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Monthly Articles.

Health Savings Accounts put the Consumers back in control

Over the past 20 years healthcare costs have more than tripled. This rising trend in healthcare costs is negating any cost of living raises most American workers are receiving today.

Individuals and families have lost sight of how their healthcare dollars are actually spent. Healthcare is the only product we purchase with no idea of what it costs. The only expense most consumers have is a doctor co-pay or prescription co-pay. Ask a consumer what the retail cost of a prescription is and they have no idea. With no cost barrier and no incentive to control costs, we have over-utilization and health insurance premiums spiraling out of control. The only way to rein in cost is to make the consumer aware of the costs and the tools to make cost effective healthcare decisions. It is time to change how we finance and spend healthcare dollars.

Health Savings Accounts (HSA) are reinventing our healthcare system by giving individuals and families control over their healthcare dollars. HSA's are helping patients and doctors communicate more directly due to the patient becoming a more informed healthcare consumer when seeking medical advice.

HSA's not only give people more control over their health and healthcare dollars they also provide individuals and families with an affordable healthcare option. Since the inception of HSA's two years ago, one-third of those who have purchased HSA compatible insurance were formerly uninsured. Thirty-three percent of HSA compatible health plans sold are now offered by small businesses that previously did not offer health coverage. In the past two years, over 3 million Americans have discovered that HSA compatible insurance is the best most affordable option for the healthcare coverage they need.

The idea behind a Health Savings Account (HSA) is simple - give individuals the incentive and power to make their own healthcare financing decisions. A recent study by Mercer showed that nearly 80% of the insured population spends $1000 or less on medical expenses annually. HSA's reward prudent consumers of healthcare with funds that they own and that can earn interest for them. How does it work? The employer or individual purchases a qualified high deductible health plan to provide protection from large medical bills. A Health Savings Account (HSA) is established for each covered employee to pay for qualified medical expenses (including the deductible). Deposits made to the HSA are tax deductible and withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax free. Unused money in the HSA belongs to the employee or individual. Money not used is carried over from year to year. Careful spending is rewarded with money that accumulates and grows!

Health Savings Accounts put Americans back in control of their healthcare dollars and empower the doctor-patient relationship. These accounts create incentives for Americans to save for their future healthcare needs and invite consumerism and competition back into the healthcare market.

News

New Account holder's are no longer limited to prorated deposits based on what month they join the plan. Regardless of when an account holder opens an account during the year, they will be able to contribute up to the full annual limit as long as they remain HSA eligible for 12 months.

Contributions are no longer limited by the deductible selected

HSA account holders can make a one-time transfer from an IRA (Individual Retirement Account) to their HSA.

Employees now have the ability to start a HSA by make a one-time tax-free transfer from a FSA (Flexibile Spending Account) and/or a HRA (Health Reimbursement Arrangement) Funds.

Employers may now make higher HSA contributions for non-highly compensated employees.

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