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This Web site contains a compilation of more than a thousand consumer finance  columns written by Tony Novak from the 1980s through 2006, updated and reformatted for maximum usefulness today.  New material was added after 2010.

Content is the opinion of the author and does not represent the position of any other person or entity. Information is from sources believed to be reliable but cannot be guaranteed.

The author is paid for product endorsements and has an ownership or other financial interest in the businesses related to the topics covered.

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originally posted: 11/22/2006  reposted: 2/18/2011 This post has not been recently reviewed or revised by the author and may be out of date. If you notice an error or are in doubt, please send a new question by email or ask for an update. Email

Q: I was thinking of enrolling with Lifewise of Arizona for health insurance. This company has been doing business in Arizona for only a year but I understand it is also doing business in Washington, Oregon and Alaska. Do you know anything about Lifewise?

A: Comments from OnlineAdviser users have been vaguely positive, and we have had no specific complaints about Lifewise. Lifewise was one of the first companies to offer health savings account qualified health plans in Washington state when most other HMOs and managed care companies resisted the concept. This is the primary reason the plan is included at We generally do not support the concept of HMOs or managed health care but recognize that it is necessary especially for those with significant ongoing health expenses. HMOs and managed care companies do not use independent enrollment services like or OnlineAdviser, but rely instead on their internal employees to provide enrollment support.


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