Health Savings Account (HSA)
What is a Health Savings Account?
A HSA is designed to help you manage the rising costs of health care by allowing you to set aside money to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses and save for retirement. You can think of it as a personal savings account for medical expenses where unused funds will earn interest until they are withdrawn at retirement.
Why consider a HSA?
- Lower premiums. With an HDHP you pay less in premiums, which means you get to keep more of the money you earn.
- Retirement savings. HSA funds can easily be invested, and will continue to gain interest until you withdraw them penalty-free after age 65.
- Funds roll over. HSA dollars rollover each year so your money remains in your account. It doesn’t ‘expire’ or become forfeited at the end of the year.
How does a HSA work?
In order to use a HSA, you must have a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). A qualifying HDHP is a medical insurance plan that includes an individual deductible of at least $1,300 or a family deductible of at least $2,600 per year.
Once you have an HDHP in place, you may open a HSA. A HSA is essentially a savings account where you defer money on a tax-deductible (or pre-tax if made by payroll deduction) basis to cover future medical costs. It can be invested or just sit there, depending on your comfortability. The money can be withdrawn, tax-free, to pay for qualified medical expenses such as unreimbursed health care expenses. Any unused money is rolled over to the next year.
You’re eligible to participate in a Health Savings Account if you:
- have health coverage under a qualifying high deductible health plan (HDHP)
- are not eligible for Medicare
- are not eligible to be claimed as a dependent on someone’s tax return
- are not covered by any other non-qualifying health plan (i.e. a health plan offered through your spouse’s employer)
- and/or your spouse are not enrolled in a Health Care FSA