Author Topic: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?  (Read 9180 times)

Parizade

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Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« on: March 03, 2012, 02:19:18 PM »
Or do you pay out of pocket and let your HSA grow for investment?

Just curious, I've got some dental work bills coming up and wonder which way to go. I have almost enough in my HSA to start an investment account with it and kind of hate to spend it.

warped

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #1 on: March 05, 2012, 11:12:26 AM »
I'm saving my HSA funds for use in retirement.

Great tax savings, and healthcare costs are only going up....

TheDude

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #2 on: March 05, 2012, 11:20:03 AM »
Right now I am just letting my HSA sit. Its a pretty awesome retirement vehicle. I do save all of my medical receipts so that if I ever need the money I can get to it. There are no limits to when you have to take money out as long as the account was open before the charge was incurred. For this reason if you don't need the money I would pay cash and save the receipt.

Parizade

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #3 on: March 07, 2012, 01:29:02 AM »
THank you for responding. I used my HSA funds this time, but I think I will stop using them for current medical expenses and keep those monies for retirement healthcare.

Mike Key

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #4 on: March 07, 2012, 04:55:13 AM »
We use them now. But our medical expenses are low. But also, I've been living without medical for the last decade, so.....

kudy

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #5 on: March 10, 2012, 06:14:05 PM »
In the past, if I had the extra money, I put the out of pocket money into the HSA as a one time deposit, and paid for it with the HSA card... only possible if you aren't already contributing the max allowed though. About to have full health insurance coverage though, so no more HSA for me after April.

wakkowarner

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #6 on: May 06, 2013, 10:36:53 AM »
I'd like to add a question to this old topic.  I like the idea of saving your receipts and paying out of pocket instead of from the HSA.  This allows more money to grow tax free, as long as you can afford it.  It also means that if you do have medical expenses that pile up over the years, you have an emergency fund up to the amount of your receipts that you can tap if needed (like the principal in a Roth account). 

My question is, what do you all think is the best way to keep these receipts?  I mean, I have kept receipts throughout the years for tax purposes, but I think those only have to go back 7 years (though mine go back 14 years).  But for something that could be very long term, like 30+ years is there any recommendation that people have for keeping these receipts and keeping them organized.  Do you all plan on keeping the physical copies?  Electronic scans?  Both?  I don't know if I'm even going to be receiving physical copies for everything (though I guess I could just print it).

Just looking for what others have done or are doing, any lessons learned and ways that they plan on improving.

Edit: Are there any rules as far as what info needs to be on the receipt (or type of receipt).  For instance, when I go to the pharmacy they have the info about the drugs (including price), date, everything, and they staple to this (and the bag) the receipt that comes out of cash register.  Is ALL of this required?  Or could I get away with just keeping the smaller receipt with all the pertinent info (I'd imagine this is the case, as that is what I've used in the past when faxing in info for FSA claims).
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 10:43:03 AM by wakkowarner »

jpo

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #7 on: May 06, 2013, 10:50:16 AM »
I use the money from my HSA whenever I can. Which is usually just for contacts and condoms.

ace1224

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #8 on: May 06, 2013, 11:14:16 AM »
i use my hsa to pay for my son's medical expenses, i pay out of pocket for my negligible ones.  my plan has a 1500 out of pocket max per person 3000 out of pocket max per family and pays 100% after that.  my work contributes 1000 a year.  because my son has special needs we hit the out of pocket max about march and the plan pays for the rest.   

the fixer

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #9 on: May 06, 2013, 11:34:20 AM »
I'm scanning my receipts and keeping them on my computer, which is backed up (including but not limited to online providers). It can be a challenge to keep data intact for very long periods of time, but I still have all my files from high school 12-13 years ago so I'm doing pretty well so far.

I assume the claim process will be similar to what's required for an FSA, which I used to have. I think for prescription medications you need the label thing plus the receipt. You also need copies of any insurance EOBs to show what portion insurance paid for the service.

Say you buy lots of prescriptions and aren't sure what you need to keep. Just submit a claim for one of those prescriptions and see what happens; that way you'll know what you need in the future.

Joet

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #10 on: May 06, 2013, 11:58:42 AM »
no, I just save my receipts and use it as a tax-advantaged saving vehicle. perhaps if budget was tight one month I'd use the HSA for a current medical charge but hope that I dont have to

madage

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #11 on: May 06, 2013, 03:45:56 PM »
I'm currently removing a year's worth of expenses at a time and using the cash to help fund our IRA's. Once all my other tax-advantaged savings vehicles are fully funded, the HSA funds will accumulate without withdrawals. We have several thousand dollars excess in our HSA right now, so we're still accumulating even after "cashing out" for IRA funding. The majority is invested in a 60/40 balanced fund and the remainder is in a credit union HSA checking account paying above 1%.

