RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?

Subject: RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?
From: "Michael L. Wyland" <michael -at- sumptionandwyland -dot- com>
To: techwr-l -at- lists -dot- techwr-l -dot- com
Date: Tue, 13 Sep 2011 10:23:51 -0500

Al (and all):

My partner (also my wife, BTW) and I have Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), which combine high-deductible major medical insurance with a savings account and debit card for routine health care expenses.

My annual deductible is $5,000, so I pay almost all of my health care expenses using the savings account. I can contribute up to about $3,000 a year tax-free into the account and use it to pay for just about any health care-related expense, from office visits to eyeglasses, and even many "alternative" health care options. It won't, however, pay for health club memberships and other wellness activities. Also, with the passage of health care reform, I can no longer use my HSA to pay for over-the-counter medications without a prescription. Anything I contribute to my HSA savings account and don't spend remains in the interest-bearing account tax-free until I use it for an approved expense or until it is given to my heirs.

My major medical policy is with Blue Cross/Blue Shield. Even though I have to pay 100% of the first $5,000 in medical expenses each year, having the insurance means that I am billed at the insurance company-negotiated rate rather than at full retail. In addition, my policy pays 100% of an annual physical as well as applicable medical screening tests depending on age and gender.

Having to spend my own money, rather than insurance co-pays, changes how I use health care. On the one hand, I am more likely to get regular dental and vision care, since it's now "covered" using money I've set aside for health care. On the other hand, I'm far more bargain-conscious and much more likely to ask a health care professional whether a test or procedure can be justified using a cost-benefit analysis. It's surprising how many times a recommendation turns into a shoulder shrug when I ask whether the provider would write the check themselves to pay for the test or procedure for themselves!


Michael L. Wyland
Sumption & Wyland
818 South Hawthorne Avenue
Sioux Falls, SD 57104-4537
(605) 336-0244
(605) 336-0275 (FAX)
(888) 4-SUMPTION (toll-free)
michael -at- sumptionandwyland -dot- com

Since 1990
Strategic Planning * Executive Coaching * Training & Facilitation

-- NEW Web site: http://www.sumptionandwyland.com
-- LinkedIn Profile -- http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelwyland





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References:
What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Mark Filiatreau
RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Margaret Cekis
RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Mark Filiatreau
Re: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Pro TechWriter
RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Connie Giordano
RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Mark Filiatreau
Re: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Peter Neilson
RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Mark Filiatreau
Re: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Kathleen MacDowell
RE: What's a good freelance rate for technical writers?: From: Al Geist

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