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HSA Compatible insurance
Old 10-06-2016, 10:24 AM   #1
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HSA Compatible insurance

I don't understand why carriers offer two plans, one is marked HSA and the other isn't.

The deductibles are the same, the premiums are close.

IRS says HDHP but it's not clear what is a "high" deductible and what is a "high" premium when two plans from the same carriers have the same or similar deductibles and premiums.

In Covered CA, there are two Kaiser Bronze plans, the deductibles are only $5 different per month.

One is Bronze 60 HMO and the other is Bronze 60 HDHP HMO. The latter is $5 more a month.

The deductibles are $6300 vs. $4800 and it's the latter one which is "HSA Compatible."

Despite the difference in deductibles, both have comparable OOP maximums and CoveredCA Total Expenses estimates (seems to be a sum of premiums and some average number of visits or procedures).

The interesting features of the non-HSA plan is that the first 3 visits are $75 Copay before having to meet your deductible. Or at least that's how I'm interpreting this verbiage:

First 3 visits at $75 Copay before deductible
The HSA plan is 40% Coinsurance after deductible so I would pay 100% until I met my deductible.

I don't expect to meet the deductible for either plan so that's why the non-HSA plan with the copay for first 3 visits would be appealing to me.

But then I can't contribute to HSA, even though it has a higher deductible and similar premium.

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Old 10-06-2016, 11:03 AM   #2
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The co-pay before the deductible is met is what makes that plan non-HSA compatible. One of the rules is that an HSA plan cannot pay for anything until you've met the deductible.

The advantage of the HSA plan is the tax deduction for your HSA contribution. If you look at a Federal 1040 tax return it's on the front page in the same section as an IRA deduction.

Married, both 64. DH retired June, 2010. I have a pleasant little part time job.
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Old 10-06-2016, 11:16 AM   #3
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Yes I've been paying for an HSA plan for the past couple of years.

The copay before the deductible is a very attractive feature.

The difference that the HSA tax deduction makes may come out to be the same as paying for 3 visits fully out of pocket. Last year, I got like $540 lower tax because of the deduction, so that is maybe just less than 3 doctors visits.

I guess if each visit is about $200, then I get a benefit of $600 minus $225 copay or $375.

So I'd have to make 3 full visits. Also there are some benefits with specialist copays and lab copays so that could make it worth getting a non HSA plan.
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