January may be winding down but your health and finance goals may still be top of mind. Even if you didn’t set resolutions, you can still make sure you’re ready for the year by planning ahead with your health savings account (HSA).
How exactly does your HSA help you get ahead?
Getting the most out of your HSA
As you likely already know, an HSA is a savings account that can be used on out-of-pocket qualified medical expenses such as doctor visits, dental care, vision care, and prescriptions. If you have an HSA you may also benefit from many other advantages, which we’ll go over below.
Are you curious about how to get the most out of your HSA this year? Here are ten ways to maximize your account’s potential—and help you take advantage of every savings opportunity possible.
1. Get lower health insurance premiums
HSA-qualified health plans typically offer much lower premiums compared to traditional health plan options. You might even find the savings on premiums alone can be thousands each year. That’s less money out of your paycheck and more money in your pocket.
2. Reduce your annual tax bill
HSA contributions are tax-deductible,1 which means that every dollar you contribute can reduce your annual taxable income.1 If your employer offers an HSA, you may be able to sign up for pre-tax payroll contributions. But even contributions you make on your own are usually tax-deductible… score!
3. Save extra with employer contributions
Many organizations contribute to your HSA just for choosing an HSA-qualified health plan, which could equal thousands of extra dollars per year. Some even offer an HSA contribution match, much like with a 401(k).
4. Stretch your hard-earned dollars even further
Because HSA contributions are tax-deductible, you get to keep 100 percent of every dollar you contribute. That means when you use your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses, every dollar in your HSA stretches further than the money sitting in your checking account.
5. Create a healthcare emergency safety net
You never know when you might need to make a trip to the emergency room or get additional health scans. Since the money in your HSA rolls over each year, you can treat it like an extension of your emergency fund.
6. Invest your HSA and unlock potential growth
If you take advantage of investing options often included with your HSA, you’ll be able to maximize your savings and help offset future rising healthcare costs.2 Learn more about the benefits of investing here.
7. Save for healthcare expenses in retirement
By pairing your HSA with other retirement accounts, you can maximize your after-tax retirement assets. And when you need to cover qualified medical expenses during your retirement, you won’t need to pull from your cost-of-living expenses.3
8. Delay reimbursement and compound your money
With HSA reimbursement, there is no required reimbursement timeframe, so it creates opportunity to “bank” your receipts and save them to pay yourself back down the road. Delayed reimbursement allows you to compound your potential investment and interest earnings, giving you tax advantages of an HSA combined with the flexibility of a traditional savings account.
9. Pass your health savings onto your heirs
When we say your HSA stays with you no matter what, we mean it! You can roll over your HSA for the rest of your life and gift the money in the account to your heirs.
10. Impress friends and family with your personal finance savvy
HSAs are popular, but not enough Americans know about all the many benefits. Tell your friends and family what you’ve learned about your HSA and its triple-tax advantage. They’ll be impressed with how much you know about personal finance—and you’ll be able to help them out, too.
Your next steps
Now that you’ve taken the first step toward connecting your health and wealth by knowing more about your HSA, you can get started using the account to its full potential. Learn even more about how your HSA works with our resources. Also, be sure to follow us on social media and subscribe to the blog so you can stay current on health saving tips. Here’s to a healthy year!
HealthEquity does not provide legal, tax or financial advice. Always consult a professional when making life-changing decisions.
1HSAs are never taxed at a federal income tax level when used appropriately for qualified medical expenses. Also, most states recognize HSA funds as tax-deductible with very few exceptions. Please consult a tax advisor regarding your state’s specific rules.
2Investments are subject to risk, including the possible loss of the principal invested, and are not FDIC or NCUA insured, or guaranteed by HealthEquity, Inc. Investing through the HealthEquity investment platform is subject to the terms and conditions of the Health Savings Account Custodial Agreement and any applicable investment supplement. Investing may not be suitable for everyone and before making any investments, review the fund’s prospectus.
3After age 65, if you withdraw funds for any purpose other than qualified medical expenses, you will be subject to income taxes. Funds withdrawn for qualified medical expenses will remain tax-free.