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The Best Banks and Credit Cards: American Express Platinum

I've been meaning to write about the Platinum Card for a while, but somehow haven't gotten around to it. That stops today! The Black Card gets all the press, but the truth is that the Platinum Card has most of the benefits and costs far less.

But it does cost, so let's get that out of the way. The annual fee for carrying a Platinum Card is $450, which means that you shouldn't get it unless you're actually going to take advantage of the benefits. On the other hand, it's not just a gimmick; it has real benefits that can save you money and time.

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To Your Health: My wish list for company health insurance

On DROdio

Our company PointAbout, Inc has been researching health insurance options for over 6 months now.  I've always understood health insurance to be a complicated mess, but the more I dig into it, the more I wish I didn't have to.

Several of the executive staff at PointAbout have evaluated various health insurance options, but we haven't been able to find a plan or provider that gives us what we want.  So, I'm turning to my blog with my wish list for company-provided health insurance to see if anyone has any suggestions or ideas.

First, some setup:  We have about 25 W2 employees, and another 12 parttime to fulltime independent contractors doing work on a project basis.  Of that total, we have 12 people in California, and the rest are in the DC area (DC/MD/VA).  Everyone has different needs/wants:  Some have families, some have their own personal healthcare at good rates and want to keep it, some have personal healthcare but want to move to a corporate plan because it would be cheaper.

So here's what we're looking for, ideally.  Does this exist?  Or a variation of this?

Offer employees a monthly bucket of money (start at $100 per employee per month and increase it as we grow) and let them choose how to spend it... health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, dental, vision, etc.  Have the employee pay 30% of the health insurance plan so they have skin in the game-- that encourages them to choose the HDHP plan.  Also, put a certain amount of Health Savings Account (HSA) money in annually (maybe $500?) for each employee who chooses HDHP.

Our company PointAbout, Inc has been researching health insurance options for over 6 months now.  I've always understood health insurance to be a complicated mess, but the more I dig into it, the more I wish I didn't have to. Several of the executive staff at PointAbout have evaluated various health insurance options, but we haven't been able to find a plan or provider that gives us what we want.  So, I'm turning to my blog with my wish list for company-provided health insurance to see if anyone has any suggestions or ideas. First, some setup:  We have about 25 W2 employees, and another 12 parttime to fulltime independent contractors doing work on a project basis.  Of that total, we have 12 people in California, and the rest are in the DC area (DC/MD/VA).  Everyone has different needs/wants:  Some have families, some have their own personal healthcare at good rates and want to keep it, some have personal healthcare but want to move to a corporate plan because it would be cheaper. So here's what we're looking for, ideally.  Does this exist?  Or a variation of this? Offer employees a monthly bucket of money (start at $100 per employee per month and increase it as we grow) and let them choose how to spend it... health insurance, life insurance, disability insurance, dental, vision, etc.  Have the employee pay 30% of the health insurance plan so they have skin in the game-- that encourages them to choose the HDHP plan.  Also, put a certain amount of Health Savings Account (HSA) money in annually (maybe $500?) for each employee who chooses HDHP. Since the HDHP is cheaper for the company, encouraging the employee to choose it by having them pay 30% of the health insurance premium and putting some cash towards the employee's HSA (that rolls over annually) while paying $100/mo for anything the employee wants to spend it on feels like it's strike the best balance for all parties involved. And it would be ideal if the employee could put that $100/month towards their own, or their spouse's healthcare costs -- i.e., they don't have to go with our plans if they didn't want to, but could put that money towards the healthcare they're already buying (pre-tax, if possible). (Thanks, by the way, to Michael T. for suggesting this approach -- I won't post his full name unless he's OK with me doing so) Anyone know if this can be done?  Any suggestions about alternate approaches that have worked well for others?

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