What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is an individually-owned, tax-free, interest-bearing savings account that is used to pay for qualified medical expenses either now or in the future.
Who is eligible?
- You must be covered under a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP).
- You cannot be enrolled in Medicare.
- You cannot be covered under any other health plan.
How does an HSA work?
Once you enroll in an HSA, you will receive an HSA Visaź debit card for instant access to HSA funds. Just swipe your card to pay for eligible medical expenses and funds will be automatically deducted from your HSA.
Remember that you must have enough funds in your HSA to cover the expense. You also have the option of paying for medical expenses out of your own pocket and letting your HSA funds earn interest for future qualified expenses.
You and/or your employer.
HSA contribution limits for 2012 (Up to the maximum annual limit determined by the IRS each year.)
- $3,100 for individual coverage
- $6,250 for family coverage
HDHP deductible minimum amounts for 2012
- $1,200 for individual coverage
- $2,400 for family coverage
- $6,050 for individual coverage
- $12,100 for family coverage
Note: Includes deductible and any expenses incurred once deductible is met.
What are some of the advantages of HSAs?
- Lower health insurance premiums
Typically, HSA-qualified high-deductible health insurance premiums are much lower than non-high-deductible plan premiums.
- Employer contributions
Many employers contribute money every year to your HSA. Check your benefit plan documents for details.
- Considerable tax savings
- The contributions you and your employer make to the HSA are pre-tax or tax deductible.
- HSA investment earnings and interest are not taxed.
- Unspent HSA funds can be invested tax-free.
- Withdrawals made from your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses are not taxed.
- No use-it-or-lose-it rule
Your HSA balance rolls over from year to year.
- You own your HSA
Your HSA is yours even if you change jobs, change medical coverage, move, become unemployed or retire.
- HSA funds can be used for the whole family
Use HSA funds for your spouse and tax dependents even if they are not covered by your insurance.
You decide whether to spend the money now or to let it grow for future expenses.
- Long-term savings
Funds left in your HSA grow tax-free. Once you reach age 65, you can use HSA funds for anything without paying a penalty.