Explaining the basics of HSA vs FSA
As 2018 comes to its close, let’s discuss some important facts about your health insurance plan. If you’re covered by your employer, chances are you have either an HSA or an FSA account as part of your health insurance package. Both of these options have certain advantages, but it’s critical to understand the differences if you want to get the most out them. With that in mind, here are a few things to consider.
HSA’s, or Health Savings Accounts, are usually available if your health insurance plan has a high deductible. The advantages of this type of account are that you can invest and withdraw funds for medical expenses tax-free. These funds can be used for a variety of medical expenses including doctor visits, hospital stays, prescription drugs, and more. In addition, all the money you’ve invested can be rolled over from year to year. You can also keep the same account if you change employers or if you’re self-employed. The important thing to keep in mind with an HSA is how much money you and your employer have invested. Since you can roll over these funds from year to year, it’s a good idea to save as much as you can for any unexpected medical expenses.
For a Flexible Spending Account, or FSA, the same tax-free idea still applies but the rules are a bit different. You can invest as much as $2700 for 2019 into an FSA and spend as much as you need on medical expenses without being taxed. The main drawback with this account is that it doesn’t roll over, meaning if you don’t use it before January, your funds will be lost. If your employer offers both HSA & FSA your FSA is typically limited.
5 HSA expenses that may surprise you.
- Prescription sunglasses
- Dental treatments including x-rays, cleanings, fillings, sealants, braces and tooth removals*
- Over the counter medicine that has a prescription
- Widening a doorway – You can include in medical expenses amounts you pay for special equipment installed in a home, or for improvements, if their main purpose is medical care for you, your spouse, or your dependent.
For a full list of IRS-qualified medical expenses, please review IRS Publication 502.
If you haven’t checked these accounts recently, we encourage you to review before the year ends to make sure you’re getting the benefit. Consider scheduling end of the year checkups or appointments to utilize these funds.
We’re here to give you a better way to be treated
At Hudson Physicians, we care about our patients’ physical and financial well-being. Call us today at 715-531-6800 or 877-240-4058 to schedule an appointment. We offer convenient evening and Saturday appointments to accommodate your schedule. We also offer walk-ins at our Urgent Care location.