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Upbeat economic data and strong corporate earnings could give the bull fresh legs and drive markets to another record Thursday.

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  • Health Savings Account (HSA) Tips and Benefits

    Thursday, September 12, 2013

    Autumn always represents a time of change in Indiana. Leaves change colors, temperatures cool down, and the humidity finally drops to a tolerable level. For many companies, autumn also brings changes in health insurance. Open enrollment opportunities provide employees the chance to explore new health care options to maximize their benefits and protect against hardship. In addition, changing health care laws have brought the topic of health insurance to the forefront of many consumers’ minds.

    One health insurance option that has steadily gained popularity over the years is the Health Savings Account (HSA). In fact, research conducted by wealth and investment management company Devenir showed that HSA numbers across the country reached 9.1 million accounts in July of 2013. Paired with a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP), the HSA presents a more affordable option for employers and an excellent way for employees to save money for healthcare expenses.

    Thinking about opening an HSA? Here are a few tips and benefits:

    • A High Deductible Health Plan is defined by the IRS as having a minimum deductible of $1,250 for singles and $2,500 for families (limits applicable for tax year 2013).
    • Contribution limits are capped at $3,250 for singles or $6,450 for families into your Health Savings Account for tax year 2013. In 2014, these limits increase to $3,300 for singles and $6,550 for families. 
    • HSA owners over the age of 55 are eligible for an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution in 2013.
    • Deductions do not have to be itemized on your federal income taxes to deduct your contributions to an HSA. 
    • HSA funds can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses. (Consult a tax advisor for items considered as qualified medical expenses.)
    • Once the HDHP deductible is met, the health insurance covers medical expenses as defined in the policy.
    • Over time, if medical expenses are low and contributions are made regularly to the HSA, the account can accumulate significant assets that can be used for health care tax free or used for retirement on a tax-deferred basis.
    • HSAs also have an advantage over the Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA) since deposits are not necessarily tied to expenses in a particular plan or calendar year. (No use it or lose it policy.)
    • HSA funds are automatically rolled over for future medical expenses or may be used to reimburse qualified expenses from prior years, as long as the expense was qualified under an HDHP at the time that the expense was incurred.

    High Deductible Health Plans and Health Savings Accounts are great options for many consumers, but the choice of health insurance should not be made alone. Excellent resources include your employer’s Human Resources department, an insurance representative, or a professional tax advisor.

     

    This blog was brought to you by Jared Matchette, Deposit Product Analyst at MutualBank.

  • Healthy Savings

    Tuesday, February 21, 2012

    Have you ever thought about how much your prescription or doctor visits cost your employer?  Many people who have a traditional insurance plan know they pay a $20 or $30 co-pay then they go about their day.  But have you ever looked at the amount your company pays?

    Insurance costs have skyrocketed over the past decade and companies have tried to find a way to still offer benefits to their employees.  The solution has been to offer a high deductible insurance plan.  These types of programs are often accompanied by something called a Health Savings Account (HSA).  Simply put, a HSA is a checking account where money can be deposited and used for medical expenses. (You might have heard of a Flexible Spending Account, FSA, which is similar to a HSA, but different. FSAs require you to use your money set aside before the year ends. HSAs allow you to roll money over year after year. There are other differences as well. Learn more about HSAs through the Treasury’s website.)

    So, are HSAs a good idea?  Yes!   HSAs make us better consumers of our health care.  We look closer at a bill or prescription if we know it will come out of our pocket.   We take the time to make sure if a generic medicine is just as good as a name brand, or if we truly need to go to the doctor for our sniffles.

    The beauty of a health savings account is that the money grows tax free as long as we use it for qualified medical expenses.  So not only are we being more proactive with and aware of our healthcare, we are being smart about our money as well!

    Together, a health savings account and a smart consumer make for very healthy living!

    If you have questions about your HSA or want to learn more, chat with us! Your local MutualBanker is here to help you live a better life!

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