The world of health insurance is more complicated than ever before. The passage of the Affordable Care Act has opened up health insurance coverage to millions more Americans, but it has done little to hold down costs or deal with steadily rising deductibles and copayments.
Even if you have health insurance, chances are it does not pay for 100% of your medical costs. Depending on the procedures you have done and the number of doctors you see, that could mean thousands of dollars out of your pocket
The Benefits of a Health Savings Account
You can make those out-of-pocket costs easier to bear by setting up and funding a health savings account. You can contribute up to $3,350 to a health savings account for 2016. That contribution limit will allow many people to meet their annual deductibles with money left over. Depending on your tax situation, the money you put into the account could be deductible from your income. If you qualify for a deduction, you could lower your taxes and recoup at least part of the cost of setting up the account.
Funding a health savings account has benefits that go beyond taxes, however. You should consider setting up a health savings account even if you do not qualify for an immediate tax deduction. One of the benefits of health savings account over other savings programs is the fact that the money rolls over from year to year. You might not incur $3,350 in out-of-pocket costs this year, but the money you put in will still be there should you need it in years to come.
Invest for the Future
If your health care costs are fairly predictable, you can even invest the money you do not expect to use in the short term. Many health savings account providers allow individuals to put some of the money into mutual funds and other growth vehicles. That can allow the money to grow and make the account even more valuable.
Another big benefit of health savings accounts is its flexibility. Unlike some other tax-deductible accounts, which must be used for very specific things, a health savings account can be used to pay for prescription medications, copayments at the doctor, annual deductibles and even hearing aids and eyeglasses.
The health care professionals at Paradise Hearing say that if you schedule an annual hearing exam and find that you have a deficit, you can pay for the hearing aid you need out of the funds in your health savings account. Many health savings account providers even give you a debit card you can use to pay for hearing aids, eyeglasses and medications at the point of purchase.
If you do not yet have a health savings account, why not make this the year you finally set one up? If you get your health insurance through your employer, the firm may even offer an HSA option to make your health insurance more affordable. With so many benefits to offer, there is no reason not to open and fund a health savings account.
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