Health insurance continues to be a hot-button issue in the United States — and for good reason. As both healthcare costs and insurance premiums increase, many Americans are understandably concerned about how they can possibly afford to protect themselves in the event of an illness or injury. With that in mind, it’s no wonder that 8.5% of U.S. residents — or 27.5 million people — had no health insurance at any point during 2018.
However, that doesn’t mean it’s wise to dismiss help from a health insurance company and go without insurance coverage. Having insurance coverage of some kind can provide a safety net that many Americans badly need. But if you can only afford a plan with a high deductible (and therefore a lower monthly premium), you might be concerned about how you could afford necessary treatment before you reach that deductible. That’s where the topic of today’s post will come in handy.
What is a Health Savings Account?
Health savings accounts, or HSAs, are basically personal savings accounts that can be used only to cover medical expenses. They’re meant to help cover patients who may be facing substantial out-of-pocket costs when dealing with an illness or injury. HSA contributions (the amounts of which can be chosen by the account holder at the beginning of each year) are tax-free and will roll over from one year to the next, making them an attractive solution for many Americans.
That said, not everyone is able to open an HSA. You need to be enrolled in a high-deductible health insurance plan in order to qualify for an HSA. Keep in mind that some plans with higher deductibles still won’t count; you need to enroll in a plan that’s designated as being HSA-eligible by the government in order to qualify. These plans may not be the best option for those who anticipate having more significant healthcare expenses, as policies with higher premiums may cover a greater percentage of healthcare costs.
Are HSAs Necessary If You Have Health Insurance?
You might assume that if you already work with a health insurance agent Florida residents rely on to secure coverage, you won’t need an HSA. But if your policy has a four-figure deductible, you may not have as much financial help as you’d think. While the occasional doctor’s appointment might be doable, an emergency room visit or unexpected surgery could represent a major burden.
If you’re able to establish an employer-sponsored HSA and can automatically make contributions from each paycheck, you’ll be able to automatically generate funding for medical bills that will help you until your plan’s deductible is met. This can make all the difference in the event of a health crisis, particularly because you’ll have control over how much you contribute to your HSA and can avoid paying more for monthly premiums you might never have to use.
How Are HSAs Used?
HSA contributions can be used only in specific ways. For example, you can’t use these funds to pay for insurance premiums (in most cases), cosmetic surgeries, or personal care items. However, you can use this fund to pay for dental or vision care costs, as well as for the diagnosis, treatment, or prevention of disease and injury. You’ll want to talk with healthcare insurance companies in Florida to determine precisely how these funds can be utilized and whether you’ll incur any kind of penalty for use (which may occur if the patient is under 65). However, HSA contributions can be used for the policyholder, their spouse, and any dependents they may have.
In many cases, having healthcare insurance coverage may not be enough. Having an HSA can allow those with high-deductible insurance plans to establish and make use of a safety net in the event of a medical emergency. To learn more about opening an HSA or other health coverage topics, please contact us today.