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Year-end Health Expense and Tax Straddle Strategies


Spending the last two weeks of the year looking for ways to cut your taxes? Health Insurance Industry expert Mike Chapman from gives five year end strategies that can save individuals and families on taxes and health care expenses.

1. If youíre self-employed, your health insurance premiums are tax deductible. If you need more deductions this year, contact your health insurance agent and pay for a quarter or six months of premiums.

2. If you are self-employed or purchase your own health insurance, purchase a high deductible health insurance plan and open up a health savings account (HSA). Famlies can contribute up to $5,400 into their HSA next year (plus $600 if over 55) to pay tax free for out of pocket medical, dental, and vision expenses. Benefits Boutique, at, is a nationwide online insurance agency with access to hundreds of tax advantaged HSA plans and offers free, no-obligation health and life insurance advice and affordable health insurance quotes to individuals, families and businesses.

3. If you already have a high deductible health plan, add to your annual HSA contributions before year end. For 2005, individuals can contribute $2650 and families $5250 (plus $600 if over age 55.) Any 2005 HSA contributions are tax deductible on April 15, 2006 Federal and most state tax returns.

3. If you are covered in your employerís group health plan, ask if they offer a high deductible health plan that you can enroll in so you can make tax-free contributions.

4. If your employer offers a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA), ask if you can still enroll in it and make payroll deductions to pay for your health expenses on a pre-tax basis.

5. If you already have a Health Reimbursement Arrangement with your employer, donít forget that you must use any balance in the HRA by December 31st or you lose any balance. Donít wait to year end-- opticians and dentists report December is their busiest time of the year as employees rush to use up their remaining HRA balances.

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