Author Topic: I can't get an HSA? Really?  (Read 5558 times)

TheFirstMan

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I can't get an HSA? Really?
« on: August 23, 2015, 06:40:22 AM »
I asked HR and they said no.

There's no way to independently set up an HSA?

I work for a 501c3.

Thanks.

abhe8

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #1 on: August 23, 2015, 06:59:47 AM »
Do you have a high deductible health plan?

Nothlit

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #2 on: August 23, 2015, 11:52:18 AM »
It is certainly possible to open an independent HSA, but you can only contribute to it if you have a qualifying HDHP. If you're eligible under an HDHP but your employer for whatever reason doesn't offer an HSA, you can open an account with any number of HSA providers, contribute with after-tax money, and then deduct those contributions on your income tax return each year. Not quite as great as pre-tax payroll deduction (which also bypasses FICA taxes), but still a decent option.

TheFirstMan

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #3 on: August 24, 2015, 05:17:04 AM »
OK, my health plan doesn't qualify. Thanks for helping me get to the bottom of this.


MDM

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #4 on: August 24, 2015, 12:15:03 PM »
OK, my health plan doesn't qualify. Thanks for helping me get to the bottom of this.
Sign-ups for next year's insurance plans often occur in Oct-Nov of the current year.  Does your company offer a plan that would qualify you in 2016?  Or can you switch now?

TheFirstMan

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #5 on: August 24, 2015, 09:29:58 PM »
OK, my health plan doesn't qualify. Thanks for helping me get to the bottom of this.
Sign-ups for next year's insurance plans often occur in Oct-Nov of the current year.  Does your company offer a plan that would qualify you in 2016?  Or can you switch now?

Nope, none of the health plans seem to qualify as "high deductible."

Trudie

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2015, 08:59:29 AM »
Yep - enjoy your low deductibles now while you are in that situation.  But, should your company switch to a HDHP in the future, open one.

You may have another decent option.  Does your employer offer a FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA)?  If so, and if you are not participating, I would urge you to do so.  You do not need a HDHP to have one.  The rules are slightly different ("use it or lose it" - no carryforward), but it saves you money.

If you're employer NEVER offers a HDHP you do have the option if you buy your own coverage in FIRE to buy one, then set up your own HSA.  Odds are you probably can get some premium credits too.

Maybe you knew about the FSA anyway, but I just wanted to make sure you investigate all potential options for tax savings.

Gin1984

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2015, 09:01:40 AM »
Yep - enjoy your low deductibles now while you are in that situation.  But, should your company switch to a HDHP in the future, open one.

You may have another decent option.  Does your employer offer a FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA)?  If so, and if you are not participating, I would urge you to do so.  You do not need a HDHP to have one.  The rules are slightly different ("use it or lose it" - no carryforward), but it saves you money.

If you're employer NEVER offers a HDHP you do have the option if you buy your own coverage in FIRE to buy one, then set up your own HSA.  Odds are you probably can get some premium credits too.

Maybe you knew about the FSA anyway, but I just wanted to make sure you investigate all potential options for tax savings.
Some now allow for a $500 carryforward for one year.

Trudie

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2015, 01:10:45 PM »
Yep - enjoy your low deductibles now while you are in that situation.  But, should your company switch to a HDHP in the future, open one.

You may have another decent option.  Does your employer offer a FLEXIBLE SPENDING ACCOUNT (FSA)?  If so, and if you are not participating, I would urge you to do so.  You do not need a HDHP to have one.  The rules are slightly different ("use it or lose it" - no carryforward), but it saves you money.

If you're employer NEVER offers a HDHP you do have the option if you buy your own coverage in FIRE to buy one, then set up your own HSA.  Odds are you probably can get some premium credits too.

Maybe you knew about the FSA anyway, but I just wanted to make sure you investigate all potential options for tax savings.
Some now allow for a $500 carryforward for one year.

Yep - you are right.  It varies by plan.  Ours allows for $200.

slugsworth

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #9 on: September 09, 2015, 10:12:13 AM »
If it makes you feel better, I have an HSA but my employer decided not to allow payroll deductions since only 5-6 people use the high deductible plan.

