When you are thinking about which insurance plan to enroll in this year, you should consider a Health Savings Account (HSA) compatible plan.  Health savings accounts allow you to contribute money tax fee; the money grows tax fee; and the money is withdrawn tax free if spent on eligible medical costs.  You can use the money you contribute to an HSA account to pay for current medical expenses or save the money for future medical expenses.   There is no deadline attached to the money you contribute—it rolls over each year.  There is no “use it or lose it” like you find with FSA plans.

The maximum annual contribution to an HSA for an individual under 55 is $3,350, and the maximum annual contribution for a family with parents under 55 is $6,750.  When you turn 55, you are able to add another $1,000 to your contribution. Another advantage of an HSA account is that after age 65, you can use the funds in your account for nonhealth needs (like paying for your long term care policy) without being penalized –although the funds are then taxable.

So, consider an HSA compatible plan this year and become a consumer of healthcare and not health insurance.  You will be using tax fee money to pay for your medical expenses and, at the same time, be able to grow your savings for future medical expenses.

Cary Hall

America’s Healthcare Advocate