By Mack Bekeza

Since 2003, Health Savings Accounts (“HSAs”) have been an excellent tool for families to help cover current healthcare costs, along with future healthcare costs. HSAs are also known to be an excellent tax-planning tool since participants are allowed to contribute on a pre-tax basis and the funds grow tax deferred. Additionally, participants are able to make tax-free withdrawals for qualified medical expenses. Funds in an HSA may also be invested in a list of mutual funds, or even have a brokerage link for more savvy investors. On top of that, people have until April of the following year to make contributions (similar to an IRA).

With all of these excellent benefits, there are a few caveats:

These setbacks should not prevent people from taking advantage of these accounts. In fact, HSAs will more than likely save people money in the long term and even in the short term. With having a HDHP, premiums will be notably less expensive for individuals and families, meaning that people can use those up front savings towards HSA contributions. Also, people can reimburse themselves for medical expenses that occurred in the past as long as the HSA was opened before that expense occurred. This means that if someone needed to make a non-qualified distribution, he or she can make it appear as if they were reimbursing themselves for a prior medical expense.

Although you will have to increase your deductible and maximum-out of pocket costs, utilizing a Health Savings Account could be one of the best decisions you will make if you want to plan for future health needs, even in retirement. And, don’t forget to keep your medical receipts…you may need them later!

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