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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Can An HSA Help Me?

Some time ago when HSAs first became law in December of 2003, opponents touted the plans as "only for the healthy and the wealthy". This couldn't be further from the truth. You don’t have to be wealthy to be smart with your health care dollars. If you have medical bills, be wise and pay for them with tax- free funds. 

Anyone who wants to make life a bit less stressful should consider looking into opening a health savings account for medical costs.
 
Take the following quiz to see if an HSA can help you:
Lowering Your Insurance Premiums
 
Lower Insurance PremiumsTypically, an insurance policy that works with an HSA has a higher deductible than a traditional plan, and also carries a lower premium. The monetary difference you save in purchasing the high deductible plan can be put away in your HSA and used to pay for future medical expenses. A real world example is one that looks like this:

Your current plan has a $1,000 deductible and you pay $300 a month. The HSA plan has a $2,500 deductible and you pay $225 a month. The savings in monthly premiums is $75. This amount can then be deposited into your HSA bank account. After 12 months, you would have saved $900 in premiums!!! 
 
That money now sits in your HSA earning tax-free interest, rolls over year after year, is ready to be spent on any necessary medical costs you may have, and can be pulled out as taxable income at age 65 for supplemental retirement income.
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Reducing Your Taxable Income
 

Reduce Taxes with an HSAAny money you deposit into your health savings account reduces your taxable income. Two options to consider when funding your account are whether to fund it pre-tax, or post-tax. You can set up “pre-tax” contributions through your employer (through a section 125 or cafeteria plan) or you can claim any “post-tax” HSA contributions you made when you file your taxes.

Both of these methods effectively reduce your taxable income by the amount of your annual HSA contributions. This is a great way to reduce your tax liability, while simultaneously setting aside money to pay for upcoming healthcare expenses in the future!

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Paying For Medical Expenses Tax-Free
 
Because HSAs are regulated by the IRS, there are a few guidelines that need to be followed. One example would be what you can spend your money on. We refer to these “sanctioned costs” as eligible HSA expenses. Once the money is deposited in your HSA, you can use it for healthcare costs relating to medical, dental, vision, pharmaceutical, alternative healthcare, etc. This can be for yourself, your spouse and any dependents regardless of the type of health coverage they have, or even if they don’t have any coverage at all. Again, all of the money that is spent on these eligible HSA expenses is spent tax-free.
 
See the flyer below for examples of what qualifies as an eligible HSA expense:

Eligible HSA Expenses

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Saving Money for Retirement

Save for Retirement with an HSAHealth savings accounts are actually an excellent retirement vehicle. In fact, they’re sometimes referenced to as “Medical IRAs”! For example, if you have a particular year with few medical bills, you can still make deposits to your health savings account for all the tax benefits. In addition, the money you don’t use in any given year carries over (rolls over) to the next year, unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA). This allows you to build a strong balance in your HSA that not only earns tax-free interest while the funds aren’t being used, but can also be invested in stocks, bonds and mutual funds as well!

Another key difference from the FSA that makes the HSA a great retirement savings option is that the money in your HSA belongs to you, not your employer. If you change jobs, start or stop your insurance coverage, move across the country, etc. your HSA follows you, much like a 401(k)! 
 
Even when you turn 65, you can continue to use the money for eligible medical expenses tax-free. You can even pay Medicare or LTC premiums, or you can withdraw the funds from your HSA and count it as taxable income to take a trip, or spend it on anything you choose. It is your nest egg. You saved it, you earned it.
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So, if you answered “yes” to any of the questions above, an HSA may really be beneficial to you and your healthcare situation! If you have any questions about any of the topics we covered here, please feel free to let us know in the comments below, or contact our officeHSAs are what we do, and we look forward to hearing from you!

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Posted by HSA Admin at 4/24/2013 9:31:00 PM
Thursday, April 18, 2013

HSAs and Obamacare

With the 2012 reelection of President Obama, the healthcare bill commonly referred to as “ObamaCare” became more of a reality with implementation at hand. Whether you are for or against ObamaCare, a common ground shared by all was the anticipation of the yet-to-be-released regulations by Health and Human Services and what impact that would have on industry and consumers alike. 

