Health saver account
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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
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    Lacomb, Oregon USA
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    93

    Default Health saver account

    Open enrollment again. Anybody have one of these health accounts??
    Are you happy with it?

    Any websites with good information about it out there??

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  3. #2
    Join Date
    Jul 2013
    Location
    Cullman, Alabama, USA
    Posts
    1,240

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Is this the pre tax savings account you can buy band aids & aspirin & such worth? Is it limited to $500?
    You have to fill out a form or use a special debit card to make purchase?
    I have consistently declined this account for the last several years. The aggravation is not worth the the benifit to me.
    Started summer of 2013, just another new guy, tinkering with bees.

  4. #3
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lacomb, Oregon USA
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    93

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Health saver account or HSA is different than the flexible spending account.

    Hsa seems like a good idea if you're healthy and don't go to dr. All the time. The money is tax free and rolls over every year.

  5. #4
    Join Date
    Dec 2008
    Location
    syracuse n.y.
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    5,231

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Quote Originally Posted by Scottsbee View Post
    Health saver account or HSA is different than the flexible spending account.

    Hsa seems like a good idea if you're healthy and don't go to dr. All the time. The money is tax free and rolls over every year.
    my wife uses it and swears by it, if through an employer, the one problem she has run into, is the employer changed who ever was handling the documentation. There was a real long delay getting the money from one outfit to the other causing her not to be able to access the money. other than that she has had good luck with it.
    mike syracuse ny
    Whatever you subsidize you get more of. Ronald Reagan

  6. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,361

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Do not look government gift horses in the mouth, you do not get many. The least it will do is delay tax for year, and then only if you spend it all and would have had a Sched A deduction for the same amount. Not likely.

    At best it is an IRA after retirement if you do not spend it, if you need it it is there (hope you do not). No, band-aids and aspirin are not covered. I would put money there over IRA, definitely over paying taxes.
    Shop around for carriers, fees vary. Wife's was set up way back, seems to work well with ACA .
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  7. #6
    Join Date
    Nov 2011
    Location
    Rader, Greene County, Tennessee, USA
    Posts
    10,840

    Default Re: Health saver account

    I don't have an HSA. But I do have other accounts at Vanguard, and I trust their comments ...
    https://personal.vanguard.com/us/wha.../healthsavings
    Graham
    USDA Zone 7A Elevation 1400 ft

  8. #7
    Join Date
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Nehawka, Nebraska USA
    Posts
    53,761

    Default Re: Health saver account

    >Open enrollment again. Anybody have one of these health accounts??
    Yes.

    >Are you happy with it?
    Yes.

    Unlike the FSA your money stays in the account until YOU spend it. If you only use it as you are supposed to then you have all of it pre tax. I would put in it whatever you allowed to do pre tax and consider it your insurance.
    Michael Bush bushfarms.com/bees.htm "Everything works if you let it." ThePracticalBeekeeper.com 42y 40h 39yTF

  9. #8
    Join Date
    Jan 2017
    Location
    Lacomb, Oregon USA
    Posts
    93

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Thank you for the info and links. Still have some questions that only my employer can answer.

    The lower premiums and tax deferral make the HSA very appealing.

    Not sure what the interest rate is and if it's an investment type account versus a regular savings.

  10. #9
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    Aylett, Virginia
    Posts
    3,719

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Watch out for any use it or lose it clauses. Otherwise, HSA's are a good deal for most people.
    Thankfully, the bees are smarter than I am. They are doing well, in spite of my efforts to help them.

  11. #10
    Join Date
    Mar 2014
    Location
    Gould, OK
    Posts
    118

    Default Re: Health saver account

    watch out and check the health insurance you may have to have to get the HSA. You may find a regular heath insurance plan my be what is good for you compare to a higher rate plan that wont cover as much as a regular plan would.

  12. #11
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    Byron, Il, USA
    Posts
    350

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Quote Originally Posted by Michael Bush View Post
    >Open enrollment again. Anybody have one of these health accounts??
    Yes.

    >Are you happy with it?
    Yes.

    Unlike the FSA your money stays in the account until YOU spend it. If you only use it as you are supposed to then you have all of it pre tax. I would put in it whatever you allowed to do pre tax and consider it your insurance.
    Basically Mr Bush has it right. An HSA can be a real nice thing. It works like a debit card holding whatever money you put on it. Typically, they do not expire even if you change employers. In the past many employers offered to match your contributions. Last year I got what amounted to $900 free using the match.
    It is NOT an alternative to insurance, since it just isn't that much money, and only what you actually add to it. Also, most employers only offer it with a high deductible insurance plan, so if your family has health problems that cause you to use a lot of insurance, you will have to pay the deductible first and that may burn up any advantage of the HSA.