Jellyfish

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #10 on: September 09, 2015, 10:17:39 AM »
I got really excited to switch to my company's high deductible health plan come next open enrollment so I could open an HSA.  But I did a little research and while my annual contributions to premiums would decrease by $2500 my current Aetna EPO has paid $3500 in medical and prescription benefits for my family in the last 12 months.  So I'm sticking with my current plan.

RangerOne

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #11 on: October 09, 2015, 04:53:56 PM »
The only real downside of the HDHP is on average they have much higher max out of pocket expenses. I am currently fortunate that my current companies HDHP has a lower max out of pocket putting it at the same level as most normal plans.

I really like HSA accounts and in the future will likely lean towards HDHP as long as their max out of pocket is not too high. The great thing about most HSAs is that if you lose your job or quit you still have all your emergency medical cash.

On top of that if you move on to a new company which offers you full coverage. You are allowed to keep your HSA and even use it tax free for medical expenses even though you are now part of a non qualifying plan. You simply wont be able to add more cash to it. But it can be a nice little nest egg of medical money which is something we all need eventually.

Paul der Krake

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #12 on: October 09, 2015, 05:46:40 PM »
Well then, enjoy your low deductibles!
Unfortunately, that's not even necessarily true. I have been on a catastrophic exchange plan that was not HSA-eligible.

Jack

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #13 on: October 13, 2015, 08:37:23 AM »
Well then, enjoy your low deductibles!
Unfortunately, that's not even necessarily true. I have been on a catastrophic exchange plan that was not HSA-eligible.

I've even seen plans on the exchange that had identical coverage and identical deductibles, where the only difference is that the one that was HSA-eligible had a higher premium. It's total bullshit. The ACA should have either just let everybody have an HSA regardless of plan, or decreed that "every plan with max out of pocket over $X is HSA-eligible" or something like that.

karaishere

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #14 on: October 13, 2015, 09:11:47 AM »
If you're employer NEVER offers a HDHP you do have the option if you buy your own coverage in FIRE to buy one, then set up your own HSA.  Odds are you probably can get some premium credits too.

How does one do this? I'm self-employed and thus buy my own health insurance, but I had always heard that HSAs were for other people of the non-self-employment scenario. I would love to take advantage of an HSA.

Jack

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #15 on: October 13, 2015, 09:26:29 AM »
If you're employer NEVER offers a HDHP you do have the option if you buy your own coverage in FIRE to buy one, then set up your own HSA.  Odds are you probably can get some premium credits too.

How does one do this? I'm self-employed and thus buy my own health insurance, but I had always heard that HSAs were for other people of the non-self-employment scenario. I would love to take advantage of an HSA.

When you're shopping for your health insurance, pick one that calls itself a "qualified HDHP." Then go find an HSA provider and open an account. Then read IRS Publication 969 and deposit into the account and file your taxes according to its rules.

PathtoFIRE

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Re: I can't get an HSA? Really?
« Reply #16 on: October 13, 2015, 09:53:54 AM »
Well then, enjoy your low deductibles!
Unfortunately, that's not even necessarily true. I have been on a catastrophic exchange plan that was not HSA-eligible.

It's not just exchange plans! I have two choices:
1) biweekly premium of 178 (employee+family), deductible of 1500/3000 (individual/family), max out-of-pocket 4500/9000 (individual/family), 20% coinsurance for most services
2) biweekly premium of 130 (employee+family), deductible of 1500/3000 (individual/family), max out-of-pocket 6350/12700 (individual/family), 25% coinsurance for most services

For comparison, the ACA defines HDHP (HSA-eligible) plans as having a 2015 minimum deductible of 1300/2600 (individual/family), and a maximum out-of-pocket of 6450/12900 (individual/family).

Needless to say, these two plans are not all that different, and obviously both are essentially high deductible plans, however only plan (2) is HSA eligible (not offered through company), as plan (1) has an HRA that reduces the effective deductible below the limit, and is also eligible to contribute to an FSA. Kind of makes the choice difficult, as I'd like to have access to the HSA, but the HRA almost entirely wipes out the extra premium that plan (1) has, and with a family of 5, we have no difficult using up at least that amount in healthcare each year. I'm eagerly awaiting the 2016 plan info to see if anything changes in favor of the true HDP