A Health Savings Account or HSA is becoming an increasingly popular tool for many people to save money, reduce their annual tax burden, and pay for their medical expenses. Like with an IRA, individuals wishing to enroll in a HSA programs can deposit a maximum amount of money into their a HSAs each year and then invest that money into high interest-yielding vehicles, such as stocks and bonds.
However, while HSAs do provide an excellent method of saving money and developing a strong savings account, there are some requirements that participants will have to be comfortable with in order to make the most out of their a HSA. For most people, HSAs are wise financial moves that will help to protect their money while also developing a nest egg to use for future medical expenses.
Here are some things that everyone needs to think about when considering open a HSA:
Healthy people will reap more advantages
HSAs can be used by anyone to pay for qualifying medical expenses and to grow wealth. However, in order to have a HSA, participants need to enroll in high deductible health insurance plans. As a result of these high deductible health insurance plans, participants will pay smaller premiums for their health insurance each month, but the plan deductible will be increased. In order for the health insurance provider to begin paying for qualifying medical expenses, participants’ annual deductibles need to be met first.
When a HSA participant is healthy, he or she will have minimum annual health care expenses. However, if an individual has any health conditions that require attention and care, the individual will have to pay more out of pocket towards his or her health before the health insurance provider begins covering the medical costs.
The deductible associated with a HSA can vary based on the particular plan that a participant chooses. Therefore, it is important that individuals select a plan with a deductible that they are comfortable paying. Then, as they contribute money into a HSA, those contributions can help pay for medical expenses until the deductible is met each year.
Depending on a participants’ unique health situation, a HSA can still help them save money even if they do have ongoing health conditions that require attention because of the money participants save each month off of the cost of their premium payments. If they invest that monthly savings into high interest vehicles, they can increase the funds used to pay the deductible effortlessly.
A Health Savings Account lets you save for future health care expenses
The money that individuals contribute to a HSA can be invested into any type of investment that the individual desires. In many cases, individuals choose to put their savings into high interest-yielding vehicles, such as stocks, CDs, or a money market account, which means that the funds will grow tax-free. These funds can be used in the future to pay for qualifying medical expenses. In essence, individuals who participate in a Health Savings Account are making wise financial choices that will benefit them down the road.
However, if an individual has an accident and needs the funds from a Health Savings Account immediately, the individual will have to feel comfortable withdrawing the money and using it to pay for an incident. Individuals who have ongoing medical conditions may also have to feel comfortable using the money regularly to pay towards the health insurance deductible.
Everyone considering enrolling in a Health Savings Account should also be aware that the funds they deposit into a Health Savings Account can be used to pay for anything – not just medical expenses. Therefore, a Health Savings Account participant can grow his or her savings tax-free for as long as he or she wants. The savings will only be taxed if they are withdrawn to pay for an non-qualifying expense.
Increased control over health condition
Another benefit of enrolling in a Health Savings Account is that participants will have increased control over how they spend their medical dollars. Funds from a Health Savings Account are limited and fully controlled by the account owner. Therefore, participants tend to pay close attention to which medical services they receive and what those prices are. As participants shop around for the best prices, they are in better control over their medical expenses and services.
However, if an individual is prone to desiring many medical tests and services performed and would rather not think about the price of the service or the necessity of the service, the individual may end up paying more money than he or she would like because of the high deductible. Therefore, a Health Savings Account is often more desirable for individuals who are discriminatory when it comes to their health care expenses and services.
For more information about establishing a Health Savings Account for 2010, individuals should speak with a qualified health insurance or Health Savings Account advisor, as it is important that participants are fully aware of the requirements and functions of a Health Savings Account. Health Savings Accounts are wise financial and health care options for many people and, if used optimally, can save participants thousands of dollars each year off the cost of health care expenses – while also helping them to grow their wealth.