What is a Health Savings Account?
A health savings account (HSA) from a bank or savings perspective is a type of account you set up with a participating bank that is designated to be used to health-related expenses only. The money you put in to this account is tax-free but cannot be used on anything but health-related expenses such as doctor’s visits, procedures, prescriptions, dental and vision services, etc. Health Savings Account funds cannot, however, be used to pay actual premiums.
How does an HSA work?
An HSA can be used to pay for current expenses as well as a means of saving for future health costs. There are many advantages to using an HSA, many being financial. Contributions made to an HSA are tax-deductible or if it’s taken directly from your paycheck it is taken from your pretax pay. If you are considering withdrawing from your HSA then it will be tax-free if the medical expense qualifies. Another advantage of an HSA is that it stays with you if you change jobs.
The money contributed to your HSA can be used to pay your health insurance deductible and qualified medical expenses. Some of these expenses may include dental and vision care although they may not be covered under health insurance. If you must withdraw from your account for non-qualified expenses you will be taxed based on your income rate. An additional 20 percent tax will be charged if you are under the age of 65, according to HSAcenter.com.
What is a “qualified medical expense”?
The Internal Revenue Service Tax Code describes in Section 213(d) qualified medical expenses. According to HSAcenter.com, these expenses must “alleviate or prevent a physical or mental defect or illness.” While the IRS may alter what is considered a qualified expense, you can find a comprehensive list here.
What are the 2018 contribution limits?
An individual with single medical coverage in 2018 can contribute $3,450 to an HSA. This is a $50 increase from 2017. The annual HSA contribution limit is $6,850 for those covered under qualifying family medical plans. This contribution is a $100 increase from 2017.
What does Florida Blue offer?
Florida Blue offers high-deductible health benefit plans to be used with an HSA, such as a silver plan with a deductible of $3600 for an individual or $7200 for a family. There’s also a bronze plan with a deductible of $6000 for an individual or $12000 for a family. All qualified medical expenses go towards those amounts and the deductible serves as the out of pocket maximum as well. So once those amounts are paid, the plan’s coverage takes care of the rest for that calendar year. Funds in the bank’s HSA account can roll over from year to year.
For further questions regarding health savings accounts or any other Florida Blue health insurance plans, please feel free to contact us anytime.