Within the HSA community, venturing whether the HSA-qualified health plan would pass the “formula” that included new mandates and regulations now under federal law was the subject of intense speculation. The ultimate question was: “Will health savings accounts survive?”
 
Late in 2012, Health and Human Services released to the public their actuarial value calculator that allowed one the ability to test health plans to see if it complied with ObamaCare’s new guidelines. As healthcare policy experts from across the country tested the HSA plans, they quickly discovered (much to their surprise) that HSAs do indeed qualify for the insurance exchanges in almost all variations. This included the self-insured, small group and individual markets. 
 
In addition, HSAs are predicted to be the lowest cost health plans for nearly everyone – individuals, small groups and large groups.   We found the article below to be one of the best-written pieces on explaining the HSA and how it fits into the exchange model, along with an explanation of the new “metal” insurance tiers.
 
 
 

 

In summary, the article states that HSA-qualified plans will be available in all four of the new “metal” tiers: Platinum, Gold, Silver & Bronze.
 
  • Platinum Plans: Pay 90% of covered benefits with an average individual paying the remaining 10% out of pocket. These plans are HSA-eligible.
 
  • Gold Plans: Pay 80% of covered benefits with an average individual paying the remaining 20% out of pocket. These plans are HSA-eligible.
 
  • Silver Plans: Pay 70% of covered benefits with an average individual paying the remaining 30% out of pocket. These plans are HSA-eligible.
 
  • Bronze Plans: Pay 60% of covered benefits with an average individual paying the remaining 40% out of pocket. These plans are HSA-eligible.
 
So if there’s one thing we can state with absolute certainty at this point, it’s that the HSA is not “in trouble” or “disappearing”. The time for worrying about their compatibility with the insurance plans within the exchange has passed, and we can all breathe a sigh of relief and chalk up a victory for the survival of the HSA and the consumer-driven healthcare philosophy.
 
Naturally, as more information on Obamacare and the exchanges becomes available we will be sure to post it to our blogs and keep our readers and accountholders informed. 
 

What do you think, did we miss anything? Do you have something to add? Let us know in the comment section below, or as always, please feel free to visit our website or contact our office with any questions. We look forward to hearing from you!


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Posted by HSA Admin at 4/18/2013 6:57:00 PM
Monday, April 8, 2013

Are you eligible for a health savings account?

We were recently asked to clarify an individual’s eligibility to open a health savings account.   Having a high deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) does not necessarily mean the HSA is a slam-dunk.  There are still several other factors to consider before determining your eligibility to open an HSA, and we’ll cover them in this article.

Medicare#1. Enrollment in Medicare:

Enrollment in Medicare means you cannot fund an HSA.  That includes the part of Medicare you are automatically enrolled in at age 65.  If you’re on Medicare, don’t open an HSA.

If you already have a health savings account and are aging into Medicare, you don't need to close your HSA!  Even though you're ineligible to make contributions, you can still use the existing funds tax-free to pay for any HSA-qualified medical expenses, earn tax-free interest on the standing balance, and utilize any applicable investment opportunities.

 

Tricare#2. Enrollment in Tricare:

Enrollment in Tricare means you cannot fund an HSA.  If you’re on Tricare, don’t open an HSA.
 

On a side note, if your spouse is also on your insurance policy and is not enrolled in Medicare or Tricare, they may be eligible to open an HSA.  The nice part about this, is you would be able to use the funds your spouse puts in their HSA.  You can still benefit from the account; it just isn’t in your name.

Umbrella Insurance Coverage#3. Enrollment in Multiple Policies:

If you are covered under another health insurance policy you may not be able to open an HSA.  Exceptions to this scenario, would be another HSA-qualified insurance policy or one that is for a specific disease or illness – such as a cancer policy, or a policy that pays a fixed amount per day for a hospital stay.

