>> I much appreciate your comprehensive reply and referenced information.You hit the nail on the head with respect to employer-provided healthcare.Over the past five years, my *Fortune 100* employer has continued to chip away at health care benefits to the point where company benefits are now roughly comparable to those offered by small businesses. <<Until 2002, we paid nothing for employer-provided medical benefits. In 2003, we paid $50 every pay period (twice a month) and in 2004 we paid $82. This year it's down to $75 again, but only because we went to a new plan with higher deductible (and the company gives us $2000 in an account -- similar to, but different than -- an HSA, to pay them). The standard plan is up to around $90 now, I think; it was rather remarkable that our company's premium only rose 6% this year for the same plan.In another year or two I wouldn't be surprised if we had a true HSA plan. I'd actually like to enroll in one of those, because if we FIRE or otherwise become self-employed in our future, I think that would be how we'd deal with health insurance, and by that time -- barring unforeseen medical problems -- we could have a few grand in such an account before we take that plunge *and* the actual premiums would be considerably more affordable. #29
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