Author Topic: HSA management strategies  (Read 2361 times)

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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HSA management strategies
« on: March 15, 2017, 12:12:53 PM »
I'm pretty new to having an HSA (covers me and 2 kids) and it's starting to be a bit of a mess. I also use it as an emergency fund (if you don't "know me," hi! I'm low income), so I have receipts that I have already been reimbursed for and receipts that I am saving to submit at some indefinite point in the future.

So... record keeping strategies? Throwing all the receipts in a folder and making notes on the ones I've submitted is my current strategy but it seems like there's probably a better way.

QueenV

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #1 on: March 15, 2017, 03:08:40 PM »
I'm in a similar situation, new to an HSA/HDHP this year and we've already hit our deductible due to some unexpected medical situations. So far, I'm using a two folder method, one folder for receipts that I've paid but not requested reimbursement, one for receipts that have been reimbursed. If I do request reimbursement I move the receipt to the second folder. I figure that makes them easy to tell apart and they are in one place in case of an audit. I'll probably start a new folder for reimbursed receipts next year to be able to easily track which year a receipt was reimbursed.

That being said, I'm brand new at this, so am interested to see how others are managing receipts.

kite

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #2 on: March 15, 2017, 05:20:11 PM »
My method is to scan the receipts.  Use a spreado to track reimbursed versus not.
In my case, our reimbursable expenses are low, and we've been leaving the money in the HSA to pull out in the far distant future.  Receipts fade over time, and without a digital copy, not sure what I'd do. 

TheStachery

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #3 on: March 15, 2017, 05:37:31 PM »
I'm pretty new to having an HSA (covers me and 2 kids) and it's starting to be a bit of a mess. I also use it as an emergency fund (if you don't "know me," hi! I'm low income), so I have receipts that I have already been reimbursed for and receipts that I am saving to submit at some indefinite point in the future.

So... record keeping strategies? Throwing all the receipts in a folder and making notes on the ones I've submitted is my current strategy but it seems like there's probably a better way.
I also scan each receipt/ bill.   The file name contains the date of service and the family member name.
In the spreadsheet it looks similar to other ledgers  it includes date, description, and amount.  It also has a running total. And I have information regarding what credit card or method of payment. All this information should be sufficient enough for me to find a transaction and get reimbursed for it in the future.   I also pay for all our medical expenses out of pocket and leave everything in the HSA investment account.   Heck, even the HSA savings account has a pretty good savings interest rate.  We have to keep a minimum of 1k in that account.  Everything else gets direct to the investment account. 


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Spork

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #4 on: March 15, 2017, 05:47:24 PM »
I'm pretty new to having an HSA (covers me and 2 kids) and it's starting to be a bit of a mess. I also use it as an emergency fund (if you don't "know me," hi! I'm low income), so I have receipts that I have already been reimbursed for and receipts that I am saving to submit at some indefinite point in the future.

So... record keeping strategies? Throwing all the receipts in a folder and making notes on the ones I've submitted is my current strategy but it seems like there's probably a better way.
I also scan each receipt/ bill.   The file name contains the date of service and the family member name.
In the spreadsheet it looks similar to other ledgers  it includes date, description, and amount.  It also has a running total. And I have information regarding what credit card or method of payment. All this information should be sufficient enough for me to find a transaction and get reimbursed for it in the future.   I also pay for all our medical expenses out of pocket and leave everything in the HSA investment account.   Heck, even the HSA savings account has a pretty good savings interest rate.  We have to keep a minimum of 1k in that account.  Everything else gets direct to the investment account. 


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Me three.

Actually, my HSA provider has a primitive online management interface.  It allows you to scan/upload the receipts and then delay payment indefinitely.  It keeps track of what is paid/unpaid.

bassman2003

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #5 on: March 15, 2017, 06:47:36 PM »
We don't scan anything.  For us it's much easier to pull up the PDFs of the EOBs from our insurance website (or the Rx claim from our pharmacy plan).  Each month I save the EOBs to a folder on our computer, and send myself an email to my own Gmail, and put it in a specific folder on Gmail for healthcare receipts.  We then submit receipts as needed, always submitting the oldest first.  That way I have two copies saved electronically, one on our Mac and one in the 'cloud'.

As discussed on another thread, it may be best to pay cash for medical expenses IF you are able to max out ALL your tax advantaged spaces, and let the full contribution balance grow in the HSA.  If not, it may be best to submit your receipts, THEN chunk as much as u can in your IRA or 401k to further reduce your taxable income.  Anything left over in the HSA can be left to grow as well obviously.

TheStachery

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #6 on: March 15, 2017, 06:53:34 PM »
We don't scan anything.  For us it's much easier to pull up the PDFs of the EOBs from our insurance website (or the Rx claim from our pharmacy plan).  Each month I save the EOBs to a folder on our computer, and send myself an email to my own Gmail, and put it in a specific folder on Gmail for healthcare receipts.  We then submit receipts as needed, always submitting the oldest first.  That way I have two copies saved electronically, one on our Mac and one in the 'cloud'.

As discussed on another thread, it may be best to pay cash for medical expenses IF you are able to max out ALL your tax advantaged spaces, and let the full contribution balance grow in the HSA.  If not, it may be best to submit your receipts, THEN chunk as much as u can in your IRA or 401k to further reduce your taxable income.  Anything left over in the HSA can be left to grow as well obviously.
Do you have many instances that the EOB doesn't match up with what actually was paid?   I've seen differences.