  13. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2005
    Location
    Greensboro, North Carolina
    Posts
    3,406

    Default Re: Health saver account

    No offense, but I think most of you are missing the greatest benefits of an HSA. In my opinion, it's the greatest investment tool you have. Significantly better than an IRA or 401(k). Here's some things to think about:

    1. The money rolls over every year. There is no "use it or lose it" clause to an HSA. The money conceivably could roll over for 30 years or longer.
    2. Deposits into your HSA account are done pre-tax. The same as IRA or 401(k) contributions.
    3. Unlike IRA contributions, HSA contributions are done pre-Social Security and pre-Medicare (also pre-self employment tax). That's an additional 7.5% tax savings (or 15%, roughly, if self employed) OVER IRA contributions.
    4. The balance of your HSA grows tax free. When you have your starting balance that's low, its usually a ridiculously low interest rate (like 0.2%). When you hit a minimum amount (some say $3,000, others $5,000) you roll the difference into mutual funds, to get market rates (typically 7%). It all grows tax free.
    5. If you take the money out for qualified medical expenses, you take the money out tax free.
    6. If, for some reason, the money is still there when you hit retirement age, you just pay taxes on distributions that were not for qualified medical expenses, the same as you would with an IRA.

    So essentially, it's an IRA that helps you avoid SS and Medicare taxes AND you get to take it out tax free. Win, Win, Win.

    But, here's the real catch that makes it even better. When you open an HSA you get a debit card that you can charge medical expenses to. Or, you can choose to pay it directly yourself and reimburse yourself from the HSA account in cash. But the IRS doesn't say WHEN you have to reimburse yourself. You could do it the next week, the next month, the next year, or better yet, when you need the money. You also don't need the money in the account to be able to reimburse yourself, you just need the account to be open. But make sure you keep track of those expenses along the way.

    So, if person A puts $3,000 into an HSA and has a medical expense of $3,000 in year 1 and takes it all out, they saved the taxes on the $3,000. Sounds good. But if person B puts $3,000 into an HSA, has the same $3,000 medical expense in year 1 but instead chooses to pay it himself and let the balance grow. After 10 years that $3,000 becomes $6,000. If he repays himself then ($3,000) he's in the same boat as person A, but has an additional $3,000 he can use for medical expenses in year 10 (or later). If he retires in year 10 and doesn't need the medical expenses, he takes the money out and pays taxes on it the same as he would with an IRA.

    In my opinion, the only downside to it is that you can only put $3,400 (if single) into the account in a year.

    If you weren't bored to death by my explanation, you can read more about it here: http://www.madfientist.com/ultimate-retirement-account/

    HANDS DOWN put money into an HSA before you save anything for retirement. Use the HSA as a retirement account, and if you need the money in the future, repay yourself for the medical expenses you incurred along the way.

  14. #13
    Join Date
    Feb 2012
    Location
    West Bath, Maine, United States
    Posts
    2,361

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Quote Originally Posted by dr4ngas View Post
    watch out and check the health insurance you may have to have to get the HSA. You may find a regular heath insurance plan my be what is good for you compare to a higher rate plan that wont cover as much as a regular plan would.
    True ,in many ways, in spite of the Civil War, we are more of a Federation than a "United" States. What is so "equal"about paying different insurance rates state by state or even county by county?

    SK, nice right up, thanks for the effort and detail.
    It is not true that you cannot teach an old dog new tricks.
    They can learn them, they just can't do them.

  15. #14
    Join Date
    Feb 2016
    Location
    NW Piedmont NC
    Posts
    26

    Default Re: Health saver account

    You do have to cancel your HSA contributions once you hit 65 and apply for Medicare. The money saved up until that point is still there for your use though.

  16. #15
    Join Date
    Jul 2010
    Location
    jackson county, alabama, usa
    Posts
    10,148

    Default Re: Health saver account

    Quote Originally Posted by Lastfling View Post
    You do have to cancel your HSA contributions once you hit 65 and apply for Medicare. The money saved up until that point is still there for your use though.
    also for 65 and older the money in an hsa can be used for nonmedical expenses without paying a penalty but would be subject to state and federal income taxes.
    journaling the growth of a (mite) treatment free apiary started in 2010. 20+/- hives

  17. #16
    Join Date
    Feb 2017
    Location
    sauk rapids mn benton county usa
    Posts
    35

    Default Re: Health saver account

    can also be passed on to your children when you pass away. I know a family working on being self insured that way.

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