Flex Spending Account#4. Having an Existing FSA:

Enrollment in a General Purpose Medical FSA (Cafeteria Plan) by you or your spouse can also affect your ability to fund an HSA.  A General Purpose Medical FSA covers any medical expense of you or your spouse without first applying a deductible. 
 
If your FSA covers just preventive care, dental and vision (called a Limited Purpose FSA) then you are fine to open an HSA.
 

If your FSA applies a deductible before payments are made (called a Post-Deductible FSA) then you may be able to open an HSA.  It will depend on the deductible for the FSA.  For 2013, that deductible would have to be at least $3,250 if it pays benefits on just you or $6,450 if it also pays benefits on your dependents.

#5. Usage of VA Benefits:

There is one more item worth mentioning here, and that is the usage of VA Benefits.  Enrollment in VA Benefits does not affect your ability to open and HSA, but how and when you use those benefits can affect the frequency of how you fund your HSA.
 
In order to receive deposits into your HSA, you cannot have used your VA Benefits at any time during the previous three months, except for the three areas listed below:
  • Dental
  • Vision
  • Preventative Care 
 

Here’s a flyer with some examples of how your health savings account can work with your health savings account:

VA Benefits With Your HSA by American Health Value

 

That wraps up our list of the 5 most common scenarios that could potentially alter an individual's ability to open a health savings account. As you can see, the high deductible health insurance plan (HDHP) itself is the first thing you must have in place to open an HSA, but it is not the only factor taken into account when determining your overall HSA Eligibility.

As always, we are more than willing to help you navigate any of your questions about health savings accounts, whether you currently have yours with us or not.  Please feel free to contact us with any questions or comments & we look forward to hearing from you!


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Posted by HSA Admin at 4/8/2013 9:17:00 PM
Wednesday, April 3, 2013

It's Your HSA money

As you all know, we love health savings accounts!  We’re constantly keeping our ear to the ground to stay aware of the “latest and greatest” tools and trends available to help people get the most out of their HSA.  The good news, is the consumer-driven healthcare industry is exploding with innovative ideas, products and services to help solve some of the challenges people are facing with their health insurance policies and/or HSA/FSA/HRA plans. 

Sometimes these programs/services cost money, and sometimes they’re completely free…which is exactly what we wanted to focus on in this post!  Here’s a quick review of 3 of our favorite free tools and services to help you get everything you can out of your consumer-driven healthcare plan and specifically, your health savings account.

Simplee#1: Simplee:  Simplee is a free online service that does exactly what its name says it does…makes all your complicated healthcare and insurance information “simple”.  Just create your free account at their website, and tie in any relevant services you need to simplify…like your health insurance account and/or your health savings account information.  By doing this, you are essentially creating one “hub” where you can login and view all your information in one place.  Simplee takes it from there.

They display all the information in each of these accounts in very visual, easy-to-understand charts, and graphs, and lay out complicated insurance jargon in simple everyday terms.  Need to better understand your “Explanation of Benefits” (EOB)?  Or need to see what services are covered and what services aren’t?  Login to Simplee and check.  Need to track your medical bills for the year and see how close you are to your deductible?  Log in to Simplee and view one of the many charts or graphs for a quick update.  You can even pay those medical bills directly from within Simplee by tying in your credit card.

Screenshot from Simplee Dashboard

Simplee Dashboard

This is brilliant idea, and they do it very well.  It’s easy to understand why they’ve filled a huge void in this industry by empowering the consumer, which is exactly what consumer-driven healthcare and health savings accounts are all about.  They are an excellent service, and we highly recommend them.
 

Healthcare Blue Book#2: Healthcare Blue Book: One of the major cornerstones to consumer-driven healthcare and health savings accounts, is that the consumer is supposed to be in charge of their healthcare spending.  When you’re looking to go to the doctor for a procedure, you should be well aware of what is covered by your insurance (see Simplee above) and how much each procedure should cost.  This affords you a couple luxuries: comparison shopping, and peace of mind you’re not being overbilled.  But how can you possibly do any of that without knowing what these procedures actually cost?  This is where Healthcare Blue Book comes in.

