JULY 23, 2013 – As consumer driven health plans continue to expand across the country HSA Ed hopes to provide you with the most up to date information on Health Savings Accounts. Implementing a Health Savings Account program helps you control your health costs and puts you in charge of your family’s health care. Over the next few weeks, Concierge Medicine Today and HSAEd.com will focus on topics surrounding HSAs by taking a look at some of the frequently asked questions, hot topics, concerns and more. This week, let’s take a look at some of the most FAQs.
A Health Savings Account is a special type of savings account like an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and/or save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. You must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be able to take advantage of HSAs. An HDHP generally costs less than what traditional health care coverage costs, so the money that you save on insurance can therefore be put into the Health Savings Account.You own and you control the money in your HSA. Decisions on how to spend the money are made by you without interference from a third party or a health insurer. You also decide what types of investments to make with the money in the account in order to make it grow.
Who is eligible for a Health Savings Account?
To be eligible for a Health Savings Account, an individual must be covered by a HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and must not be covered by other health insurance that is not an HDHP. Certain types of insurance are not considered “health insurance” (see below) and will not jeopardize your eligibility for an HSA.
Can I get an HSA even if I have other insurance that pays medical bills?
You are only allowed to have certain types of insurance like auto, dental, vision, disability and long-term care insurance at the same time as an HDHP. You may also have coverage for a specific disease or illness as long as it pays a specific dollar amount when the policy is triggered. Wellness programs offered by your employer are also permitted if they do not pay significant medical benefits.
Does the HDHP policy have to be in my name to open an HSA?
No, the policy does not have to be in your name. You can still be eligible for an HSA even if the policy is in your spouse’s name. As long as you have coverage under the HDHP policy, you can be eligible for an HSA (assuming you meet the other eligibility requirements for contributing to an HSA).
About HSAEd.com and Roy Ramthun
Roy Ramthun, “Mr. HSA”
Roy Ramthun is President of HSA Consulting Services a health care consulting practice specializing in Health Savings Accounts and consumer-driven health care issues. Prior to forming his consulting practice, Mr. Ramthun was the Special Assistant to the President for Economic Policy at the White House. Please visit our website and let us know if you have any questions or if we can help you in any way. Many questions can be answered in our Health Savings Account FAQ or you can always Ask Mr. HSA.