Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Benefits: Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Health insurance has always been a very illusive subject to me. I get a thrill looking for a candidate for a new position, but my eyes start glazing over when various health insurance options are discussed. I know I need it, I know it is very important when looking for a job, and that there is a lot I don't understand about insurance and benefits plans. When looking at a potential employer, understanding their portfolio of benefits is very important to understand the entire compensation package available to you.

Working in the wine industry I've been exposed to Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) much more often than in other industries. An HSA is a tax-advantaged way for individuals to save for qualified medical and retiree health expenses. Individuals can sign up for an HSA if they are covered by a high-deductible health plan. Often, small wineries and affiliated companies have HSA programs that they contribute to as well.

In case you are considering a position with a company that offers an HSA, here are some resources to take advantage of:
U.S. Office of Personnel Management's HSA website
U.S. Department of the Treasury's HSA website
HSA Insider

Recently the Wall Street Journal publishes an article that HSA's are losing favor with consumers. To read that article, visit The Wall Street Journal Online.

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