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Health Savings Account Plans Question & Answers

2014 March 1
by Sarah Fields

Ken asks…

What are the benefits for a health savings account if I already have medical and dental coverage?

What are the benefits for a health savings account if I already have medical and dental coverage?

Sarah Fields answers:

An HSA will be of no benefit, and in fact will be unobtainable, if you do not have an HSA qualified medical plan. If you do have a qualified plan there are many benefits, in fact, too many to go into here. See the following IRS publications: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p502.pdf http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-pdf/p969.pdf

Carol asks…

I am unemployed and have a $5000 annual deductible health plan, can I open a Health Savings Account?

Or, to open a Health Savings Account do I need an Employer’s Plan to make contributions?

Sarah Fields answers:

You do not need an employer’s plan.

You do need a “high deductible health plan” that meets all of the specific requirements in the tax code. Not all plans with high deductible qualify. Most plans that do qualify have something like “HSA-Compatible Plan” in their name to indicate that they qualify. Not all of them are employer plans.

If you have a plan that qualifies, even though it is not an employer plan, then yes.
If you have a plan that does not qualify, then no.

Daniel asks…

Is a Health Savings Account considered health insurance?

My job just implemented a Health Savings Account and I don’t understand if this replaces my health insurance. I feel like I’m getting ripped off but I may be misunderstanding this.

Sarah Fields answers:

Health Savings Accounts have to be “matched” with HSA-compatible health insurance plans to function correctly. So the HSA isn’t replacing your health insurance, your entire setup is being changed.

I would ask for a thorough explanation of your new HSA and answers as to how it differs from what you had before.

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