Paying insurance premiums

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Q. What factors determine whether it is better to pay insurance premiums with pretax dollars or waive that and pay with after-tax money? My thought is that by paying with after-tax money, taxable income is increased, thereby increasing the Social Security entitlement. How do you determine if that is more beneficial than the reduced tax liability now?

A. The answer depends on your circumstances and a number of assumptions about the future. The issue is discussed on the Office of Personnel Management website at www.opm.gov/insure/archive/health/pretaxfehb/qanda/23.asp.

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