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Gardner Cook: $325
Gardner Cook: $325
Gardner Cook (left) with his business partner, Layne Kemp.
Age: 42
Occupation: Employee-benefits broker
Hometown: Sonoma, Calif.

We have an Anthem health savings account with a $3,000 deductible. Our monthly premium for two adults and two children is $325.

Health insurance is my business and I chose an HAS plan, or Health Savings Account, for my family. An HSA is set up at a local bank in correlation with a participating insurance company. Funds put into the HSA are tax free.

My family is active and we do our best to stay healthy, so we typically do not exceed the $3,000 deductible. Last year, we spent about $300 on doctor's visits. This year it might be a little bit more because my kids already got sick. We had to pay around $50 to take each kid to the doctor, and that money came out of our HSA account.

When picking a health insurance plan, I look at the premium. If we were to spend $550 per month to have a lower deductible, we would be spending $225 more per month. Instead we put that money into a HSA account, almost covering our $3,000 deductible. If we don't use the money this year, it rolls over for next year.

My thoughts on universal health care: Health care should remain mostly in the private sector, except the government should have a catastrophic claim umbrella.

There are a lot of people out there who just don't want to pay the $325 a month like I do. And a lot of uninsured people think that all insurance programs are just too expensive -- they need to be educated to understand that there are alternatives.

NEXT: Fran Barker: $198

Last updated May 01 2009: 12:50 PM ET
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