This is the first year that we have signed up for a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to take advantage of a Health Savings Account (HSA). HDHPs have great benefits if you don’t usually have a high amount of medical expenses (such as someone with a chronic condition). The downside of having a HDHP is that it covers just one wellness visit each year. Other medical visits are not covered until you meet your deductible ($6,000 for our family). An HDHP is pretty much a catastrophic plan.
HSAs offer tax advantages by allowing for pre-tax dollars to be contributed into the account. For 2020, the maximum contribution amounts into an HSA are $3,550 for an individual and $7,100 for families. This amount directly reduces taxable income. You can choose to invest the money you have inside an HSA. We are investing our balance in the Vanguard Total US Stock market index fund (VTSAX). Withdrawing money from an HSA is also tax free for qualifying medical expenses.
An HSA has no time limit for when you must use your account to pay for medical expenses – you can save all of your medical receipts and pay yourself back anytime later. This essentially allows an HSA to act like a “medical expenses” savings account. There are no taxes on the money you contribute and no taxes on the money you take out. The Mad FIentist calls the HSA the ultimate retirement account.
So far we have been enjoying our HDHP and HSA. It’s nice to have another investment vehicle. Imagine our surprise when we received a bill for $148.20 from our son’s pediatrician after his annual wellness visit!
I’m glad I made the 5-minute phone call and saved $148.20!