The Health Savings Account (HSA) is a versatile savings account designed to assist consumers who have a high-deductible health care plan and to secure dollars for use in paying qualified medical expenses. The HSA focuses on both near and long term accumulation of dollars to pay for immediate expenses, but future expenses later in life. HSA owners can take advantage of the Triple Tax Benefit of the HSA.
Triple Tax Benefit
By opening an HSA and establishing Day 11, it allows the HSA owner to benefit from
- Tax deferred contributions made directly and/or through payroll deduction, reducing overall taxable income for the year the contribution is made.
- Earnings on the contributions grow tax-deferred.
- Distributions on qualified medical expenses incurred after Day 1 shift both contributions and earnings to a tax-exempt basis.
The key benefit of the HSA is that unlike a flexible savings account (FSA) offered through many employer benefit plans, unused contributions can be carried over year after year and do not face the “use-it-or lose-it” rule.
Multiple Contribution Options
Employer: An employer has the option to make a contribution on behalf of their employees. Employer contributions can provide a jump start for offsetting annual deductibles and building success in using the HSA.
Employee Payroll Contribution: Employers may provide the ability for employees to defer payroll dollars to an HSA. These contributions are tax-deferred for the employee and assist in developing a consistent accumulation of HSA dollars for future use against health care expenses.
Direct Contribution: HSA owners also have the ability to make HSA contributions directly to their HSA outside of payroll contributions. These contributions are tax deductible and provide a key flexible method for setting additional dollars aside to cover medical expenses at any point in the future.
The HSA can benefit from any combination of these contribution types in a given tax year as long as the aggregate total from all three types does not exceed the Self-Only or Family contribution limits based on the type of high deductible health plan (HDHP) the HSA owner is covered by.
Using Your HSA Dollars
Accumulated HSA dollars can be used on a tax-exempt basis to cover any qualified medical expense for the HSA owner, their spouses and dependents. Payments for qualified medical expenses can also cover those same individuals even if they are not covered by the HDHP plan of the HSA owner.
After Age 65
After age 65, the list of qualified medical expenses increases to include such items as long-term care expenses, payment of Medicare premiums and others. In addition, HSA owners can also take a distribution for non-medical expenses. These expenses result in the amount withdrawn to be included in taxable income (similar to a Traditional IRA), but do not face an IRS penalty.2
Expense Reimbursement for Out-Of-Pocket Payments after Day 1
One of the key benefits of the HSA is the ability to reimburse yourself for the expenses from the HSA at any time in future and still qualify for tax-exempt withdrawals. Once the HSA is established, an HSA owner may elect to pay qualified medical expenses directly (out-of-pocket) in order to save HSA dollars for larger future needs. These reimbursements can be for any expenses incurred after Day 1 and paid out-of-pocket and can accumulate over time. Make sure to save your receipts as evidence of direct payment.
Learn More About HSAs
The HSA is a key tool to help cover medical expenses (including vision and dental) for you and your family. Fill out the form below for more information or speak to a Treasury Management associate today.