Screenshot from Healthcare Blue Book

Healthcare Blue Book Homepage

Just visit their website, and put in whatever procedure you need to get at the doctor’s office.  They have quite an extensive list of procedures, and you can even specify the pricing down by your zip code if you want.  So, from the homepage, either type the procedure in the search box or narrow your search down using the category tabs at the top (Hospital, Physician, Dental, etc.).  Put in anything from flu vaccines to full coronary bypass surgeries, and get a detailed pricing list of that procedure’s fair market value.  At this point, you can even print off a “detailed pricing agreement” for both you and your physician to sign, solidifying the amount you’re both willing to agree on for that individual procedure. 

It’s important to remember that because you’re utilizing your health savings account, and paying upfront or in cash, the doctor’s office doesn’t need to worry about billing you.  This gives you some leverage and some flexibility in the price negotiations for your doctor’s office visit.  For some strange reason, even the most seasoned health savings account holders still sometimes don’t realize that healthcare costs are negotiable!  Be sure to remember this when you’re headed into your doctor’s office next time.  Armed with healthcare blue book, you’ll be sure you’re getting a fair market value, and you won’t be overbilled.

Free Healthcare Discount Card#3: Free Healthcare Discount Card: Ok, we may have a slight bias on this one, but it is something that can save you an exorbitant amount of money nonetheless.  This last item is our Free Healthcare Discount Card, and it is available for anyone to print directly from our website.  This card instantly saves you up to 70% on Pharmacy, Dental, Vision, Hearing & Medical Lab Testing.  Just visit our website, and click on the program you’re interested in saving money on.  From there, you’ll be able to locate local providers by zip code and contact them to see how much you can save on that procedure at their office.

Let’s take a prescription you need filled, as an example.  Visit our website, click on “Pharmacy” and then navigate to “Locate a local pharmacy”.  You can put in your zip code to find all the pharmacies that support the program in your area, and type in your actual drug name to get pricing on your prescription.  We’re willing to bet you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how much you’ll save on almost any prescription you’ve got, even against any pharmacy discount card provided to you by your insurance carrier.

Screenshot of Pharmacy Locator

Pharmacy Locator and Prescription Pricing Tool

I personally experienced this myself not too long ago, at a local Rite-Aid here in Boise, ID.  I had a seasonal allergy and needed to get a prescription filled.  I handed both my insurance carrier’s discount card and American Health Value’s discount card to the pharmacist and told her to run both to compare the discounts. 

The findings were as follows: with no insurance (neither card) I would have paid roughly $120.  With my insurance carrier’s card, I would have paid in the ball park of $70.  With American Health Value’s discount card, I paid $29.  This is because we have a direct relationship with these healthcare/pharmaceutical providers and we’re not skimming off the top, which results in substantial savings for anyone that carries this discount card.

Prescription Pricing Table

Look at it this way, the cash price was $120, and the insurance carrier’s price was $70, making you think you get some great discount for carrying your policy’s “pharmacy discount card”.  Which really makes you wonder where the difference between the $70 and the actual cost of the drug, which was $29, ends up doesn’t it?

Jump out to our website to learn more about the programs, to locate participating local providers, and to print your free healthcare discount card today!  You can even share it with friends and family, or pass it along to the less-fortunate, as there’s no insurance policy or HSA required to use it.

That sums up our 3 favorite tools for helping you get the most out of your health savings account.  We hope you found something new in this post you can utilize, and as always, we appreciate your feedback!  Is there a free service you’re aware of that we didn’t mention?  Have any thoughts on the ones we spoke about?  Let us know in the comments below!