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bassman2003

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #7 on: March 15, 2017, 07:12:07 PM »
We don't scan anything.  For us it's much easier to pull up the PDFs of the EOBs from our insurance website (or the Rx claim from our pharmacy plan).  Each month I save the EOBs to a folder on our computer, and send myself an email to my own Gmail, and put it in a specific folder on Gmail for healthcare receipts.  We then submit receipts as needed, always submitting the oldest first.  That way I have two copies saved electronically, one on our Mac and one in the 'cloud'.

As discussed on another thread, it may be best to pay cash for medical expenses IF you are able to max out ALL your tax advantaged spaces, and let the full contribution balance grow in the HSA.  If not, it may be best to submit your receipts, THEN chunk as much as u can in your IRA or 401k to further reduce your taxable income.  Anything left over in the HSA can be left to grow as well obviously.
Do you have many instances that the EOB doesn't match up with what actually was paid?   I've seen differences.


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They normally match.  We actually pay most of our medical bills directly on our health insurance website.  Right beside the EOB, there's a button that says 'pay provider'.  Since our CC is saved on the insurance website, it takes 2 clicks, and in less than 15 seconds, the bill is paid according to the amount on the EOB and a receipt is sent to my Gmail.  This is available on both my insurance and my wife's​ insurance (BCBS and UHC).

MoonLiteNite

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #8 on: March 16, 2017, 05:22:13 AM »

Me three.

Actually, my HSA provider has a primitive online management interface.  It allows you to scan/upload the receipts and then delay payment indefinitely.  It keeps track of what is paid/unpaid.

I have this setup too.
Same system for when i travel for my work.

I use the HSA card, then just take a quick photo of the recipt. Then their systems match the time/cost and links them together.
Boom problem solved!


chasesfish

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #9 on: March 16, 2017, 05:42:52 AM »
I'm paranoid and it took a while to convince my SO of the HSA deferred reimbursement.

I scan/save the receipt on my computer then also have a folder full of the receipts we keep elsewhere.   We've also decided that under $20 isn't worth it the recordkeeping and we pay those directly with our HSA debit card.

des999

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #10 on: March 16, 2017, 08:48:50 AM »
I'm guessing everyone is already aware, but just incase.  I moved all my HSA money into an index fund, as by default mine were in a savings account earning very little interest.  Might worth ensuring your money is being invested.

I also get emailed all my receipts and keep track of them that way.

Spork

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #11 on: March 16, 2017, 08:53:42 AM »

Me three.

Actually, my HSA provider has a primitive online management interface.  It allows you to scan/upload the receipts and then delay payment indefinitely.  It keeps track of what is paid/unpaid.

I have this setup too.
Same system for when i travel for my work.

I use the HSA card, then just take a quick photo of the recipt. Then their systems match the time/cost and links them together.
Boom problem solved!

Unless you just need the money for cash flow... You're probably better off not using the HSA card.  Leave that money in for as long as you can to grow, but keep the receipts.   Effectively you're margin trading on index funds where the margin money is a loan from yourself.

SuperSecretName

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #12 on: March 16, 2017, 09:01:11 AM »
You should 100% scan or take pictures of receipts.  Ink fades over time.

Personally, I am letting the money grow and just keeping track of expenses.  A primitive google spreadsheet with pictures uploaded is all you need.

Dezrah

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #13 on: March 16, 2017, 09:31:52 AM »
You should 100% scan or take pictures of receipts.  Ink fades over time.

Personally, I am letting the money grow and just keeping track of expenses.  A primitive google spreadsheet with pictures uploaded is all you need.

This.

I used to have a physical folder with the receipts.  Then I looked at them at tax time and about half of them were completely illegible from the ink rubbing off.  Oops.

Now I scan everything and keep it in a Google drive.  This has the advantage that I can switch insurers, HSA custodians, etc. and still have all my info in the same place.

La Bibliotecaria Feroz

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #14 on: March 16, 2017, 12:24:04 PM »
You should 100% scan or take pictures of receipts.  Ink fades over time.

Personally, I am letting the money grow and just keeping track of expenses.  A primitive google spreadsheet with pictures uploaded is all you need.

This.

I used to have a physical folder with the receipts.  Then I looked at them at tax time and about half of them were completely illegible from the ink rubbing off.  Oops.

Now I scan everything and keep it in a Google drive.  This has the advantage that I can switch insurers, HSA custodians, etc. and still have all my info in the same place.

Ooooh, good tip! I will bring everything to work tomorrow and scan it.

CptCool

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Re: HSA management strategies
« Reply #15 on: March 17, 2017, 09:10:40 AM »
You should 100% scan or take pictures of receipts.  Ink fades over time.

Personally, I am letting the money grow and just keeping track of expenses.  A primitive google spreadsheet with pictures uploaded is all you need.

This.

I used to have a physical folder with the receipts.  Then I looked at them at tax time and about half of them were completely illegible from the ink rubbing off.  Oops.

Now I scan everything and keep it in a Google drive.  This has the advantage that I can switch insurers, HSA custodians, etc. and still have all my info in the same place.

Ooooh, good tip! I will bring everything to work tomorrow and scan it.

I do the same thing but no longer bother scanning it. I just take a picture with my phone and upload it into my google drive into the HSA folder & add it into my spreadsheet also on google drive. Whole process takes a minute or less