Thursday, November 26, 2015

HSA Info for 2016 ...or... 2017

Pay for your doctor visits with tax-FREE money!


If all of your doctors are not included in your 2016 (or 2017) Health Plan Network, the best solution:
- Set up an HSA Savings Account .......to pay for your doctor visits with tax-free money

Most of the 2016 & 2017 Health Plan Networks are small !
And, most of the 2016 & 2017 plans have no out-of-network coverage!

Many people are now forced to pay cash to their favorite doctor, who isn't included in their network any longer (and not covered by their insurance plan).

So, why not pay the doctor with tax-free money?



What is an HSA?   And, how does it work?


HSAs are very similar to an IRA...
...that can be used now to pay for medical expenses.


First:
You must purchase a HDHP (High Deductible Health Plan)...
...that's been approved by the govt to work with an HSA Savings Account.

These plans are listed in our Health Insurance Quote Engines as:
- HDHP plans
- HSA plans

They all have High Deductibles and no Dr Visit CoPay benefits.

- Dr visit payments (to your IN-network doctor) apply towards your high deductible.
...........AND, your insurance company will negotiate reduced prices for you.

- Dr visit payments to your OUT-of-network doctor won't apply towards your IN-network deductible.  
...........AND, the insurance company will not negotiate reduced medical prices for you.                 
See:   "Ask your Doctor for a Cash Discount" ...below.


Just watch for the terms HDHP and HSA when you run-a-quote.

Get 2017 Health Plan Quotes Here



Next:
Set up an HSA Savings Account...
...at the bank of your choice.

You'll get a tax write-off for the monies deposited into your HSA Savings Account.

When you spend that money for medical expenses, you're spending tax-free money!
You'll never pay federal income tax on that money!

The money in your HSA Savings account  is your money.
You never lose it.
You can just spend it....as you need to pay medical bills.
Then, if you don't spend the money for medical expenses, it becomes a "retirement account" at age 65 (like an IRA).



My favorite HSA bank has much more info  here

And, here's the official government site.

For a list of Eligible Medical Expenses that can be paid from your HSA Savings Account   click here





Here are the maximum deposits that you can make into your HSA Savings Account for 2016:
$3350 for those who own an Individual HSA Health Plan
$6750 for those who own a Family HSA Plan

The maximums increase each year (if congress decides to increase them).



Tax Write Off:


Your exact tax write-off will depend upon your tax bracket.

If you're in a 25% federal tax bracket:
$6750 x 25% = $1687.50

If you're in a 10% tax bracket:
$6750 x 10% = $675.00



Bonus!  

You now have a lower AGI ..... to help you qualify for the Health Insurance Tax Credit, too!


AGI (Adjusted Gross Income) is used to calculate the ACA (Obamacare) Health Insurance Tax Credits !

If your MAGI (Modified Adjusted Gross Income) is below 400% of FPL, you can usually qualify for these tax credits (that lower your monthly health insurance premiums).

See more info about FPL Guidelines here

And,  here's    a simple MAGI calculator.




~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~



More info:

You can make your deposit(s) into your HSA Savings Account any time before you file your tax return.


The funds can be deposited in monthly installments.
They can be deposited sporadically.
Or...in one lump sum - $6750 all at one time.
......however you want to handle it.

Or.....only $100 (and that's all)....for the year.
(But, you'll only get a $100 tax write-off.)

There's no minimum deposit required....unless your bank has a minimum.



Which bank is best for my HSA Savings Account?


We don't have a special HSA bank to recommend any longer.
The massive Health Care Law takes up too much of our time these days.

Most insurance companies like Chase.
I really like HsaBank.com

And, here's an online bank that offers "No Monthly Fees" for online statements:


I'd say that one bank is as strong as another these days.

Even the huge banks can have poor financial-stability ratings these days with all of the instability in the financial markets.
Check your bank's ratings at BankRate.com




Ask your Dr for a Cash Discount !


Many doctors are willing to give you a substantial discount for "cash payments".

If the Dr's office doesn't have to file insurance claims or get prior-insurance-approvals for treatment, you're saving them money.
Many of them will pass this savings on to you !

We call it:  cash payments
But, it's really not dollar-bill payments.
It's payment up-front for the Dr Visit....with no insurance company involved.

Writing a check from your HSA Savings Account 
...or...
Paying the doctor with your HSA Debit Card works fine




Legal Disclosure:


I am no longer a licensed tax adviser.
I'm only a licensed insurance agent for the past 30+ years.

I cannot legally give you tax advice.
Consult a legal tax adviser for tax advice.

I've given you tax info above as I understand the laws...
...as a layperson & former corporate tax adviser (many years ago).

I've studied many of the tax laws...
...but changes to federal laws are coming at us a mile-a-minute right now...
...and it's impossible for me to keep up with everything any longer.

The federal Health Care Law keeps us too busy as it is....
....with millions of changes (almost-daily changes) since the massive & complex law was passed in 2010.



Hope this info is helpful !
Ruth                                       

Houston Line:  713-932-9072
Toll Free Line:  888-777-0474










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