Healthy Blue HSASM – advantages
What are the advantages of HSAs?
- Funds in your HSA belong to you. Unlike other health care savings accounts, HSA funds can remain in the account year to year. There are no "use it or lose it" rules for HSAs.
- Accounts are completely portable, meaning you can keep your HSA even if you change jobs.
- Your high deductible insurance and HSA protect you against high or unexpected medical bills.
- Contributions to your HSA can be made by you, your employer or both. Relatives and friends can also contribute to your HSA. An annual contribution of up to $3,050 can be made if you have individual coverage. If you have family coverage, the annual limit is $6,150.
- You can use the funds in your account to pay for current medical expenses, including expenses that your insurance may not cover, or save the money in your account for future needs. You decide how to spend the money without relying on a third party.
- You may grow your account through investment earnings. The same types of investments permitted for an individual retirement account are allowed for an HSA. A Healthy Blue HSA allows you to grow your savings by investing in a wide variety of mutual funds.
- You can easily pay for qualified expenses with an HSA debit card, online bill payment or self-reimbursement by funds transfer.
After an employee turns 65, the HSA may be used for the following:
- Payment of eligible medical expenses until enrolled in Medicare
- Payment of eligible expenses and premiums for Medicare Part A and B, Medicare HMO, retiree premiums and non-medical expenses (which are taxed at normal rate)
- Several other conditions and situations apply. Please contact your employer for more information.
What is a catch-up contribution?
For employees 55 and older, an additional $1,000 per year (in 2009 and later) may be contributed in addition to the maximum yearly contribution. These contributions must end when the individual enrolls in Medicare.
For a husband and wife, each spouse must have a separate HSA if both want to make catch-up contributions.
How Healthy Blue HSA works with preventive care
Your employer may offer you preventive benefits. Preventive care services may be covered on a first-dollar basis, are paid immediately — subject to fixed dollar copayments — and are not subject to the deductible. (For other qualified expenses, see IRS Publication 502.) Qualified preventive care services include:
- Health maintenance exams
- Child and adult immunizations
- Tobacco cessation programs
- Weight loss programs
- Screening services
- Prescription drugs taken to prevent the onset of a condition for people who have developed risk factors (for example, cholesterol-lowering drugs)