The phrase “usual, customary, and reasonable” (UCR) refers to the amount third-party payers (including insurance carriers and Medicare) use to determine how much will be paid on behalf of an enrollee for services reimbursed under a policy or plan. Generally, payment for health care services is based on UCR rates, and most coverage is only a percentage of what is determined to be UCR.

For example, if a plan covers 80% of UCR charges and the enrollee is responsible for …

What does the term “managed care” mean with regard to health insurance?

The easiest way to define managed care is to compare it with traditional health care. Under traditional health care, doctors and hospitals are independent of each other. Doctors and hospitals set their own fees for services. You can go to any doctor you choose, and you are responsible for determining if your doctor is qualified to provide the care you need.

Under managed care, doctors and hospitals, as well as other health care providers, agree to work together through health …