Pennsylvania Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) could reduce your taxes and health insurance premiums in 2013. Rates are often hundreds of dollars less per month than a traditional family plan and preventive benefits are always provided with no deductible, coinsurance or waiting period. And “Network-negotiated discounts” can greatly reduce your out-of-pocket costs on expenses that are subject to a deductible. And of course, there is the tax-savings, which also applies to qualified dental and vision expenses.
We carefully created this website so you can easily view and compare HSA policies from the best health care providers in the state. But most importantly, with our 32 years of experience, you also have someone you can talk to individually that will provide expert advice and recommendations. We’ll carefully investigate all of your options and offer the choices that best fit within your budget. We also customize our choices so it closely matches what benefits are most important to you. In many situations, a more conventional option may be a better choice.
What Is It?
An HSA is a high-deductible insurance policy with an optional tax-favored savings plan. Deposits into the savings plan can accumulate and pay the deductible (if needed) and other qualified medical, vision and dental expenses. Contributions are tax-deductible, similar to an IRA, and qualified withdraws are not subject to taxes. You can choose the way the funds are invested.
All dollars that accumulate in the 2013 HSA can be withdrawn at any time, and unused funds at the end of the year can be rolled to the next year. The vast majority of consumers allow the accumulation to remain in the account from one year to the next. Some nominal interest is paid although current rates are not very high. More aggressive investment options are available.
Some of the items that may not be covered under your medical plan that you can use, include physical and mental therapy (psychiatrists and psychologists), wheelchairs, acupuncture, hearing aids, a vasectomy and many more. And you don’t have to worry about losing money that you did not use throughout the year.
However, in 2014, many of these excluded benefits will be covered because of the “Affordable Care Act” and regulations imposed by the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS). However, deductibles and coinsurance will likely keep out-of-pocket expenses high for many claims.
Not everyone should consider these plans and rates will vary, depending on which part of the state you live. But, generally, the best prices are available from Independence Blue Cross, Highmark, Aetna, UnitedHealthcare and Healthamerica. However, this is not an all-inclusive list so when we discuss your options, depending on which part of the state you reside, we may consider additional regional carriers.
For example, Geisinger individual plans should be considered in the Harrisburg, Lancaster, Lebanon, and surrounding area. UPMC has a very good policy if you live in the Western portion of the state (Pittsburgh and Washington). And although their costs have been creeping up, Assurant is sometimes in the mix with higher deductibles that have many cost-saving features. 2013 premiums have only slightly increased from 2012.
Different Types Of Deductible
Many HSA policies have an “embedded deductible,” which is a deductible on each person (usually capped at two). UnitedHealthcare and a few other companies have an “aggregate deductible,” which is a larger family deductible that must be met before most benefits are paid. Each type of option has its own advantages and we’ll be happy to review the effect they might have on your individual or family contract.
UnitedHealthcare and other carriers will reduce this amount each year if it is not met. This “vanishing deductible” rider can sometimes save as much as 50%, although you have to keep it in effect a few years without any large claims. It’s very similar to loyalty awards you receive on other forms of insurance when you don’t file any claims for a few years. Potentially, it can save thousands of dollars during the lifetime of your coverage.
These types of policies will remain popular for many years. With the wide range of deductible and coinsurance options, it’s always a good idea to compare multiple plans to find the best fit. The free quotes you view from us will allow you to quickly and easily determine which Pennsylvania HSA plans are best for you. For a more personal analysis, you can call or email us.
January 2015 – Of course, since 2013 has been over for more than a year, it’s time to concentrate on 2015 HSA plans and the several changed that have occurred. Now that the Marketplace is “open for business,” fewer plans are available. Maximum allowable deductibles have increased along with the maximum out-of-pocket maximums.
February 2017 – Fewer HSAs are now available. However, in 2018, after the new changes (possible replacement of Obamacare), additional plan options should be offered throughout the entire state.