Thursday, January 19, 2012

Health Insurance - How to Get the Benefits You Need

Why do people laugh when they hear the words Affordable Health Plan?

Is it because they believe there's no such thing?

Is there really such thing as an Affordable Health Plan or is it all smoke and mirrors? Yes there is and I am going to share with you how you can have an Affordable Health Plan!

Insurance companies are one of the top 3 richest businesses in North America. There is a reason for that. All you need to do is ask somebody who's paid hundreds of dollars a month for a health care plan what their experience was like and you'll understand why it is that insurance companies make so much money. They'll tell you how so many of their prescription costs were not covered, only certain brand medications were claimable and others were not. Or how they're only allowed 60 or 70% of the cost for some paramedical service and 80% of the user fee for others. Or, Sorry you have reached your limit. Are you confused yet? How about the common phrase, "Sorry, that's not covered." Yes that is the story of trying to claim medical and dental costs through an insurance provider.

So what's the alternative? Business owners do have an alternative in Canada. Under our income tax act a Private Health Insurance Plan is an option for Canadian business owners. This is an opportunity for a company to own and administer their own health plan. Home Based Businesses in Canada can really leverage this option.

How does this create an affordable health plan?

When you own and administer your own health plan you get to set the limits. Through the plan contract you decide the level of healthcare benefits for yourself and for your employees. Because there is no middleman there are no premiums to pay. In a Corporation you can set tears or levels of benefits. Upper management has a much higher pay level and much more responsibility, which allows you to also give them higher benefit levels. Proprietorship can create a plan and have it administered through a company like Gumboot Business Services. They also get to set their limits.

How does a private health insurance plan work?

Your medical and dental expenses become a business expense. You bring in your receipts and reimburse yourself through your company. When your employees bring in a medical expense receipts you simply reimburse them. If there are no expense receipts submitted, there are no costs. And because you set the limit in the health care plan you set exactly what each employee can expense and what your budget is going to be for the year.

A simple tracking system will allow you to keep track of exactly what each member of your family and employee has spent. This ensures that nobody goes over their limit, and keeps your numbers accurate for your year and income tax filing.

The other wonderful bonus with a private health insurance plan is medical and dental expenses paid for by a company to its employees are tax-free to the employee. No CPP, no EI for either of you and no income tax for the employee.

Can A Home Based Business Owner set up a Private Health Insurance Plan?

If you are a corporation, it's easy. The way the legislation is written, you need an employee. As a worker in your corporation, you are the employee and that is all you need. If you are a proprietorship, you need an employee. Who is working in your business with you? Is your spouse or one of your older children doing web design or something that supports your business?

What about your personal health and dental costs?

As an employee of your own company, yes you can write all of your family's health and dental costs off through your business. This is what really makes an affordable health plan. You're already paying out money for you and your family's health and dental costs, now you can move those personal costs into your business as business expenses. That makes your personal medical and dental costs 100% tax-deductible.

Are there exceptions? What are the exemptions?

There is a difference between corporations and proprietorships. The biggest reason for this is that a proprietorship cannot have a contract with themselves. A proprietorship requires a separate company to administer the private health insurance plan. Because a corporation is an entity unto itself, it has the ability to have a contract with its employees. The other difference is a corporation can set tiers for different levels of employees. A proprietorship has to match the owners benefit level to the employees.

How do I find out more about Private Health Insurance Plans?

Gumboot Business Services will walk you through what is needed. We will look at your company structure to help you see if you are eligible and how much money you can save through owning your own health plan. Come visit our site and take advantage of the free 20-minute consultation.

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