Here are all the articles I've written about Tax. Enjoy!

July 7th, 2015

Big changes for Blue Shield 2014 and onwards.

Chad Terhune is a favorite author around this office.  He writes great articles like this one about what’s going on in the health insurance market.  http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-blue-shield-audit-20150705-story.html#page=1  In it, he breaks down what happened with a recent audit on Blue Shield’s funds.  Here’s the Mom’s boiled down version.

Blue Shield has been a non-for-profit since 1939.  In recent years, they have had more than $4 billion in surplus.  That’s crazy big!  Big enough that the State of California decided they needed to check up on it.  August 2014, they lost non-for-profit status.  The article breaks down a lot of what practices caused this to happen and views on both sides of the fence.

This will be yet another big change for Californians in next year’s health insurance systems.  Blue Shield is the third-largest in CA.  The Insurance Mom will keep you posted with trends and new info as she gets them.  In the meanwhile, what do YOU think?  Should insurance companies be non-for-profit?  Should Blue Shield?

 …

Read More…
May 12th, 2015

YOU’RE A COMPARISON SHOPPER FOR OTHER THINGS, THEN WHY NOT FOR MEDICAL STUFF?

You’re a smart shopper.  You do your research.  You clip coupons.  You read Yelp reviews, compare online ratings and costs.    So why is it when it comes to your health, you don’t do the same?

The Insurance Mom is here to help you be your own best advocate.  In this new world of Affordable-Care-Act-madness  here are some handy do-it-yourself tips to get the biggest bang for your health plan buck and save you money in the long run.    Just because you have health insurance doesn’t mean you’re automatically getting the best deals.

When you have the ability to plan before diagnostic tests, procedures, and doctor visits:

Check out this nifty website from Health Care Blue Book.  It will compare and contrast costs for doctor visits, procedures, hospitals and other facilities, as well as the Fair Price for a medical services from different locations.    A friend found that two hospitals near him were charging very different amounts for the EXACT SAME diagnostic tests.  One was $1,400, the other was $6,400!!! Very smart shopping! When you can, plan!

https://healthcarebluebook.com/page_Default.aspx

When your prescriptions get too spendy, we have three suggestions:

GoodRx to compares costs of different meds at different pharmacies in your area.  Didn’t think there would be a difference, did you?  Give it a try and you’ll see costs vary from one pharmacy to another.    Make an informed choice about how and where you shop.

www.goodrx.com

There’s a free discount card available with just a simple click!  Go to Water Tree Health’s website for great discounts on pharmaceuticals, diabetic supplies, even some pet supplies!

http://www.watertreehealth.com/our-products/

I get a lot of questions on this one.  For certain medications, you can shop outside of the country and see a big discount.   Pharmacy Checker is a good example of how to compare drug prices …

Read More…
April 14th, 2011

Gimme a break!

One reason to dislike the IRS a little less:   The IRS is giving everyone THREE extra days (wahoo!) to file your 2010 taxes.

If you’ve been putting off preparing your taxes until the last minute, you have until Monday, April 18th to get it done.

No, the IRS is not just being generous.   The mini-extension comes thanks to Emancipation Day, a Washington DC holiday that celebrates the freeing of slaves in the District.

And you thought the IRS was just giving you a break!

 

 

Enhanced by Zemanta
Read More…
April 22nd, 2010

Small Businesses: How To Claim Your Health Insurance Premium Tax Credit

Questions abound!   Here’s an answer:

HOW TO CLAIM THE TAX CREDIT

How does an employer claim the tax credit? The credit is taken on the annual tax return. The IRS will provide information on how tax-exempt employers can claim the new credit.

Does taking the tax credit affect an employer’s deduction for health insurance premiums? Yes. The amount taken for the tax credit must be subtracted from the deduction.

May an employer reduce employment tax payments during the year in anticipation of the tax credit? No. The credit applies against income tax, not employment tax (i.e. withheld income tax, social security tax, and Medicare tax).

See more FAQs so that you get the most out of your money!

Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Read More…
January 15th, 2010

Is The IRS Driving You Crazy?

Since so many of you are freelancing these days, The Insurance Mom wants you to be fully aware of how to manage your self-employment income and expenses, especially those handy little tax-deductible expenses.  But watch out, the IRS is reducing your tax-deductible business mileage.  So, drive carefully and now, drive less!…

Read More…
January 6th, 2010

Taxing News

Just a quick heads-up about your taxes.    The Insurance Mom wants you to act like a grown-up (even if you don’t feel like one!) and be a responsible money manager.

1.  If you are self-employed and paying quarterly estimated taxes, your 2009 4th quarter taxes are due 1/15/10.

2.  1099s must be issued no later than 1/31/10 so they are received by 2/1/10.

3.  If you are an employer, your 2009 4th quarter Payroll Reports are due by 2/1/10. And last but not least…

4.  If you are an employee, your boss must give you your 2009 W-2 no later than 2/1/10.

Now, wasn’t that fun?!


Reblog this post [with Zemanta]
Read More…