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Posted by HSA Admin at 4/3/2013 9:32:00 PM
Tuesday, March 26, 2013

American Health Value Staff Spotlight SeriesStaff Spotlight Series: Every now and then we thought we’d spice up our typical posts on HSAs, health insurance & wellness to offer up a better opportunity for all of you out there to get to know all of us here at American Health Value on a more personal level. To that end, we’re creating a series of blog posts called our “Staff Spotlight Series”.

In this first installment, our Customer Service Manager Robin wanted to write a piece about how eating healthy food every once in a while isn’t only good for you, it can be both practical and economical as well. Check it out below!



 Save the Meat

During World War I, the US Food Administration (USFA) urged families to reduce consumption of key staples to help the war effort. Conserving food would support U.S. troops as well as feed populations in Europe where food production and distribution had been disrupted by war.  This time around, Meatless Mondays is brought back as a reminder that meat production can be expensive and sometimes hard on the environment, and unfortunately not always the healthiest choice.   Replace one meal a week with a vegetarian meal.  Save money and reduce your cholesterol!

This week my Vegetarian Times Magazine came in the mail.  It had an article about a week's worth of meals that you can put together, refrigerate or freeze, and be ready for dinner each night without a hassle.  I cook a lot, so I don’t find dinner to be a chore.  I was intrigued however, by the beautiful recipes I saw.   It motivated me to try my meatless week of dinners.

Zucchini Corn Cannelloni
Monday night I made Zucchini Corn Cannelloni.  It was hearty, gooey, and yummy.  No one in my house complained that it was missing meat!  Paired with a spinach salad, it did the job of filling empty bellies.

 

Broiled French Onion Soup
Tuesday night I made Broiled French Onion Soup with homemade whole wheat garlic scallion bread.  I worried that soup would not make a meal, so I added a side of kale salad with mandarins, pepitos (roasted pumpkin seeds) with a chili lime vinaigrette.
 

Veggie Burger

Wednesday we ate pinto bean, mushroom, walnut veggie burgers.  This recipe is a hybrid of many veggie burgers that I have been trying.  I love pinto beans, so they became the basis of the burger.  It is so easy to change up the ingredients in a Veggie Burger, that you can add most anything you want.   I used bread crumbs and a little grape seed oil to bind it together.  I figure, as long as it doesn’t fall apart when you are pan frying it, it’s all good!   I added an Israeli couscous salad on the side.  To the couscous, I added raisins, grape tomatoes, sugar peas, pepitos, and onion.  I finished with an apple cider/grape seed oil/ brown sugar vinaigrette.  Once again, no one complained because there was no meat!

Tofu NoodlesThursday night, I admit I was starting to feel a little bit daunted by the fact that I needed to come up with another vegetarian dish.  As I peered into the refrigerator, checking out my options, I saw that I had bought smoked tofu.   I took the tofu, (my first time trying it, I will definitely use it again!) and cut it into small cubes.  I had some rice noodles in my pantry.  I added sautéed veggies that were in the fridge, with the tofu and topped it all with a lime, brown sugar, ponzu (citrus soy sauce) dressing.
 

Veggie Chili
I rounded off the week on Friday by making
Veggie Chili.  How hard is it?  Just make chili and don’t add the hamburger or chicken.  Make sure you make some corn bread to keep everyone happy!

 

My week of meatless meals turned out to be easy and delicious, and economical!

For the record, I am not vegetarian or vegan.  I don’t endorse any style of eating, except that of using and eating quality, healthy food.  Life is too short to eat bad food!


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Posted by HSA Admin at 3/26/2013 4:50:00 PM
Thursday, March 21, 2013

The IRS requires all health savings account holders to file IRS Form 8889 with their tax return.  In addition, their HSA administrator is required to send all account holders forms 1099-SA and 5498-SA, though these forms don’t need to be submitted with your taxes…so what are they for?

HSA Tax Help

It’s safe to say that sometimes all these forms can be a little confusing, and the wording can quickly get rather convoluted.  Just the thought of filing your taxes in the first place can leave you feeling overwhelmed, especially with additional provisions like health savings accounts that require some extra paperwork.  With all of that in mind, we would like to help you out by breaking down or ‘decoding’ a couple of these forms, the 1099-SA and the 5498-SA as pictured below.

