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High Deductible Health Plans (HDHP) with a Health Savings Account (HSA) allow you to set up a savings account in which you can accumulate additional money on a tax deductible basis to pay for current or future medical expenses. Both the Government (through a pass-through by way of your health plan) and you can contribute.
While HDHPs with HSAs may seem similar to health care flexible spending accounts (FSAs) and traditional insurance, because both enable you to pay for eligible medical expenses with tax-free dollars, the funds in an HSA can accumulate without limit year after year, while the funds in a FSA must be used every year or else they are forfeited.
HDHPs provide you comprehensive health benefits coverage for major medical costs in a tax-advantaged way plus they help you build savings, through your HSA, for future medical expenses. After you meet the plan's annual high deductible, your HDHP pays benefits like traditional health benefits plans.
HDHPs with HSAs give you greater control over how your health care dollars are spent-both out-of-pocket and funds from your HSA. As with most health benefit plans, HDHPs provide more cost-effective coverage when you use network providers.
This is how an HDHP works -
With this framework in mind, you may wish to consider a few important points as you compare different HDHPs with each other and compare HDHPs with traditional health benefits plans. The accompanying worksheet walks you through several steps to help you decide if an HDHP is right for you.
Enter the annual premium _________ and coinsurance rate(s) ________
Enter the amount of the plan deductible ________
Subtract the Plan's Annual Premium Pass-Thru ________
This is your out-of-pocket cost before plan benefits begin and also is the maximum amount of tax deductible personal contributions you can make (before catch-up contributions applicable to those age 55-65). Preventive care is not subject to the high deductible.
Enter the maximum amount of your personal contributions* ________
Multiply by 1.00 minus your marginal income tax rate ________
This is the after tax cost of your maximum personal contribution ________
Enter the plan's catastrophic limit ________
Total out-of-pocket exposure** ________
* In 2015 take .9167 (11/12ths) of this amount before calculating your maximum amount of personal contributions.
** Assumes you use in-network providers and don't use HSA funds for medical or other expenses not covered by your HDHP.
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