I use a spreadsheet organized by year listing all our eligible expenses and whether or not I've reimbursed myself with HSA funds. I scan the receipts and download the EOB's from our plan administrator's website and save them (and backup) on my computer.

edit: typo
« Last Edit: May 06, 2013, 04:29:05 PM by madage »

chucklesmcgee

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #12 on: May 06, 2013, 03:52:30 PM »
I get a bunch in a big envelope and when it gets full I mail it to Pakistan for about $2. Then my bookkeeper spends an hour or two scanning it and bill me at $6hr. Files are saved on Dropbox so I can see it immediately.

sherr

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #13 on: May 07, 2013, 06:54:04 AM »
I use the money from my HSA whenever I can. Which is usually just for contacts and condoms.

I just learned that it's legal to use your HSA for condoms. Interesting. Over-the-counter medicines are not allowed (unless you have a prescription), but "supplies" such as bandages (and presumably condoms) are fine. See Question 2 and 5:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act:-Questions-and-Answers-on-Over-the-Counter-Medicines-and-Drugs

madage

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #14 on: May 07, 2013, 07:08:01 AM »
I use the money from my HSA whenever I can. Which is usually just for contacts and condoms.

I just learned that it's legal to use your HSA for condoms. Interesting. Over-the-counter medicines are not allowed (unless you have a prescription), but "supplies" such as bandages (and presumably condoms) are fine. See Question 2 and 5:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act:-Questions-and-Answers-on-Over-the-Counter-Medicines-and-Drugs

Very interesting. I also did not know this. Thank you, jpo and sherr!

the fixer

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #15 on: May 07, 2013, 07:10:52 AM »
....what??? That's awesome, thanks! Luckily I order on Amazon subscribe & save, so I can dig the receipts out of my email.

jpo

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #16 on: May 07, 2013, 08:45:49 AM »
I use the money from my HSA whenever I can. Which is usually just for contacts and condoms.

I just learned that it's legal to use your HSA for condoms. Interesting. Over-the-counter medicines are not allowed (unless you have a prescription), but "supplies" such as bandages (and presumably condoms) are fine. See Question 2 and 5:

http://www.irs.gov/uac/Affordable-Care-Act:-Questions-and-Answers-on-Over-the-Counter-Medicines-and-Drugs

Very interesting. I also did not know this. Thank you, jpo and sherr!
I was also surprised when I found out. https://member.aetna.com/member/hsa_healthcare_expenses_table.html

Arbor33

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #17 on: May 07, 2013, 12:25:06 PM »
I do, but it appears I should do some more research on HSA's. I was hoping to use my company funded HSA to pay for corrective eye surgery, but now I think it deserves some more research.

Any good educational HSA resources out there that you guys recommend?

mlipps

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #18 on: May 07, 2013, 01:19:34 PM »
I do, but it appears I should do some more research on HSA's. I was hoping to use my company funded HSA to pay for corrective eye surgery, but now I think it deserves some more research.

Any good educational HSA resources out there that you guys recommend?

If you have some time there's a massive thread about HSA's on FatWallet, lots of good info if you have the time to read. You could also go to the source & read the IRS publication on them.

motipha

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #19 on: May 15, 2013, 12:18:38 PM »
I use my HSA for all my medical expenses.  Now, this is the first year that I've had to use it for pretty much anything other than the small stuff.  Most of the time I don't have to touch it, and it means that as much of the rest of my money as I can put aside can go in to passive income.

Of course, the year that I decide to mustache up is the year that I have the highest medical bills ever, but what can you do?

Insanity

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #20 on: May 17, 2013, 10:09:06 AM »
I just started using an HSA in April.  I asked my employer how I can contribute from my paycheck in addition to the $200 a month they contribute.  Amazingly enough she said no one had ever asked that before.  Turns out I can only do about $50 a paycheck, if that, given our income vs debt payments right now.

As far as the payments:  I've been paying out of pocket.  I think after reading this thread, I'm going to keep it that way for now and pull it out if I need to at a later date.  Watching the savings account grow will be nice (though I'm not exactly happy with the fees that are charged on the account).

As far as tracking:  I scan all explanation of benefits and bill payments.  I pay by credit card or on-line payment through the bank and track everything through mint.com as well.  this provides multiple avenues of data storage.  I refuse to use on-line repositories for offsite data backup (of course, I am in computer security so that is probably part of the reason).  I back everything up to dvd and store it in a safe.  I do incremental back-ups through the year (generally once a month) and then full back-ups at the end while shredding the older dvds. 


madage

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #21 on: May 17, 2013, 10:20:29 AM »
Watching the savings account grow will be nice (though I'm not exactly happy with the fees that are charged on the account).


If the fees are bad enough it's worth the effort to you, you can always do a custodian-to-custodian transfer (scroll down a bit - you don't want to do a rollover because you're restricted to one per year) of the HSA funds to a custodian of your choice. There are some national credit unions out there that pay 1+% without fees on HSA accounts. Alliant Credit Union, for example, pays just over 1% and charges no fees. I've been a happy Alliant customer for years.

motipha

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Re: Do you use your HSA funds to pay medical expenses?
« Reply #22 on: May 21, 2013, 10:38:13 AM »
ONe of the benefits is the investment option on HSA's as well.  I left enough in my account to cover one years deductible, but everything I've put in to investments provided by my HSA provider into an index fund and some bonds.  Nothing fancy, but it grows faster than a savings account and provides me an additional venue for pre-tax cash investment towards the wear-and-tear of growing old.