How much should I contribute to my HSA in 2018?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Jan 29, 2018 @ 07:01

What individuals should know

Wondering about the best strategy to fund your HSA this year? There isn’t a one-size-fits-all approaches to Health Savings Accounts, but here are a few things to consider.

First—what’s an HSA? Consumers with high deductible health plans are eligible to fund Health Savings Accounts. These savings accounts allow consumers to contribute funds tax-free to be used for qualified medical expenses. You never pay any taxes on funds used for medical expenses, and unused funds roll over every year. After age 65, you can continue to use the funds for medical expenses, or you can withdraw the funds for any use and pay only income taxes.

So how much should you contribute?

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Tags: HSAs, HSA Plan, health savings accounts, HSA Advice, HSA questions, HSA-based plan, HSA-eligible plans

Consumers missing HSA investment opportunity

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Oct 02, 2017 @ 07:10

Most using HSA as a specialized checking account 

According to a study from the Employee Benefit Research Institute, the vast majority of Health Savings Account holders are not taking advantage of the investment potential of their accounts.

The study reported that most account holders use their HSAs as “specialized checking accounts,” using the funds to cover deductibles, coinsurance and copayments. But they aren’t taking advantage of the investment opportunity of HSAs, nor are they maximizing their contributions.

The report found that just 4 percent of account holders invested their HSA balance, and the average total contribution in 2016 was $2,922, less than one half of the allowable maximum for family coverage.

While using HSAs for healthcare expenses is valuable, maximizing contributions and investing funds can be the most effective way to benefit from the accounts.

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Tags: deductible, HSA, HSAs, health savings account, health savings, High Deductible Health Plan, health insurance deductible, Individual health insurance, high deductibles, health savings accounts, HSA Advice, individual digest

IRS sets HSA limits for 2018

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 17, 2017 @ 09:05

Limits slightly increased

The IRS has released the new Health Savings Accounts contribution limits and maximum out-of-pocket figures for 2018.

Next year, contribution limits for individuals rise to $3,450, from $3,400 in 2017. For families, limits rise to $6,900, from 2017’s $6,700.

Maximum out-of-pocket figures also rose—for individuals, the max out-of-pocket is up to $6,650 from $6,550 in 2017, and for families, max out-of-pocket is $13,300, from $13,100 in  2017.

HSAs are tax-advantaged savings accounts that can be used for eligible medical costs. Want to learn more about HSAs?

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, HSAs, health savings account, obamacare, HSA Rules, health reform, health savings accounts, heath insurance

How to reimburse yourself from your HSA

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, May 01, 2017 @ 10:05

What to do if you don’t have enough in your HSA to cover your bill

Have a Health Savings Account and experience a medical event? Even if you don’t have enough in your HSA to cover the bill at that time, you can reimburse yourself later.

As long as the account was opened before the healthcare experience occurred, you can reimburse yourself at any time. Here’s how it works.

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Tags: deductible, HSA, HSAs, health savings account, health savings, High Deductible Health Plan, health insurance deductible, Individual health insurance, high deductibles, health savings accounts, HSA Advice, individual digest

How to market HSA-eligible plans to employees

Posted by Emily Kubis on Mon, Apr 17, 2017 @ 09:04

Messaging matters

HSA-eligible health plans represent clear financial benefits to employers. In one case study we conducted at Bernard Health, switching to this strategy created more than $260,000 in savings over five years for our employer client.

But adoption is key to a successful HSA strategy. About half of U.S. employers offer at least one HSA-eligible plan, but only about 29 percent of employees are enrolled in one, according to Kaiser Family Foundation

Certainly, there is room for improvement. At Bernard Health, HSAs are the foundation of our brokerage, and our average adoption rate is 81 percent—well over industry standards. We’ve been helping employers maximize value in their benefits packages for ten years, and here’s what we’ve learned about improving your messaging and in turn, your adoption rates.

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Tags: health savings account, employer health benefits, health savings accounts, health insurance small employers, employer digest

How would Trump expand HSAs?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, Dec 14, 2016 @ 09:12

Popular proposal could see traction in 2017

Expanding Health Savings Accounts is a popular conservative health policy likely to see traction under President Donald Trump next year.

But what does expansion mean for the tax-advantaged savings accounts? Many consumers already have HSAs, which allow consumers to contribute funds tax-free and use them for qualified medical expenses.

A number of bills and proposals have been put forth for expanding HSAs in 2016 and in prior years, but nothing has been passed yet. We’ll have to wait until Trump takes office in late January to see which expansion elements his administration might propose, but here are a few ideas:

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Tags: HSA, HSAs, health savings account, health savings accounts, Individual Plans, Donald Trump, individual digest, Paul Ryan

IRS sets HSA limits for 2017

Posted by Emily Kubis on Wed, May 04, 2016 @ 09:05

Guidelines mostly unchanged for next year 

The Internal Revenue Service has released limits for health savings accounts in 2017. There isn't much change in store for the medical savings accounts, through which consumers can contribute funds tax-free to be used for medical expenses.

Guidelines for maximum out-of-pocket limits, contribution limits and minimum deductible levels are adjusted every year, but 2017’s rates will be mostly identical to this year’s.  Only individual contribution limits have been adjusted, by an increase of $50. See below for the new guidelines:

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Tags: Affordable Care Act, HSAs, health savings account, obamacare, HSA Rules, health reform, health savings accounts, heath insurance

Should I start a health savings account?

Posted by Emily Kubis on Fri, Feb 12, 2016 @ 07:02

An overview of HSAs

High-deductible health insurance plans are some of the most popular and fastest growing type of insurance plan offered on and off the marketplace. According to the American Journal of Managed Care, 85 percent of marketplace consumers chose high-deductible plans in 2014, and this year the number may be even higher.

If you recently chose a high-deductible plan for your 2016 coverage, you may have some questions about health savings accounts, which are often paired with high-deductible plans to help consumers pay for medical costs. Here are four frequently asked questions about HSAs:

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Tags: HSA, HSAs, health savings account, healthcare, High Deductible Health Plan, high deductibles, health savings accounts

Seniors: Here's how to plan for a healthy retirement

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Mon, Oct 20, 2014 @ 05:10

Medicare advice and other options for seniors 

Many people wait until retirement age to start planning for healthcare coverage. This is a mistake.

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Tags: health insurance, Medicare, retirement, health savings accounts

Belmont University 2014 health plan comparison

Posted by Alex Tolbert on Thu, Nov 21, 2013 @ 14:11

Comparing the PPO health plan and the HDHP health plan 

As a Belmont University employee, maybe you have asked some of these questions before when looking at the options Belmont offers you: At Bernard, we have people flooding our stores asking for help evaluating their employer coverage. The right plan is never an easy choice! 

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Tags: health savings accounts

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