IRS Form 1099-SA IRS Form 5498-SA

 

Distributions – IRS Form 1099-SA
 
The 1099-SA reports all withdrawals (distributions) from your HSA during the tax year indicated on the form.  This form is mailed to you and filed with the IRS in January of each year.  It does not need to be sent to the IRS with your taxes, but it does need to be kept with your tax records. 
 
Box 1:  Total money withdrawn from your account.  This money may have been payable to a medical provider or to you.
 
IRS Form 1099-SA Box 1
 
Box 2:  Interest earned on any deposit that was made in excess of what the IRS allows and was withdrawn before the due date of your income tax return. 
 
IRS Form 1099-SA Box 2
 
Box 3:  Identifies the type of withdrawals you made during the year. 

Codes:
                                1 – Normal distribution
                                2 – Excess contributions that were withdrawn
                                3 – Disability
                                4 – Death distribution to estate
                                5 – Prohibited transactions
                                6 – Death distribution after year of death to someone other than spouse or estate
 
You will receive a separate 1099-SA for each distribution code that applies to you.
 
IRS Form 1099-SA Box 3
 
 
Box 4:  Fair market value of account at time of account holder’s death.
 
IRS Form 1099-SA Box 4
 
Contributions – IRS Form 5498-SA
 
The 5498-SA reports all contributions made to your HSA during the tax year indicated on the form, as well as contributions made from January 1st - April 15th of the current calendar year that were applied to the tax year indicated on the form.  This form is mailed to you and filed with the IRS in May of each year. It does not need to be sent to the IRS with your taxes, but it does need to be kept with your tax records.
 
Box 1:  If you have an MSA, this box shows the total deposit made into the MSA for the tax year indicated on the form (includes deposits made between January 1st - April 15th of the current calendar year).
 
IRS Form 5498-SA Box 1
 
Box 2:  Total Contributions made to your HSA during the tax year indicated on the form.  This will also include any contributions made during that tax year for any prior tax year, and any contributions made through an IRA.
 
IRS Form 5498-SA Box 2
 
Box 3:  Contributions made from January 1st - April 15th of the current calendar year that were applied to the tax year indicated on the form.
 
IRS Form 5498-SA Box 3
 
Box 4:  Deposits made into your account as a result of a rollover of funds from an MSA or an HSA.  These amounts are not included in any of the first three boxes.
 
IRS Form 5498-SA Box 4
 
Box 5:  Fair market value of your HSA or MSA on December 31st of the tax year indicated on the form. 
 
IRS Form 5498-SA Box 5
 
1099-SA’s are issued in January summarizing the prior years HSA withdrawals (qualified or not) and 5498-SA’s are issued in May of each year summarizing total HSA deposits for the prior year.  You have until April 15th or before you file your taxes, which ever comes first, to contribute to an HSA for the prior year.
 
HSA Tax Help
 
Hopefully this article helped to clear up some of the confusion with these two forms!  If you’re still feeling a little puzzled or have a question about something we didn’t address, please feel free to contact us and ask!  We’d love to help.  You can visit our website at www.AmericanHealthValue.com, or give us call at 800-914-3248.  We look forward to hearing from you.

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Posted by HSA Admin at 3/21/2013 9:06:00 PM
Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Can I pay insurance premiums with my HSA?One of the many benefits to opening a health savings account is the safety net of having designated monies set aside for health related expenses. Because of the tax-deferred nature of an HSA, there is a personal responsibility in using the account correctly. By this I mean, using the funds only for eligible HSA expenses. But how do you know if you are using your funds in compliance with the IRS?

There is some IRS guidance available. The IRS Publication 502 is used for preparing tax returns and has a long list of what can be considered a write-off. This publication “explains the itemized deductions for medical and dental expenses that you can claim on Schedule A (Form 1040). “ However, the mistake many make is that this IRS Publication is not specific to HSAs. One of the best resources is a knowledgeable HSA administrator, which is a role that American Health Value plays for many nationwide.

