Here are all the articles I wrote during December, 2009. I hope they're useful to you.

December 22nd, 2009

COBRA Subsidy Extention DID happen!

Happy Merry HoHoHo!

The House and Senate have passed the legislation; Obama is expected to sign quickly.   This will help you in two ways:

The eligibility period has been extended to February 28, 2010.   Which means that if you become eligible for continuation of your group benefits under the COBRA laws, you will still have until 2/28/10 to take advantage of the Federal premium subsidy.

AND… if you’ve almost run through the original 9 months of subsidy, you’ll get another six months of help, for a total of 15 months.

Good news all around!…

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December 18th, 2009

COBRA Subsidy Extension Could Happen

This is good news for anyone who is currently enrolled in a group health insurance plan under the Federal COBRA or California Cal-COBRA laws.    The House of Representatives has approved a 6-month extension of the Federal subsidy to help you pay the premiums.   Now the bill — HR 3326 — is on its way to the Senate for approval, hopefully before the subsidy ends on 12/31/09.    To read more about it, go here.…

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December 14th, 2009

Money Matters! HSAs are your friends!

If you have health insurance that allows you to have a Health Savings Account (HSA) here’s a little factoid.   In 2010, the annual tax-deductible contribution has been increased to $3050 for individuals and $6150 for families.   HSAs are great money-management tools.

If you don’t have a Health Savings Account watch here for more factoids and details.   And for other FAQs check out the Reference section.

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December 14th, 2009

Tax Day is here – A Reminder

If you are a corporation (because you have a smart CPA on your side), your corporate quarterly estimated taxes are due tomorrow, 12/15/09!   You can either deposit your estimated taxes with IRS Form 8109 at your bank, or mail Form 8109 with your check, made payable to “Financial Agent,” to Federal Tax Deposit Processing, PO Box 970030, St. Louis, MO 63197.    Don’tcha just love sending your money to the government?!   After all, they manage it so well!   Sure.…

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December 14th, 2009

The Magic of Health Savings Accounts – what you need to know

The Insurance Mom wants you to be a good little money manager.

Think of an HSA like an IRA, but for medical expenses… and dental, vision, prescription and over-the-counter expenses too!

** Contributions to your HSA are tax-deductible — reduce your taxable income, pay less taxes.   Very nice.

** Your money earns interest tax free, so your interest earns interest.   Even nicer.

** You can withdraw money tax free to pay for medical, dental, vision, prescription and over-the-counter expenses.  Very, very nice!

If you’re saving and spending tax-free dollars, then you’re boosting the buying power of each dollar by 30%, because you’re not paying taxes on that dollar.   Right?   You get more bang out of each buck.

By increasing the buying power of each dollar by 30%, you reduce your health insurance deductible by 30%.   Right?

Contributions you make to an HSA are yours to use for eligible expenses whenever you like, this year, next year or the year after.   You never lose the money; you keep contributing, building a nice little stash of tax-free cash.

Ask The Insurance Mom if your plan is compatible with an HSA… you’ll be glad you did!   Or, visit www.hsainsider.com for more comprehensive information, including a long list of HSA-eligible expenses.

Go forth and save!

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December 9th, 2009

Health Insurance Heads-Up!

Remember that as of January 1st, your deductible will re-set to ZERO and you get to start all over again for 2010.   Got FAQs?  www.TheInsuranceMom.com is the place to go for answers!…

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