Health Savings Accounts - FAQ
Health Savings Accounts were introduced in 2003 partly as a means to reduce health care spending by incentivizing the patient to consider cost when making health care related decisions. In days long gone most patients had copayments and deductibles that were so small or non-existent that cost really wasn’t a consideration for patients.
But as health care spending steadily rose as a percentage of GDP and the cost of policies reached for the sky something had to give. With HSAs the insurers and primary care gatekeepers could breathe sigh of relief as patients became more financially vested in their decision-making. “Do I really need a MRI for my sprained vs. fractured ankle?” Your doctor would probably advise you that an X-ray is sufficient.
Do I qualify? Only patients with high deductible plans qualify. In 2014 that is deductibles higher than $1250 for an individual and more than $2500 for a family according to the IRS
How much can I contribute? An individual can contribute up to $3100 / year and a family up to $8550 in 2014 also according to the IRS.
How do I use it? Pay for expenses that your health insurance does not cover. Most accounts come with a debt card to use. Some HSAs have rules on what is covered and what is not.
Is physical therapy covered? Yes almost always.
We often get questions at Atlas Physical Therapy as to whether various supplies like braces, orthotics or even foam rollers would be covered. It’s best to check with your plan or employer. Some are stricter than others.
How is the money invested? It’s much like an IRA in that you can choose what type of fund or asset class (stocks vs. bonds) that you would like to invest in. Best to check with your financial adviser. You would hate to dependent on that money for paying medical bills and find less than what you expected after a market correction.
This blog is meant to be educational, but is not meant to be medical or financial advice. Best to check with your doc or financial adviser for more specific information that fits your situation and depending on the query.
Karl Bebendorf, DPT, OCS