The question of “Can I pay my insurance premiums with my HSA?" comes up quite frequently. The IRS Publication 502 says, “You can include in medical expenses insurance premiums you pay for policies that cover medical care.”  One would naturally take that to mean HSA dollars can be used to pay the medical premium.  However, that is true in only a few cases:

  • A portion of age-based  long-term care premiums
     
  • COBRA premiums
    • This includes a spouse or dependent
       
  • Health care coverage while receiving unemployment compensation under federal or state law
    • This includes a spouse or dependent
       
  • Medicare and “other health care coverage” if you are 65 or older
    • Supplemental policies are not included 
    • If the account holder is not 65 or older, Medicare premiums of spouse or dependent are not eligible expenses.
    • The “other health care coverage” would be the employee share of employer-sponsored health insurance, including retiree health insurance

So, if you are trying to decide if you can use your HSA funds to pay for insurance premiums, you now have an educated answer on which to base your decision and you can spend your valuable time doing something that makes you smile!

What makes you smile?

Resources:
 

IRS Publication 502 (Page 2)
IRS Publication 969 (Pages 8 & 9)
IRS Notice 2004-02 (Pages 9 Q & A 27)


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Posted by HSA Admin at 3/13/2013 6:21:00 PM
Tuesday, March 5, 2013

HSA rollover to 401kIn the last few months we've received several inquiries about the legality of rolling a health savings account into a 401(k). This is something you could theoretically do, although there really isn't much of a purpose to doing so, and calling it a "rollover" is a bit of a stretch. It's more like an unqualified distribution than anything else. Depending on your age, you'll be subjected to a 20% penalty and the money would be considered taxable income for the year in which you made the "rollover". There are a few “ins and outs” to some of the different situations with this one and it can be a little tricky, so we wanted to address the issue in writing to help anyone else who may be looking for any information on this topic.

First things first, we combed through our collection of HSA legislation to see if we could find anything that would either confirm or deny that you could roll HSA funds to a 401(k). Unfortunately there is nothing that specifically mentions the 401(k) in either a positive or negative aspect. In order to get an official definitive answer we went ahead and contacted the US Treasury Department. We explained the situation and told them we wanted to be sure there was no specific provision allowing a penalty-free transfer or rollover from a health savings account to a 401(k), similar to the provision that allows a one-time transfer from your IRA to your HSA

HSA Rollover Rules There isn’t one. They informed us that they simply don’t create a running list of things you can’t do or things that aren’t allowed, as it’s much easier to create and manage a list of things you can do (as that’s a much shorter list). Rolling your HSA funds at any time into a 401(k) is not on the list of things you can do. Furthermore, the only time you can roll your HSA funds anywhere is to another HSA.

That is pretty cut and dry, but some people may still suggest you can move money from your HSA to a 401(k), which is true. However, the terminology is where some people may be getting a little lost or confused with this. If you really wanted to, you could “roll” your HSA to a 401(k), but there really isn’t any benefit to doing it. As we stated earlier, prior to age 65 this “rollover” is really nothing more than an unqualified distribution from your health savings account.   It’s unqualified because it isn’t sheltered by a rollover provision, and it isn’t a qualified HSA medical expense. Prior to age 65, you’ll pay a 20% penalty on the funds transferred, and that money will also be considered taxable income in the year you made the transfer. 
 
After age 65, you won’t pay the 20% penalty (as the penalty for non-qualified HSA distributions disappears at age 65), but the money will still be considered taxable income. Furthermore, because the distributions out of a 401(k) are also taxed, you’re actually doing yourself a disservice by transferring out of the HSA into a 401(k) for a couple reasons. First, you’re effectively “double-taxing” yourself. The money’s tax-free going into both accounts, but is also taxed coming out of both. You’ll be taxed on the HSA distribution, and then again on the 401(k) distribution, whenever that occurs. Second, you can still use your HSA funds tax-free for any qualified medical expenses, including Medicare premiums. You’d be much further ahead to leave the money in the HSA and spend it on those qualified purchases, effectively dodging the taxes being charged on those funds at all, let alone twice.
 
