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Old 11-21-2014, 12:19 PM   #121
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Originally Posted by sengsational View Post
IRS pub 502 states that premiums are a qualified expense but then you have to go to pub 969 which restrict what premiums can be paid by HSA distributions

Insurance premiums.
You cannot treat insurance
premiums as qualified medical expenses unless the pre-
miums are for:
1.
Long-term care insurance.
2.
Health care continuation coverage (such as coverage
under COBRA).
3.
Health care coverage while receiving unemployment
compensation under federal or state law.
4.
Medicare and other health care coverage if you were
65 or older (other than premiums for a Medicare sup-
plemental policy, such as Medigap)
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Old 11-21-2014, 12:41 PM   #122
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I noticed glasses are covered.

I may get some prescription sunglasses, which are several hundred.

So in that case, you withdraw from your HSA account or write a check?

How about charging to a credit card but paying that credit card with the HSA funds?

Can you withdraw directly out of an HSA with an ACH transfer to your credit card account?

EDIT: I guess it could apply to any medical expense, like paying for a doctor's visit, prescription drugs, etc. What are the mechanics, can you charge with credit card and is it easy to draw funds out of the HSA to pay for expenses which range from say $20 to a couple of hundred dollars?
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Old 11-21-2014, 01:45 PM   #123
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So in that case, you withdraw from your HSA account or write a check?
Check with the institution you open the HSA with. Debit cards are common, online bill pay, and check reimbursement are also available.
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Old 11-21-2014, 02:04 PM   #124
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You can also leave the money in the HSA to compound tax-free and keep a file of all your qualifying medical expenses since you had the HSA and withdraw that amount tax-free at any time. Just make sure to have/keep good documentation in case you get audited.
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Old 11-21-2014, 02:29 PM   #125
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You can also leave the money in the HSA to compound tax-free and keep a file of all your qualifying medical expenses since you had the HSA and withdraw that amount tax-free at any time. Just make sure to have/keep good documentation in case you get audited.

That is exactly what I do. The past 4 years I have accumulated about $1k in just dental cleanings and a couple doc visits. Only birthday important to me now is 55, when I get to add another $1k yearly to my regular deductions. If I am lucky in 30 years or so hopefully the account will have done so well, my daughter will have to figure out how you pay taxes from a big inherited HSA account.


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Old 11-21-2014, 03:27 PM   #126
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HSA contribution limits for 2015 are $3350 individual and $6650 family, with and additional $1000 catch up for over age 55.

Sorry to hear about the Texas BCBC price increase and HSA policy withdrawal. Their Florida pricing was also very aggressive, my BlueCard / national network policy was withdrawn, the replacement has $3k higher deductible and 28% higher price. My price increase was greater than the costliest BCBS Medigap policy (F), those prices rose 2%.
They only had two HSA compatible policies - the two bronze policies. Now, they changed one of them to have copays. So at least there is one HSA compatible policy left - but only one! I hope they continue to have this HSA offering.

Our insurance costs went down quite a bit this year by switching to bronze with no copays and will save us in taxes as well. Now next year, we'll be paying around what would would have paid in 2014 if we hadn't switched. But the equivalent price/benefit policies (more like silver) have gone up just as much for our area for 2015. So I guess we are still ahead.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:31 PM   #127
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Originally Posted by explanade View Post
I noticed glasses are covered.

I may get some prescription sunglasses, which are several hundred.

So in that case, you withdraw from your HSA account or write a check?

How about charging to a credit card but paying that credit card with the HSA funds?

Can you withdraw directly out of an HSA with an ACH transfer to your credit card account?

EDIT: I guess it could apply to any medical expense, like paying for a doctor's visit, prescription drugs, etc. What are the mechanics, can you charge with credit card and is it easy to draw funds out of the HSA to pay for expenses which range from say $20 to a couple of hundred dollars?
The mechanics you really have to read up on the HSA provider documentation. I expect to take a withdrawal in the form of an ACH transfer to reimburse myself for medical expenses whenever I decide to do that. For now, I'm keeping all the paperwork on HSA-eligible expenses for each year, and letting the funds accumulate invested.

Glasses, dental, as well as medical, prescriptions, etc. It's pretty broad.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:37 PM   #128
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You can also leave the money in the HSA to compound tax-free and keep a file of all your qualifying medical expenses since you had the HSA and withdraw that amount tax-free at any time. Just make sure to have/keep good documentation in case you get audited.
So you don't always do 1:1 withdrawals out of your HSA account for your medical expenses?

Just pay out of your regular budget though you can pay medical expenses with HSA withdrawals?

I guess any HSA account is likely to earn a better return these days than any bank account.
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Old 11-21-2014, 03:39 PM   #129
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That is exactly what I do. The past 4 years I have accumulated about $1k in just dental cleanings and a couple doc visits. Only birthday important to me now is 55, when I get to add another $1k yearly to my regular deductions. If I am lucky in 30 years or so hopefully the account will have done so well, my daughter will have to figure out how you pay taxes from a big inherited HSA account.


