Host: What are some other ways a family can save a little money?
Bob Hurley: Another way that families can save money on their health insurance and many families don't think about this and that is often times, mom and dad are very healthy people, don't go to see the doctor very often and so they are not going to have to access healthcare frequently throughout the year. Many times, a plan that works for mom and dad maybe a different plan than the one that works for their children. Maybe in this case the children do access care on a more frequent basis. You may want a different type of health insurance plan for your children. So here is one scenario is that you actually get a Health Maintenance Organization or an HMO for the children. Typically, it's going to be a smaller network of doctors that you can access for them.
So you want to make sure your children's doctor is in that network. But, basically, what that means is you can take your children to the doctor and pay a co-payment maybe it's $15, $20, $25 to see their doctor. It's a very predictable cost for you. So you are comfortable with that for the children. But now mom and dad don't go to see the doctor very often. So you may want to buy a PPO or a Preferred Provider Organization plan for mom and dad and typically, those plans have a deductible associated with it maybe $1,500 or $2,000 deductible. So you may want to put mom and dad on that type of plan, you save money on your monthly premium for mom and dad and meanwhile, you get a plan for the children that gives them the access they need but their premium is still pretty low because they are so young. So that's -- if you mix and match products for your family that way, sometimes you can save a lot of money on your health insurance premium. It is just a way to lower the overall cost of covering your family. The other thing that you need to learn about if you are thinking about your family and planning for the future with regard to healthcare and health insurance is you need to learn about Health Savings Accounts. These are very, very powerful savings accounts. You can put money into these savings accounts tax-free. It can grow indefinitely for the rest of your life tax-free. But if you need it for healthcare related expenses which you may have as you grow older and your children grow older, you can pull money out of that account and use it to cover healthcare related expenses that may not be covered by your health insurance.
I will give you an example of that I have met families where they wanted to see a Nutritionist and their health insurance coverage does not cover access to a Nutritionist and so they use their Health Savings Account money to pay to go ahead and get some consultation from a Nutritionist. That's something that could be very valuable today as we face childhood obesity and the whole issues of trying to get our children to eat well and so on. That might be a great use of your Health Savings Account funds and so I will encourage families that are shopping for health insurance that want to do something that works for them on a longer term basis, learn about Health Savings Accounts. It can be very, very valuable to you and your family and it can stick with you for the rest of your life.