Do Health Savings Accounts Make Financial Sense?


A health savings account, or HSA, is a smart choice for anyone who has a high deductible insurance plan. The HSA is used to pay for out of pocket costs not covered by insurance. Money in the health savings account is contributed pre-tax and can grow tax-free in the health savings account. Money not used each year rolls over to the next year.  
 
Who Can Use a Health Savings Account? 
To qualify for a health savings account you must have a high deductible health insurance policy. The benefit of a high deductible policy is that it allows both you and your employer to pay lower premiums. You then use money from your HSA to cover healthcare costs not covered by your health insurance policy.  
 
You can pay for many medical, vision, and dental expenses with your healthcare savings account. Another benefit of health savings accounts is that others can contribute to your account, including your employer and even relatives. You can contribute money to the account pre-tax as well as post-tax. After-tax contributions can be deducted from your gross income, which will lower your tax bill.  
 
Any interest earned on your health savings account is tax-free, as is money spent from the account. Your HSA will follow you, meaning you get to keep the money that is in it when you change jobs or retire.  
 
Health savings accounts make sense for individuals with high deductible health insurance plans. You can use the money in your health savings account to pay for office visits, prescription medications, and many other healthcare-related expenses. Money that you have in your HSA is yours to keep indefinitely.  
 
It is important to note that if you withdraw money from your health savings account for expenses that are not healthcare-related you will be required to pay taxes as well as a penalty. If you make the withdrawal after the age of 65, you will owe taxes but not be required to pay the penalty.  
 
HSAs are a great way to make healthcare more affordable for several reasons. Not only does this create a dedicated account to pay for medical expenses, which often includes matching funds from your employer, but using a high deductible insurance plan lowers your monthly premium.