health spending acccount?

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1000Daisies
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   Posted 1/2/2018 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Per PP: I think you can have both HSA and FSA. Our FSA has a $500 rollover and that works OK for me at the moment. I don't know what HRA is.

Oh - I see. It does have a limit per IRS of $500. So a person can and will lose money if you don't spend over $500.



Per PP: it seems like many of us have a bit of confusion about HSA plans. The one I was offered, it was basically a very watered down version of my PPO plan, but with low premiums, high deductibles, high out of pocket costs, and the company for which I was employed gave about $1000 in an account to use to cover costs. That money rolled over. This is great for healthy people, but not so great for people who are definitely going to use the $1000 and then some.

I really think you are describing a HRA instead of a HSA.
There are no premiums with a HSA. It really is a simple savings account for medical expenses (both employer and/or employee can contribute).

Did you read the IRS link posted previously?

Here is a quick link on differences between HSA and HRA.
/www.diffen.com/difference/HRA_vs_HSA

Girlie
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   Posted 1/2/2018 9:13 PM (GMT -7)   
Okay then....

I'm not getting what you're all saying. smile


We don't have anything close to that here in Canada.
Sounds very confusing to me.
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1000Daisies
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   Posted 1/2/2018 9:18 PM (GMT -7)   
Girlie said...
Okay then....

I'm not getting what you're all saying. smile


We don't have anything close to that here in Canada.
Sounds very confusing to me.


It really isn't that confusing, honest.

It really is just a savings account for medical expenses using pre-tax dollars.
FSA - you generally lose it if you don't use it for that year.
HSA - you don't ever lose it (as it just carries to next year) and earns interest.

astroman
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   Posted 1/2/2018 9:20 PM (GMT -7)   
1000Daisies said...
..........FSA (Flexible Spending Account) - pretax
You can put in money through your job/wages (pretax) up to a limit. I believe we submitted a form with receipt.
However, whatever you don't use, you lose by the end of the year. It was terrible. How can you "plan" for most of your medical expenses? Well, let's see... this year I'm going to foresee breaking a leg and maybe having an appendectomy? (Yes, I realize you can plan for some things, but with medical, I'd argue there is a lot that you can't foresee.) I am personally not a fan.....


Thats it. I confused them. Thanks.

What I was describing as HSA was actually FSA.

I had FSA, but 10 years ago, and you could NOT roll over the balance at the end of the year, so you could lose it. My employer was touting it for people who knew they would need monthly chiropractic or a child who would need braces next year ect. It was worthless for unforeseen illness. I had to keep recipts. Since it was company sponsored and managed, I think I had to turn in recipts to HR! - no hiding illness then either. That was also 10 years ago.

Post Edited (astroman) : 1/2/2018 11:58:55 PM (GMT-7)


1000Daisies
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Date Joined Apr 2016
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   Posted 1/2/2018 9:26 PM (GMT -7)   
astroman said...
1000Daisies said...
..........FSA (Flexible Spending Account) - pretax
You can put in money through your job/wages (pretax) up to a limit. I believe we submitted a form with receipt.
However, whatever you don't use, you lose by the end of the year. It was terrible. How can you "plan" for most of your medical expenses? Well, let's see... this year I'm going to foresee breaking a leg and maybe having an appendectomy? (Yes, I realize you can plan for some things, but with medical, I'd argue there is a lot that you can't foresee.) I am personally not a fan.....


Thats it. I confused them. Thanks.

What I was describing as HSA was actually FSA.

I had FSA, but 10 years ago, and you could NOT roll over the balance at the end of the year, so you could lose it. My employer was touting it for people who new they would need monthly chiropractic or a child who would need braces next year ect. It was worthless for unforeseen illness. I had to keep recipts. Since it was company sponsored and managed, I think I had to turn in recipts to HR! - no hiding illness then either. That was also 10 years ago.


smile

Yes, yours was a FSA. I agree it's worthless for unforeseen illnesses/expenses.

