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HSA newbie question
Old 03-20-2010, 05:17 PM   #1
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HSA newbie question

OK, I looked through the web, as well as the HSA FAQs here and can't seem to be able to get an answer to a simple question: If you signed up for an HSA insurance plan, do you have to actually get an HSA?

For my situation, the HSA plan is actually the best deal, but I expect to be in a very low tax bracket when I have my individual health insurance, and have not yet decided whether I actually want to fund an HSA (either as an alternative investment vehicle or to actually pay for my medical expenses). It seems like most HSA plans expect you to maintain an HSA, but nowhere can I confirm whether an HSA is required.

I'm specifically looking at the Anthem California Lumenos HSA plan, in case anyone out there has experience with this specific plan.

Thanks a bunch!

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Old 03-20-2010, 05:33 PM   #2
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Whether or not you set up and make contributions to a tax-free HSA account is entirely optional. There are maximum annual contribution limits but no minimums. You don't have to have an account or contribute a penny.

According to this document (page 33):

"HSA Accounts: Accounts are owned by the individual (not an employer). The individual decides whether he or she should contribute."

Numbers is hard.

Retired in 2005 at age 58, no pension

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Old 03-20-2010, 05:58 PM   #3
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Right. You don't have to contribute. Because I'm in about a 0% tax bracket I may not contribute this year. OTOH, if I contribute $3,050 (the max) this year, that means another $3,050 I can convert to Roth tax free.
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Old 03-21-2010, 08:45 AM   #4
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I've mentioned this before, but there are different flavors of HSA administrators. The one I have now is merely a credit union checking account that takes money in as an HSA contribution and pays it back to me as an HSA distribution for $12 a year. Other HSA administrators charge more and generate more paperwork (in my case, for the worse).
Yes, I have achieved work / life balance.
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Old 03-24-2010, 11:57 PM   #5
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Thanks guys - it seems pretty obvious, but I couldn't find anything that confirmed it anywhere, so glad to see I can do an HSA policy w/o getting an HSA.

Now I just need to see what Anthem decides on my application!
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