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Old 20-06-2017, 04:54   #1
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Health Savings Account HSA

My wife and I are starting to really put together a plan to start our cruising lifestyle in next few years, the one thing I worry about is health insurance. Both my wife and I are 50 and in very good health (knock on wood) and I have a HDHP through my work which we contribute to an HSA account about half of what is allowed. I am beginning to think that maxing this out to the pre-tax $6750 over the next few years would be a good idea. With our current balance plus these additional contributions, we could have $25000+ for medical expenses and health insurance premiums. From my research we can use these funds for any qualified medical expense including health insurance premiums.

Anyone else do this? Have you used you HAS outside the US without a problem?
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Old 20-06-2017, 04:59   #2
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

I don't believe you can use your HSA to pay regular insurance premiums.

HSA can be used to pay the following:

LTC premiums
COBRA
Medicare premiums
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Old 20-06-2017, 05:20   #3
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

Thanks TJ. Upon further review, you are correct. If I lost my job and used it for COBRA while collecting unemployment, that would work. But just paying premiums is not allowed.
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Old 20-06-2017, 05:59   #4
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

Also not all HSAs support international transactions. Its not prohibited, some just block them to avoid fraud issues. HSA Bank is one.

Of course you can move the funds in other ways, but just using a debit card is more convenient and easy to audit should a question ever arise.

Prior to them blocking international txns due to fraud issues, I used mine with no problems. Now I just pay on my personal card, transfer funds to reimburse myself, and save the receipts.
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Old 20-06-2017, 08:04   #5
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

There is also a one time provision to transfer ~$7,900 each from your IRA to an HSA tax free. Amount varies, check current with IRS pubs.
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Old 20-06-2017, 08:47   #6
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

Don't forget about dental care. Unfortunately, crowns and bridges do not last forever. I'm 61 and hubby is 66. We have used up all of our HSA to pay for dental bills.
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Old 20-06-2017, 08:53   #7
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

You can also reimburse yourself for qualified medical expenses you pay out-of-pocket, by check or credit card. For example, pay for the medical expense in cash, then have the HSA reimburse you for the expense (I used a credit card to take advantage of the "lag.") That way you can avoid circumstances where the HSA direct payment might not be accepted, e.g., out-of-country.
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Old 20-06-2017, 09:40   #8
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

The HSA is the best savings plan the feds allow. It reduces your taxable income when you make the contributions and any growth is also tax-free- the best of the Roth and regular IRAs combined. Too many people miss that, thinking it's just to reimburse medical expenses. You invest anything you don't use and the account grows. We're buying real estate promissory notes with our self-directed HSA money.

IMHO, you should max the HSA regardless of your health, age, etc. before you put a dime in other savings programs (unless you have a match from your employer).

Fred
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Old 20-06-2017, 09:55   #9
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

Thank you all! That is some really good information.
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Old 20-06-2017, 10:26   #10
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Re: Health Savings Account HSA

Quote:
Originally Posted by DreaminFred View Post
The HSA is the best savings plan the feds allow. It reduces your taxable income when you make the contributions and any growth is also tax-free- the best of the Roth and regular IRAs combined. Too many people miss that, thinking it's just to reimburse medical expenses. You invest anything you don't use and the account grows. We're buying real estate promissory notes with our self-directed HSA money.

IMHO, you should max the HSA regardless of your health, age, etc. before you put a dime in other savings programs (unless you have a match from your employer).

Fred
Since there seems to be a good amount of knowledge on this subject.... While I am land based, employed, paying a mortgage and itemizing my tax returns, do you know if I max out my HSA every year and if I pay any medical expenses with post tax dollars (and not touch my HSA for now) can I itemize those medical expenses like normal. I would think so but it is taxes. And not to worry, I would ask a tax professional. This just got me thinking.
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