Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) were created by the Medicare bill signed by President Bush on December 8, 2003 and are designed to help individuals save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. As long as you have a “High-Deductible-Health-Plan” (HDHP), you are eligible to enroll in an HSA. The Affordable Care Act legislation and its Marketplaces that were implemented in 2014, did not remove these types of policies.
Here in Ohio, most major health carriers offer HSAs. Rates can vary, so it is a good idea to shop around for the best rate/coverage in your area. It’s equally important to understand the ramification that Obamacare subsidies have on your current plan. For instance, if your current income level allows you to take advantage of a Silver-tier cost-sharing plan, the substantial reduction in the deductible and maximum out-of-pocket costs may impact the tax-status.
What is a Health Savings Account (“HSA”)?
A Health Savings Account is an alternative to traditional health insurance; it is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis. You can enroll in a plan through the Marketplace or purchase separately “off-Exchange.”
You must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be able to take advantage of HSAs. An HDHP generally costs less than what traditional healthcare coverage costs, so the money that you save on insurance can therefore be put into the Health Savings Account. Deductibles are high, typically between $4,000 and $6,600 per person.
You own and you control the money in your HSA. Decisions on how to spend the money are made by you without relying on a third party or a health insurer. You will also decide what types of investments to make with the money in the account in order to make it grow. However, with interest rates quite low, typically the “fixed” options pay significantly less than 1%. Equity options are risky and potential returns are not guaranteed.
How much does an HSA cost?
Prior to the passage of the Obamacare legislation, prices were very low compared to other types of plans. With federal subsidies now offered, although premiums remain fairly low, other subsidized options may provide lower out-of-pocket costs at the same or lower cost.
You can easily compare Ohio HSA rates on our website. Since maximum contributions, cost of coverage, and interest rates change every year, we update the list of eligible policies and their cost each month.
You must have an HDHP if you want to open an HSA. Sometimes referred to as a “catastrophic” health insurance plan, an HDHP is an inexpensive health insurance plan that generally doesn’t pay for the first several thousand dollars of health care expenses (i.e., your “deductible”) but will generally cover you after that . Of course, your HSA is available to help you pay for the expenses your plan does not cover.
July 2015 – These types of plans are still available. 2016 rates will be published within the next few months.Tags: ohio health savings accounts Posted by