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Health Savings Accounts

Discussion in 'Finances, Work, and Disability' started by sensing progress, Aug 2, 2010.

  1. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    Tucson, AZ
    I have one of those ultra-high deductible health insurance plans that allow health savings accounts (HSAs). I don't have a HSA currently, but looking to start one soon. Every account provider I looked up seems to have lots of maitenance fees, etc. Does anyone know a good one?
  2. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    no one has a HSA?? :worried:
  3. silicon

    silicon Senior Member

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    I have one with HSA Bank...but they do have maintenance fees.
  4. caledonia

    caledonia

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    Cincinnati, OH, USA
    Maybe I don't fully understand the concept of HSA's, but why couldn't you just have a regular savings account/money market fund, etc. - something liquid that actually draws interest instead of charging fees?
  5. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    HSA Bank? Do they only work with Health Savings Accounts? Anyway, do you recommend them overall?

    The advantage of a Health Savings Account is that any funds you put in there cannot be taxed. It lowers your adjusted gross income, so could potentially save you several hundred dollars a year in taxes depending how much you contribute and what tax bracket you're in. I believe the maximum contribution for 2010 is $3,050. You can have a regular savings account but it won't have the tax advantages. The amount of interest you'd earn in regular savings would likely be a lot less than the potential tax savings from a HSA.
  6. Stone

    Stone Senior Member

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    Because the HSA money is deducted from your pay before taxes are calculated, which is nice. The only catch is that if you don't use it ALL by the end of the year (or whatever set time period) you lose it. It can be a bit of a gamble if you're not sure you're going to need it. I used to have one through my husband's employer and I would choose an amount that I expected to run out in September, just to be on the safe side. It really helps especially if you don't itemize on you taxes. Prior to reading this thread, I did not even know there was such a thing as a HSA that charges maintenance fees. I think fees like that are ridiculous. It's mostly done by computer! They send you a card that looks and works just like a debit card but it won't work for any medical expenses that do not qualify. Simple and convenient! If they must charge fees, they (morally) ought to be very small. Sheesh! Everybody's trying to get into the pockets of sick people. It's disgusting.
  7. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    I'm not sure, but I don't think you have to use it by the end of the year. What I read before said the money stays there as long as you like and is not taxed. You don't have to use it within a specific timeframe. You might be thinking of a Cafeteria plan, which is different and makes you use it by the end of the year.
  8. silicon

    silicon Senior Member

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    I haven’t thought about this topic since I opened my account a couple of years ago. I do remember that the reason I liked HSA Bank was that they permitted funds to be invested in the stock market (which is really a tangential feature anyway). I haven’t had any problems with them. I would think that most of these banks are pretty similar, since they are governed by the same regulations—I doubt it matters much which bank you decide to go with. Just make sure that the account is convenient to use—I can move funds in and out online, and they sent me a card that I can use like a credit card to debit my account, which is a lot more convenient than paying and then submitting a form for reimbursement (but I assume these are fairly basic, common features). And yes, you do not need to use the money within a given timeframe—it’s like an IRA, except that you can use the money at any time, for certain types of medical expenses.
  9. Otis

    Otis Señor Mumbler

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    When I was employed I had a HSA (technically it was a flexible spending account (FSA). One benefit to the plan was that it covered medical costs and even OTC drugs and things like band aids. Walgreens notes eligible expenditures on their cash register receipts. Not sure if FSAs work the same...
  10. August59

    August59 Daughters High School Graduation

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    Upstate SC, USA
    I have had 2 accounts at different companies that I used to work for. They were both classified as "FSA - Flexable Spending Acct. and were administered through the company I was working for, which resulted in no fees. They can definitely save you money, but plan carefully
  11. sensing progress

    sensing progress Senior Member

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    I ended up getting a HSA through NASA Federal Credit Union - https://www.nasafcu.com/l2.aspx?ci=1028. There are no fees with the HSA through them! They will allow anyone to join if you become a member of one of their approved associations. Most cost a small fee but there is one that is free. After that it was easy to sign up and the people there were very friendly and helpful.

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