So once and for all, can you roll your HSA into a 401(k)? Technically, no. You can’t roll an HSA anywhere, except into another HSA. You can move money from an HSA to a 401(k), but you’re going to incur a potential litany of taxes and fees doing it, while simultaneously losing the luxury of paying for any qualified medical expenses tax-free with the HSA funds.

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Posted by HSA Admin at 3/5/2013 4:40:00 PM
Friday, February 15, 2013

We're excited to announce we've recently made a couple big updates to our website!  Both the "Pharmacy Locator Tool" and the "Prescription Pricing Tool" have received an upgrade, and they're now live and fully functional on AmericanHealthValue.com!

Pharmacy Locator Tool:
The Pharmacy Locator Tool allows you to type in your city/state or zip code, select a search radius & view all the pharmacies in your area that accept our Free Pharmacy Discount Card.  Previously, we just listed those pharmacies in a text format and provided a phone number you could call to contact them.  With today's update, we've integrated Google Maps!
 
Google Maps Integration with Pharmacy Discount Program
You can now actually see all the available pharmacies in your area, you can pan/zoom around, click to view phone numbers & addresses, & plug the information into your cell phone or GPS device for easy navigation!  Big upgrade!
 
Prescription Pricing Tool:
The Prescription Pricing Tool allows you to type in a drug of your choice, the daily dosage & the number of days you'll be taking the prescription.  You'll then be shown the real-time cost of the drug at your local participating pharmacy, the cost of its generic version (if available) and the cost for those drugs using a mail order service.
 
Pharmacy Discount Program
This feature finally gives you the option to do some price shopping and comparisons on your prescriptions from the comfort of your own home.  What's even more impressive, is that most of the people that use this Free Pharmacy Discount Card typically see significant savings on their prescriptions; in some cases as much as 65%!
 

Go type in your prescriptions & see how much you could be saving at a local participating pharmacy!


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Posted by HSA Admin at 2/15/2013 5:12:00 PM
Thursday, January 17, 2013

Free Lab Testing Discount Card

At American Health Value, we know that having blood work done is nothing short of exhausting.  It's a stressful experience on numerous physical and emotional levels, and it's usually not covered by your insurance plan making it a strain on the wallet on top of everything else.

In order to help deal with the financial burden, we are offering a free lab & blood work discount card people can print from our website that provides lab and blood work discounts from 40-70%!
 
 
Getting your lab work done couldn't be easier:
  • Locate a Lab Center:  Our easy-to-use search will help you locate a participating lab near you.  To find a lab, visit our website at AmericanHealthValue.MDLabTests.com or simply call us at 800-914-3248 and we would be more than happy to locate a lab near you.
  • Order Your Test:  Choose your test from the categories listed on our secure website at AmericanHealthValue.MDLabTests.com or call 800-914-3248 to place your order with our staff.
  • Visit the Lab Center:  Take the necessary paperwork (requisition) with you & get your tests completed.  For online orders, your requisition will be available to print immediately after you place your order.  For over-the-phone orders, we will walk you through the process to receive the paperwork you need.
  • Receive Your Results:  You will personally be contacted when your results are ready, typically within 48 hours (some tests will vary).
American Health Value's lab & blood work discount program takes all the unnecessary steps out of the antiquated lab work process and streamlines everything to help save you time, money & headache.  There are no co-pays, doctor visits, medical exams, or pre-approvals needed.  Just visit the website, order your test & go have your testing done.
 
If you have any questions, or would like additional information please visit our website or call us a 800-914-3248 and we would be happy to assist you further.

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Posted by HSA Admin at 1/17/2013 7:45:00 PM
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