Review your health plan
If you're still on that old HMO, reevaluate your family's health situation - you may benefit more from a flexible spending account.
By Ellen McGirt, Fortune senior writer

(Fortune Magazine) -- If you are covered by an employer-sponsored health plan, chances are you'll have a high-deductible plan linked to a health savings account to consider this year - along with the usual array of HMOs, PPOs and point of service plans. It may be a tempting choice, but when it comes to health insurance, the cheaper option often has hidden costs.

Instead of shopping simply by premium price, take a careful look at how your family actually used your insurance in the past year and, more important, how your needs may have changed. For healthy individuals and for families with young kids, an HMO may indeed be the cheapest, best choice. But a new diagnosis in the past year - asthma, diabetes, infertility, depression - may mean you need a different plan.

Worker portion of health costs 2006
Avg. cost for single coverage: $627
Avg. cost for family coverage: $2,973
Avg. PPO deductible for singles: $473
Avg. PPO deductibles for families: $710-$1,034
Source:Kaiser Family Foundation

If you're eligible for a flexible-spending account, which lets you set aside pretax dollars for out-of-pocket health-care costs like co-pays, eye care and over-the-counter drugs, be sure to sign up. Families earning $75,000 with two kids can save $600 if they sock away $5,000. And thanks to a 2005 IRS ruling, you may have until March 15 to use the money. Check with your employer.

Next steps:

6. Clean up your taxable account

7. Do a property insurance checkup

8. Check the new credits and taxes

Previous steps:

1. Rebalance your 401(k)

2. Revisit your estate plan

3. Sock it away

4. Give smarter

5. Review your health plan


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