What is an HSA plan? Your Guide to HSAs by Carmel Bay Group Insurance

Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) have become a popular choice for many people seeking to manage their healthcare costs effectively. But understanding the mechanisms of these accounts can be confusing. This article will break it down for you, explaining what an HSA is, how to use it effectively, and the contribution limits for 2024.

What is an HSA plan?

An HSA is a special tax-advantaged savings account linked to a high-deductible health plan (HDHP) dedicated to covering qualified medical expenses. You contribute pre-tax dollars to your HSA, lowering your taxable income, and can then withdraw those funds tax-free to pay for deductibles, copays, coinsurance, and other eligible medical expenses. Essentially, it’s a way to set aside money for healthcare while enjoying tax benefits.

Benefits of HSAs: “The Triple-Tax Advantage”

  • Tax-advantaged contributions: Contributions are tax-deductible, reducing your taxable income.
  • Tax-free growth: Earnings on your HSA grow tax-free, compounding your savings.
  • Tax-free withdrawals: Withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free, unlike traditional savings accounts.
  • Rollover: Unused funds roll over year to year, making HSAs ideal for long-term healthcare savings..
  • Portability: HSAs are portable, meaning you keep them even if you change jobs or insurance plans.

How to use an HSA:

  1. Enroll in an HSA-eligible plan: This is typically a small business health insurance HDHP with a higher deductible but lower monthly premiums. Check with your employer to see if you have eligible options.
  2. Open an HSA: Many banks and financial institutions offer HSAs. Choose one that aligns with your needs and fees.
  3. Contribute funds: You can contribute pre-tax dollars from your paycheck through payroll deductions or make individual contributions directly to your HSA.
  4. Pay for qualified expenses: Use your HSA funds to pay for deductibles, copays, coinsurance, certain preventive care, and even over-the-counter medications with a doctor’s prescription. Keep receipts for documentation.
  5. Invest your unused funds: HSAs typically allow investment options for long-term savings, potentially growing your funds tax-free.

Contribution limits for 2024:

  • Individuals: $4,150 per year.
  • Families: $8,300 per year.

CBG’s Important things to remember:

  • You must be enrolled in an HSA-eligible HDHP to contribute to an HSA.
  • Contributions must be made with pre-tax dollars to qualify for tax benefits.
  • Unused funds roll over year to year, making HSAs ideal for long-term healthcare savings..
  • Withdrawals for non-qualified expenses are subject to income taxes and a 20% penalty.

HSAs offer a powerful combination of tax advantages, long-term savings potential, and control over your healthcare spending. However, the nuances of choosing the right HSA plan for your business can be complex. To ensure you’re maximizing the benefits of HSAs for yourself and your employees, consider partnering with a trusted insurance broker like Carmel Bay Group Insurance. 

We can guide you through the selection process, help you establish your plan design, and manage its ongoing administration, allowing you to focus on what matters most – running your business. Contact Carmel Bay Group Insurance today to discuss how offering an HSA plan can round out a complete benefits package that truly empowers your company. Learn more about HSA plans at Carmel Bay Group Insurance.