Your health savings account (HSA) can help pay for a variety of life events that may otherwise have a sizable impact on your finances. Let’s explore a few:
You Need Non-Emergency Surgery
If your doctor informs you that you must have non-emergency surgery, you will want to do your homework before entering the operating room. Many HSA providers have online tools that explain procedures with accompanying videos and photographs. You may also want to consider the following:
- Use your HSA dollars to get a second opinion to confirm the need for surgery.
- With an HSA/HDHP, you can choose the doctor and hospital for a surgical procedure, so you will want to explore your options.
- Ask your doctor what other professionals will be involved in your surgery (specialists, anesthesiologists, etc.) and determine if these individuals are in or out of your network. If they are not part of your network, the provider may be willing to give you a payment discount if you pay in a timely fashion.
- Consult your HDHP to determine what authorizations and referrals are needed before having surgery. You may face financial penalties if you do not obtain prior authorization, even if the provider is in your network.
You Need Emergency Surgery
Educate yourself today on who to call if an emergency situation arises. You or a family representative must generally contact your health plan within 24 to 48 hours after an emergency. In addition, since post-surgical treatment is expensive, use a network provider to stretch your HSA dollars even further.
You Change to a Family Plan
If your spouse loses his or her health coverage, you can change to a family plan outside of open enrollment. In this instance, your HSA contribution limit will increase on the first day of the month that you elect family coverage.
You Have a Baby
Enroll your child in your health plan as quickly as possible. If you are going from a single to family plan, your HSA contribution limits will change on the first day of the month that you elected family coverage. This will allow you to contribute more to your HSA.
You Have Stepchildren
You can generally cover stepchildren under your health plan without formally adopting them. The children must live with you and you must be responsible for supporting them. Adding stepchildren to your plan may allow you to increase your HSA contribution.
Transitions for Your Children
If your child is not eligible for your health plan but is still considered your dependent, you can use funds in your HSA account to pay for qualified medical expenses for the child.
You are Getting Divorced or Separated
The HSA owned by one spouse may be divided or given to the other spouse by court judgment in a divorce.
Your Employer Drops Health Coverage
You are not allowed to continue to contribute to your HSA if your HDHP coverage has been terminated. However, you can use existing funds in your HSA to pay for your medical expenses.
You Lose Your Job or Your Hours are Reduced
If you elect COBRA benefits, you can use your HSA to pay for your COBRA premiums. You can also continue to contribute to your HSA.
You Retire Before Becoming Eligible for Medicare
If you retire before the age of 65, you can still use your HSA for medical expenses such as COBRA premiums, long-term care premiums, etc. However, if you retire, accept a pension and then go to work for another employer, you can no longer use your HSA to make premium contributions before age 65.
You Enroll in Medicare
Once you enroll in Medicare, you are no longer able to make HSA contributions. You can use the HSA to pay for various medical expenses after the age of 65. You can also use an HSA to pay for employer-sponsored health coverage if you remain employed after age 65 or to pay for Medicare premiums.
You Suffer a Disability
You don’t need to work to make HSA contributions. However, if you lose HDHP coverage under your employer’s plan because you no longer work, you are ineligible to continue contributing to your HSA. You can use your HSA funds to make COBRA payments if you become eligible for COBRA coverage as a result of your disability.
Contact us for more information or questions about your HSA.