Should You Consider an HSA Plan When Shopping For Health Insurance?

If you are currently looking for North Carolina health insurance, you need to look at all your options and determine if an HSA qualified plan is right for you and your family. Many people are turning to this type of due to the affordable price for the health coverage and the tax advantages of the Health Savings Account (HSA). What is a HSA? A health savings account provides a place for you to set aside money for health related expenses throughout the year.

To have an HSA you first must have a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). These are major medical policies and are typically 20-30% less expensive than traditional copay plans that most people are familiar with. The main differences between HDHP plans and traditional plans are that HDHP’s do not have copays for doctor visits or prescription drugs. This design puts more of the onus on the insured for their health care expenses. However, all out of pocket medical expenses count towards a single family deductible. Once this deductible is met then the plan will typically cover 100% for the rest of the calendar year for the family.

Once you have purchased a qualified HDHP, you can open a health savings account. The amount of money you put into an HSA is tax-deductible. That means you pay no taxes on the amount of money you deposit every year and you pay no taxes on the money you use from the account when used for a qualified medical expense. This account is essentially an IRA for healthcare; however, there are limits to how much you can fund. For 2010, the maximum contribution for an individual HSA is $3,050 and for a family HSA it is $6,150. It provides a great way to save tax-free to cover qualified medical expenses that are covered your North Carolina health insurance plan.

What will an HSA cover? The money accumulated in your HSA can be used to pay for planned or unplanned medical procedures. This would include surgeries, doctor office visits, prescriptions, dental procedures, chiropractic care, acupuncture and a whole lot more. When using your HSA funds for procedures covered under your medical plan you are getting the benefits of both the tax savings from the HSA (15-40% depending on your tax bracket) and the network reprising through your health plan.

How do you know if an HSA qualified plan is right for you? If your main concern is keeping your monthly premiums to a minimum yet still provide your family with coverage that will not leave you bankrupt when a big claim hits, then this may be the right option for you. A good North Carolina health insurance agent will be able to help you determine the best plans and carriers for your situation.