The Village Doctor program is not a substitute for your health care insurance. However, by participating in our program your health insurance needs change and you may reap financial advantage by changing your current policy and / or tax strategy accordingly. Three suggestions are listed below. Of course, your situation and subsequent decisions should be discussed with your financial or tax advisor.

#1) Increasing your Health Insurance deductible

Most healthy families have a Preferred Provider Organization (PPO) health plan, with a relatively low ($500 - $1000) deductible. The premiums for such a service can, however, be quite high.

As a Village Doctor member, most of your primary care medical expenses will be covered, so having a higher insurance deductible may be to your advantage. Exceptions are specialty visits, hospitalization, laboratory services that cannot be performed by The Village Doctor, and x-ray fees.. Remember that you may visit The Village Doctor as often as you like and you will never be charged a co-payment!

By increasing your deductible, monthly premiums may be reduced by almost half resulting in significant annual savings to you and your family.

#2) Using a Health Care Reimbursement Account (HCRA) to pay for The Village Doctor services

As an employee, you may have access to a Health Care Reimbursement Account as part of your benefits package. Such a program lets you set aside a pre-determined amount, pre-tax, for use for qualified medical expenses. Individuals may generally direct a maximum of $5000 per year to such an account, but if their spouse is also an employee, then together they may contribute $10,000. Note, however, that you must carefully track your health expenses as the IRS requires that you forfeit any unclaimed money in your HCRA account after the closing date of the plan year.

#3) Using a Health Savings Account (HSA) to pay for The Village Doctor services

New in 2004, and providing opportunity for the self-employed, the Health Savings Account is a combination of a tax favored savings account and a qualified high deductible health insurance policy. To qualify you must have an approved plan with a $1000 deductible for an individual or a $2000 deductible for your family. Each year you and/or your employer can contribute enough to cover 100% of your deductible (up to a maximum of $2600 for an individual or $5150 for a family). As with a Health Care Reimbursement Account, the money goes in before taxes (or is tax deductible), but unlike a HCRA, accrues interest tax free, rolls over to the next year, and is never taxed if used for qualified medical expenses!

As always, your situation and subsequent decisions should be discussed with your financial or tax advisor.

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