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Do you also have dental insurance or just being in a HDHP is enough for using HSA funds to pay for dentist bills? Either pay fully out of pocket or pay your portion if on a dental plan?
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:25 PM   #130
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So you don't always do 1:1 withdrawals out of your HSA account for your medical expenses?

Just pay out of your regular budget though you can pay medical expenses with HSA withdrawals?

I guess any HSA account is likely to earn a better return these days than any bank account.
Yes, in fact, I have never taken money out of my HSA or paid any medical expenses from it. Had it 7 years or so. By contributing and paying my medical expenses from taxable funds in effect I have another tax-free retirement savings opportunity similar to a Roth IRA but with an additional restriction that the money must be spent on qualified medical expenses. My HSA is invested in Vanguard Total Stock so it has been much better than any bank account.

Plus, unlike a Roth IRA, you don't need to have earned income in order make contributions so I have made contributions each year since I retired 3 years ago.
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Old 11-21-2014, 07:30 PM   #131
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They only had two HSA compatible policies - the two bronze policies. Now, they changed one of them to have copays. So at least there is one HSA compatible policy left - but only one! I hope they continue to have this HSA offering.

Our insurance costs went down quite a bit this year by switching to bronze with no copays and will save us in taxes as well. Now next year, we'll be paying around what would would have paid in 2014 if we hadn't switched. But the equivalent price/benefit policies (more like silver) have gone up just as much for our area for 2015. So I guess we are still ahead.
How is a plan with no copays better for taxes?

I see the plans will typically say $60 copay after deductible vs. 60% after deductible.

So are you referring to the latter type? Is it better for taxes because paying the remaining 40% is more than a copay and you can deduct the health care expense?

I thought your health care expenses had to meet a certain threshold before you could deduct them.
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Old 11-21-2014, 08:55 PM   #132
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How is a plan with no copays better for taxes?

I see the plans will typically say $60 copay after deductible vs. 60% after deductible.

So are you referring to the latter type? Is it better for taxes because paying the remaining 40% is more than a copay and you can deduct the health care expense?

I thought your health care expenses had to meet a certain threshold before you could deduct them.
Copays render an insurance plan HSA non-compliant. You can't contribute to an HSA if your plan offers copays.

Copays are before the deductible.

No threshold for using HSA funds to pay for medical reimbursement. It's not a schedule A deduction - totally separate mechanism. It's the contributions into the HSA that get taken off your taxable income - not the medical expenses.
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Old 11-21-2014, 09:40 PM   #133
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Do you also have dental insurance or just being in a HDHP is enough for using HSA funds to pay for dentist bills? Either pay fully out of pocket or pay your portion if on a dental plan?

I just pay cash. I had a $200 wisdom tooth pull about three years ago, but just cleanings for about $75 a pop each time. I hope that continues as based on a few posts. I have read here, a person can really rack up some big bills paying to repair teeth.


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Old 11-21-2014, 10:50 PM   #134
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Over the course of 2 years, I racked up about $6K on dental bills. All expenses I paid eventually with my HSA.
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Old 11-22-2014, 09:42 AM   #135
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I use HSA funds for dental cleanings and exams sometimes, and sometimes I just pay for it and plan to reimburse myself from the HSA later on.

My DH just got an HSA this year, and he's pleased that earnings YTD will cover his most recent dental bill, tax free.
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Old 11-22-2014, 03:02 PM   #136
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My HSA plan (Florida) went up 18.8%, the Affordable should be changed to Unaffordable.


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Old 11-22-2014, 05:53 PM   #137
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My HSA plan (Florida) went up 18.8%, the Affordable should be changed to Unaffordable..................
That's astounding. Everyone's health insurance premiums had been declining year over year before the ACA.
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Old 11-22-2014, 05:58 PM   #138
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That's astounding. Everyone's health insurance premiums had been declining year over year before the ACA.
The increasing plan rates probably have to do with the increase in new enrollees placing a burden on the insurance company's staffing needs, causing them to hire more help. With that said, the only way to keep profit margins up is to increase premiums for the policy holders.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:04 PM   #139
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The increasing plan rates probably have to do with the increase in new enrollees placing a burden on the insurance company's staffing needs, causing them to hire more help. With that said, the only way to keep profit margins up is to increase premiums for the policy holders.
Don't the new enrollees pay for the additional help? Wasn't that the deal? - take everyone and in exchange get lots of more customers because everyone has to be covered.
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Old 11-22-2014, 06:12 PM   #140
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Don't the new enrollees pay for the additional help? Wasn't that the deal? - take everyone and in exchange get lots of more customers because everyone has to be covered.
I was kind of kidding with the post. But in all reality, a big wave of new applicants will put a burden on the insurance company as the administrative load to get them into the system will increase.
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