The HSA came later, and they are much better than FSA in regards to you don't lose the money.
Also, with the FSA, if you switched jobs, you lost the money. But with a HSA, it stays with you.
Similiar with a daycare (dependent care) FSA, if you changed jobs or no longer needed to pay daycare (one parent decides to stay home or you lose your job and don't need daycare for awhile), you lose that money at the end of the year. So much risk with FSA.

What is great about a HSA is that if you don't use it one year, you can use it the next year or even in ten years if you need it then.

I just don't know why they have FSA anymore.

notsosicklygirl
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   Posted 1/2/2018 10:08 PM (GMT -7)   
You may be right about the HRA. I have no idea at this point. I know my boyfriend has an HSA, but he never uses it, so I have no idea how well that's working for him. I have my own policy. Mine's not very good... I put a few 100 in the FSA and hope i don't need to use the plan often.

That link made me more confused as to which I was offered. I thought HSA, but it may have been HRA from what I read.
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notsosicklygirl
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   Posted 1/3/2018 9:07 AM (GMT -7)   
/www.investopedia.com/articles/personal-finance/090814/pros-and-cons-health-savings-account-hsa.asp

The above article is interesting. It breaks down the pros and cons of an HSA. An HSA is offered in combination with high deductible plans (HDHPs) - it is basically what I thought. It's an account that is available with certain insurance plans. Those plans tend to have low premiums but high out of pocket costs. The health saving account helps you to pay for the high out of pocket costs. The maximum you can put in the HSA in a year is $3400 for an individual. Seems like a lot, but many of these plans have deductibles that are much higher than that. It's not great for people with chronic illness in my opinion - it's great for healthy people.

From the article:
Somebody said...
That said, HSAs aren't ideal for everyone. If having a high deductible seems too risky to you – or if you anticipate having significant health care expenses – a plan with a lower deductible and lower co-pays might make more sense.


An FSA, anyone can participate in, with any insurance plan. That's what makes it appealing even though it has it's own set of cons.
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1000Daisies
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   Posted 1/3/2018 10:26 AM (GMT -7)   
Per PP:
It's an account that is available with certain insurance plans. Those plans tend to have low premiums but high out of pocket costs.

We have used an HSA, and we don't have high out of pocket costs thankfully. So, that's not true at all for us.

FSA is still very problematic. Change jobs or don't use the money - you lose it! Why on earth would they ever offer a plan like that is beyond me!?!


Well, we have 4 of us sick, and the HSA has been great for us.

But then again, I don't rely on insurance telling me what I can or can not do. I do what works - regardless of what insurance says. But I admit that is an atypical attitude from majority.

Post Edited (1000Daisies) : 1/3/2018 10:34:47 AM (GMT-7)


mudshark
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Date Joined Aug 2017
Total Posts : 66
   Posted 1/3/2018 10:27 AM (GMT -7)   
My account is called an HCSA. You don't use it you lose it.

I've used mine for LLMD expenses without issue. The company that manages our employer account pretty much requires a receipt for any amount or co-pay they can't verify through my insurance. LLMD Rx's have been covered by the health insurance. I hold the max amount out each year and always use it up, in addition to my wife's account at her employer. She holds out about 1/2 the max. Between rising deductibles, co-pays and sucky dental insurance we have no trouble spending it all. This year we could have used more with me going through the specialist to specialist routine and testing for months trying to figure out what the heck was wrong with me.

The fed cut the FSA max withholding amount in half a few years back during the Obama administration. It went from $5k per year to $2500. That was the "we're not going to raise your taxes" administration that let that little sneaky tip-toe maneuver go into effect. But who's complaining? ;)

notsosicklygirl
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Date Joined Dec 2008
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   Posted 1/3/2018 10:55 AM (GMT -7)   
If you change jobs and you have an FSA, you can still use the money in there before the end of the year. It happened to me once, and I was able to use the $800 or so, for some glasses and dental stuff. It actually ended up benefiting me because I hadn't paid it all in, I had only paid in 3 months worth, but the full amount was available. If I didn't use it, yup, it would be gone!!

HSA is only available with high deductible plans according to that article I read. I can't afford a high deductible. Now I have a really terrible cheap plan but hopefully I don't have to use it except in case of an emergency. The hospital coverage is great, just not the regular visits or preventative care.
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