December 12, 2008 – Newsletter

Posted on: December 12th, 2008 by admin No Comments

Health Savings Accounts “H.S.A.’s”

For many of you, the term H.S.A. is familiar, but there are still many who are confused as to what exactly an Health Savings Account is! We would like to provide you with some basic information.

For our clients who already have implemented HSAs, here are the new 2009 IRS guidelines:

New Annual Contribution Levels for HSAs:

The maximum annual HSA contribution for an eligible individual with self-only coverage is $3000

  • For family coverage, the maximum annual HSA contribution is $5,950
  • Catch up contribution for individuals who are 55 or older is increased by statute to $1,000 for 2009 and all years going forward
  • Individuals who are eligible individuals on the first day of the last month of the taxable year (December for most taxpayers) are allowed the full annual contribution (plus catch up contribution, if 55 or older by year end), regardless of the number of months the individual was an eligible individual in the year
  • For individuals who are no longer eligible individuals on that date, both the HSA contribution and catch up contribution apply pro rata based on the number of months of the year a taxpayer is an eligible individual

In a nutshell, an H.S.A. is a different (and relatively new) way to purchase insurance and fund your healthcare expenses. You purchase a high deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) to protect yourself against catastrophic loss. In conjunction with the HDHP, you are eligible to set up a pre-tax savings account to save money to pay for routine medical expenses or future medical expenses. In doing this, you should be able to save money on health insurance premiums while building reserves for future medical expenses.

For those of you who would like more information on HSAs, Benefits By Design would be happy to help! Please call us to set up a time to discuss. 480-831- 7700
Please visit the HSA Resource Center for more information:

Client Spotlight

Functional Performance Center
At the Functional Performance Center, our evaluations and treatment strategies are centered around “function” and movement. We specialize in an individualized, contemporary, and scientifically-based approach toward physical therapy – assisting those with functional limitations in achieving their goals while improving and maintaining their physical and functional well-being. All programs are individually prescribed and directed by a licensed physical therapist. Our rule is to treat each patient with the same care and respect that we would offer to our own family members. Our services include physical therapy, custom-molded orthotics, functional training & conditioning, ASTYM treatment, running assessments, and massage therapy.

We accept most insurance plans. To learn more about us visit www.functionalperformance.com or call us at 480.968.2020.
Functional Performance Website

The Credit Crunch:

How the Banking Crisis Impacts Your Business, and What Can You Do About It?
A $700 billion bank bailout. Washington Mutual, Merrill Lynch, Lehman and many other banks didn’t survive long enough to benefit from one of the largest government bailouts in history. For large and small companies, the banking crisis will have a major impact on how they do business in 2009.

“We are seeing the banks become much more risk averse,” says Scott Mahoney, a banking consultant and former banker for 12 years. “Lending standards are tighter today than we have seen in many years.”

For businesses, this means less loans will be available, even for the strongest borrowers. Pricing on all forms of credit is going up, despite reductions in interest rates by the Federal Reserve. Covenants, personal guarantees, and due diligence by the banks will be much stricter.

So as a business owner, what can you do to protect your business and ensure you have access to the capital you need to grow and survive in a tough market?

“The most critical factors for a positive banking relationship in 2009 will be good planning, and constant communication,” says Mahoney, founder of Catalyst Corporate Solutions. Catalyst advises businesses on how to gain better access to all forms of capital and significantly improve cash flows.

Here are five steps you can take to ensure your bank meets your needs in 2009:

  • Know your credit terms and conditions. Calculate all covenants before you submit any financials to your lender.
  • Be ready to explain the factors driving your financial performance.
  • Create an action plan in case your current lender cannot support you.
  • Know the bank market and build a strong secondary bank relationship.
  • Know your financial spend, or “wallet.” It is critical tool for negotiating with any lender.

The economy and the banks will improve over time. Until then, business owners will need to invest the time and energy to be sure they have the capital to weather the storm.
For more information, please see our website:

Individual Health Insurance

It may be an option for you!
Benefits By Design would like to help make sure you have the right health insurance policy for your needs and YOUR BUDGET.

Do you know anyone whose employer has cut benefits due to the effects of the economy? Do you know someone that has lost their job because of cut backs? Are you paying too much for COBRA coverage?

We can help!

You may not know this, but Benefits By Design has an Individual Plan Expert in house that can help shop plans, lower rates and make sure you are comfortable with your health insurance policy.

Call Benefits By Design today! 480-831-7700

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