I’m super excited to introduce Christian Worstell. Christian is guest posting on the Investor Mama blog and will share his wisdom on how to benefit from using an HSA account. Check out his article below!
The value of Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) continues to grow as the IRS bumps up the contribution limit for account holders almost every year and as more health care services become eligible for HSA reimbursement. Many people are finding that an HSA can be an important part of paying for health care costs in retirement.
But despite the increased value of these savings vehicles, the number of account holders who are maxing out their bottom line isn’t keeping pace. In 2020, 50% of HSA accounts had a balance of under $500.
The first way to get the most value out of your HSA is also the most obvious one: contribute the maximum limit. In 2021, that’s $3,600 for individuals and $7,200 for family plans. But the tricks to squeezing the most value out of your HSA don’t stop there.
Here are three lesser-known tips for getting the most bang for your HSA bucks.
An HSA isn’t just a savings account. The money in it can also be invested in stocks, bonds, and mutual funds for accelerated growth. Unfortunately, a staggering 93% of HSAs do not have any money allocated to investments other than cash. Most HSA’s make it relatively easy to set up and manage your investments, and you can decide how much of your balance you wish to invest.
Contributing to an HSA for decades and investing some of those funds can generate thousands of dollars of growth on even modest returns.
If you changed jobs and opened up a new HSA, you can keep the old account and keep contributing. But you can also consolidate it into your new HSA. Consolidating gives you a bigger balance with which to invest and accrue interest. And rolling over one HSA into another does not count against your annual contribution limit.
If you have an old IRA sitting around, you can roll that over too. The IRS allows you to do this once in your lifetime and allows you to access tax-free funds that would have otherwise been taxed (and possibly penalized) had they been withdrawn from the IRA.
One way to keep your HSA balance maxed out? Don’t use it unless you absolutely need to.
There is no deadline for reimbursing yourself from your HSA account. So let’s say you just pay for your medical expenses out of your pocket and not from your HSA account. A couple of years down the road you encounter an expensive car repair. You can use your HSA funds to retroactively reimburse yourself for all those medical bills you paid out of your own pocket, and then use that money to pay off your car repairs. Just make sure you save all your receipts.
Do these three things and you’ll begin to reap the true rewards of your Health Savings Account.
About Christian Worstell:
Christian Worstell is a Senior Staff Writer for MedicareAdvantage.com. He is passionate about helping people navigate the complexities of Medicare and understand their coverage options. His work has been featured in outlets such as Vox, MSN, and The Washington Post, and he is a frequent contributor to health care and finance blogs.
Christian is a graduate of Shippensburg University with a bachelor’s degree in journalism. He currently lives in Raleigh, NC.