Florida Health Savings Accounts
A Florida health savings account offers some very nice advantages to consumers. For people living in FL, setting up a health savings account is a way to watch their savings grow while being sure that they have money put aside to pay for medical expenses. Another advantage of health savings accounts in Florida, and maybe the best advantage of all, is that they give people who open one a break on their taxes. Like anything, however, health savings accounts are not right for everyone. Use this guide to have a thorough understanding of how this investment vehicle works and to help determine if it is the right tool to help meet your health and financial needs.
How Florida HSA Health Plans Work
Health savings accounts or HSA‘s have been available since President Bush signed them into law on December 8, 2003, as part of the Medicare bill. In essence, the government is helping consumers to pay for their health insurance through the use of tax deductions. A health savings account is not the same thing as buying health insurance. Instead, think of it as a financial tool to help you pay for your healthcare. In order to qualify for a health savings account, your first step is to buy a high-deductible health insurance plan.
There are very distinct guidelines for a high deductible health plan in Florida. You are looking at buying health insurance with a deductible of at least $1,100 for a single person and $2,200 for a family. The maximum amount for the deductible is $2,650 for one person and $5,150 for a family policy. Choose this amount carefully because under the law you are allowed to save up to 100% of the deductible you choose in your health savings account. (Keep in mind that these limits change every year as the IRS indexes the amounts for inflation so be sure and speak with one of our knowledgeable independent health insurance agents for specifics and up to date information).
The money you deposit will grow, tax free, until you withdraw it. If the funds are used to pay for approved medical expenses, then you can withdraw them on a tax-free basis. The money in the account can be used to pay for any qualified medical expenses. Of course, this requires a good assessment of how much you’ve spent on medical expenses over the past few years, and a fair estimate of the known expenses you expect to have in the year to come.
Defining Qualified Medical Expenses
You can use the funds from your health savings account to pay for the following medical expenses:
• Dental Care
• Doctor Visits
• Hospital Fees
• Nursing Fees
• Miscellaneous Medical Expenses (as defined by the IRS)
Florida HSA Advantages
1. Opening a Florida Health Savings Account means that you and your family have access to quality medical care at an affordable cost. Keep in mind that as the deductible level you choose goes up, the amount of your monthly premiums decrease.
2. Any money you deposit into your Health Savings Account continues to accumulate interest until used.
3. The funds you deposit into your Health Savings Account are tax deductible, in the same way that contributions to an Individual Retirement Account (IRA) are treated (as an above the line deductions with income phaseouts).
4. Funds can be withdrawn from your Health Savings Account by check or by using a debit card.
Choosing the Best Florida HSA Health Plan
It’s always a good idea to make sure that the health insurance company you are considering is authorized to provide this kind of coverage. Check to see whether it is recognized by the Florida Life and Health Insurance Guaranty Association (FLAHIGA) or the Florida Insurance Guaranty Association (FIGA). If not, then you would not have the same legal protection that consumers who work with authorized companies have in the way the insurance company does business.
Since health care costs can be substantial if you suffer a serious illness or injury, you will also want to do some background checking to see whether the company you are considering is financially stable. You can check the company’s rating online or by going to your local public library and checking one of these directories:
• Standard & Poor’s
• Moody’s Investors Service
• A.M. Best Company
• Weiss Ratings Inc.
Taking the time to do your homework will pay off, since you will be confident that the company you choose will have the financial resources to pay out on a large claim for medical expenses.
You will also want to do some shopping around before you choose a company to deal with. Compare rates, of course, but also consider the type and level of coverage you are getting from each company you are considering. Individual company websites might contain some customer feedback, however, independent sites are probably less biased and more likely to give you a big picture of the insurance company as a whole.
The best approach to buying health insurance is to consider what kinds of medical services you and your family members are most likely to need, and then look for an insurance company that can provide you with most of them at a price you are able to afford.
Consider going as high as you possibly can with the amount of your deductible as a way to keep monthly costs down and then make a plan for adding funds to your Health Savings Account regularly. That way, you will be much better prepared to pay for your expenses until you reach the amount of your deductible.
Compare Florida HSA Health Insurance Quotes!
Why don’t you compare quotes for coverage you can use with a Florida Health Savings Account today? You can compare quotes from many different companies for both HSA’s and traditional Florida health insurance plans. Start right now by clicking on the free Florida health insurance tool at the top of this page!