Frequently Asked Questions About HSA Plans
What Is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?
A Health Savings Accounts (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings account that can be used to save for health care expenses. You must be enrolled in an HSA-qualified high-deductible health plan to be eligible to open an HSA. You don’t pay taxes on the money you put in, the money you take out for qualified medical expenses, or any money you earn on the account. Qualified medical expenses include your out-of-pocket costs (copays, deductibles, coinsurance) along with some health care services not covered by a health plan, such as LASIK surgery. There is a maximum amount that you can contribute to an HSA each year; however, if you don’t use all of the money within your benefit period, it rolls over to the next year. (See IRS publication 969 for more information about HSAs.)
What Is an HSA-Qualified High-Deductible Health Plan (QHDHP)?
A QHDHP is a health insurance plan with a minimum deductible of $1,300 (for self-only coverage) or $2,600 (for family coverage)1. The annual out-of-pocket cost (including deductibles and copays) cannot exceed $6,550 (for self-only coverage) or $13,100 (for family coverage)1. HDHPs have first-dollar coverage or no deductible for preventive care and higher out-of-pocket costs (copays and coinsurance) for out-of-network services.
What Are the Benefits of an HSA?
An HSA can allow you to:
- Use the money you save to make tax-deductible HSA contributions.
- Take tax-free withdrawals to pay for qualified medical expenses to meet your deductible and to pay for other qualified medical expenses.
- Save for future health expenses with the ability to invest in a variety of industry-leading mutual funds available for you to invest in once your balance exceeds the $500.00 minimum.
How Do I Set Up an HSA?
You can use our preferred vendor, Bank of America, an independent company, to set up an HSA or you can pick any bank you like. To set up your Bank of America HSA, simply visit ibxpress.com after you enroll in a PPO Bronze Reserve plan. Once you are enrolled and logged in, click on Claims & Spending and select Open a Health Savings Account under I want to.
Are There HSA Contribution Limits Once I Open an Account?
Yes, there are limits on the amount that you may contribute to an HSA. These limits are set by the federal government and are generally updated each year under their Health Savings Account rules and guidelines.
For 2017, HSA contribution limits are:
- $3,400 for individual coverage
- $6,750 for family coverage
- $1,000 in additional catch-up contributions for individuals between ages 55 to 65
The contribution limits include all contributions made on behalf of the individual (including contributions made by an employee, an employer, a self-employed person, or a family member). If you have more than one HSA, the annual contribution limit applies to the total of all HSAs. You can decide how to contribute to your HSA (one time or multiple times throughout the year) as long as you don’t exceed the maximum allowable annual contribution.
Who Do I Contact With Questions About the Bank of America HSA?
If you have any questions or concerns about your Bank of America HSA or questions about Health Savings Account rules, please call Member Services using the phone number provided on the back of your Independence Blue Cross ID card.
1 These amounts are for 2017 and are adjusted annually.
This information is provided as a general reference and is not intended to provide tax advice.