Creekstone Benefits
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HSA's

Health Savings Accounts

We speak with people every day about Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and most of them just don’t understand how they work.   Let’s face it, the government regulates these things so it can be confusing.  That's why we're here, to help it all make sense.

 

HSA Basics

HSA’s have been around since 2003 and have quickly become one of the best ways to help control the rising cost of health coverage.   So, here is our effort at trying to explain them!

There are 2 parts to an HSA: Part 1, you have a Qualified High Deductible Health Plan  (QHDHP) through an insurance company.   This is your health insurance.  Part 2, a special bank account called a Health Savings Account (HSA) that allows you to pay for healthcare expenses tax free.   Because you have part 1 you can legally have part 2.  To help confuse you, people use the term HSA to refer to both the QHDHP and the actual HSA.

Part 1

What is a QHDHP?  
Well it can change every year but, for 2017:
•    Minimum $1300 single or $2600 family deductible
•    No first dollar coverage or copays – except for preventive care
•    Must be filed with the state as a QHDHP


Part 2 – The cool part

What is an HSA?
This is an actual bank account.  It can be at any bank that offers HSA’s (most banks now).  This account is usually free of charge (If it’s not, you may want to try a different bank) and earns interest.   

The money you put in this account is tax free and can be used for any “qualifying medical expense.”   This means that the expense has to fall within certain IRS guidelines, which is probably more than you would expect!  For example:
• All the normal stuff – Doctor & Hospital expenses, prescriptions
• Vision exams, contacts, glasses
• Dental expenses (non-cosmetic)
• Over the Counter drugs – If you have a prescription from your doctor.

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Ok, so now let's see how this would work if you had some medical expenses.  Let's say you have an insurance plan that has a $2000 deductible and 100% coinsurance.  (Plan pays 100% after you meet the deductible.)  

Claim #1

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Claim #2

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HSA Qualified Expenses

The following contains a list of qualified and non-qualified medical expenses. This list is intended to provide a quick guide.

For more details refer to IRS Publication 502 or speak with a tax advisor. 

Abortion
Acupuncture
Alcoholism treatment
Ambulance services
Anesthetists
Artificial limbs
Bandages
Birth control pills (by prescription)
Breast reconstruction surgery (mastectomy) 
Blood tests
Braces
Orthopedist
Braille books/magazines
Car modifications required for accessibility
Chiropractor
Christian Science Practitioner
Contact lenses
Crutches
Dental treatment (except cosmetic treatment)
Dentures
Dermatologist
Diagnostic devices and fees (includes expenses related to diagnosing & treating illness such as blood sugar tests for diabetics)
Disabled dependent care
Drug addiction therapy (covers inpatient treatment including meals & lodging)
Eyeglasses
Eye surgery (includes laser eye treatments)
Fertility treatments
Guide dogs
Hearing aids
InsulinLaboratory tests
Insurance premiums (only if receiving unemployment benefits)
Lead based paint removal (only removal, not repainting)
Medicare Part B Premiums
Medicare Part D Premiums
Nursing services
Obstetrician
Ophthalmologist
Operations (except cosmetic)
Optician
Oral Surgery
Orthopedic Shoes
Out-of-pocket expenses for your spouse/dependent Oxygen (for equipment to relieve breathing problems)
Physician
Postnatal treatments
Prenatal care
Prescription drugs
Prosthesis
Psychiatric care
Psychoanalysis
Registered nurse
Splints
Sterilization
Stop
Smoking Programs (except non prescription drugs) Transportation and essential to medical care
Vaccines
Vasectomy
Vision correction surgery
Weight loss programs (only amounts related to treatment for specific diseases)
Wheelchairs X-rays;


Contribution Limits

See the history of contribution limits below.

  • 2019
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,500
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $7,000
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2018
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,450
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,900 (Decreased with tax bill but the IRS reversed the decision)
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2017
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,400
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,750
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2016
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,350
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,750
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2015
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,350
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,650
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2014
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,300
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,500
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2013
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,250
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,450
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2012
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,100
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,250
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000
  • 2011
    • Individual Maximum Contribution: $3,050
    • Family Maximum Contribution: $6,150
    • HSA Catch-up Contributions (age 55 or older*): $1,000

      *  Catch-up contributions can be made any time during the year in which the HSA participant turns 55.

  

We hope this makes HSAs a little more understandable, but if you have questions, contact us at Creekstone Benefits today!