Author Topic: HSA and FSA  (Read 3890 times)

Offline fritz_monroe

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HSA and FSA
« on: November 24, 2016, 09:29:07 AM »
My company is finally offering an HSA.  It has offered both childcare and health FSA for many years and I take advantage of the pre-tax health FSA for things like my kid's braces, glasses and to pay our deductibles.

But HSA is a new thing to me and I haven't put as much research into it since I was so comfortable with the way the FSA worked.  This year I moved into the health plan that allows me to get an HSA and I can also get a limited FSA with it.

The limited FSA is good for ONLY vision and dental.  Does this mean that a typical HSA won't cover these?  Yes, I'll be going through the documentation for the HSA. 

I know I have a root canal in my near future, so I will need at least coverage for that. But I'm wondering how the folks on here that make use of an HSA and a limited FSA decide what they are putting into each?  I really hate having to run out at the end of the year to spend the FSA money that didn't get used.  The HSA will let me carry that over.

Offline RitaRose1945

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #1 on: November 24, 2016, 09:32:18 AM »
 :knitting:

Offline AvenueQ

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #2 on: November 24, 2016, 10:11:16 AM »
I have used HSA money to buy glasses in the past. I thought they were all pretty standard, but maybe there are different kinds? I really do like HSA's, they always seem to work in my favor come tax time (I usually spend almost everything I put in). Plus it makes it easier to track your health related expenses.

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #3 on: November 24, 2016, 11:34:10 PM »
Totally agree on HSA being the way to go.  Wish we could go back to that

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #4 on: November 25, 2016, 04:50:54 AM »
I'm going to fund the HSA.  One benefit to the FSA, though is the money is available to me before it is in the account.  If I'm putting $100 in per pay and I'm paid bi-weekly, I have $2600 available on the 1st day of the year.  Since I know that I have a root canal coming up, I will likely put the money for that into the FSA and the rest into the HSA. 

Offline jerseyboy

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #5 on: November 26, 2016, 05:48:13 PM »
I'm going to fund the HSA.  One benefit to the FSA, though is the money is available to me before it is in the account.  If I'm putting $100 in per pay and I'm paid bi-weekly, I have $2600 available on the 1st day of the year.  Since I know that I have a root canal coming up, I will likely put the money for that into the FSA and the rest into the HSA.

I thought the main difference was that HSA rolls for life and the FSA is good for a 16 months.

You are right though, the FSA is available at the full amount on the first day.

Jerseyboy

Offline Morning Sunshine

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #6 on: November 27, 2016, 08:05:29 PM »
We fully funded the HSA the years we had it.  When we moved insurances, and changed to an FSA, we kept the HSA and use it when we underfund the FSA.

Offline chrisdfw

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #7 on: November 27, 2016, 09:08:05 PM »
A limited FSA is for those who have a high deductible health plan with a HSA for their health costs, so the FSA is only for vision and dental expenses that aren't part of the health plan.

You would definitely want to use the FSA if you know you have dental expenses coming.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #8 on: November 28, 2016, 08:25:43 AM »
We are enrolling in the FSA for 2017.  Braces and insulin care easily max our out of pocket expenses, so may as well save some taxes.

As far as HSA, that's usually offered on the coverage side of things.  At least at my employer, it's at the base coverage level, but when you get up to the top level PPO plan, the HSA is no longer an option.

Offline fritz_monroe

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #9 on: November 28, 2016, 09:15:07 AM »
We fully funded the HSA the years we had it.  When we moved insurances, and changed to an FSA, we kept the HSA and use it when we underfund the FSA.
That's a great idea.  I'm funding both the HSA and a limited FSA this coming year.

We are enrolling in the FSA for 2017.  Braces and insulin care easily max our out of pocket expenses, so may as well save some taxes.

As far as HSA, that's usually offered on the coverage side of things.  At least at my employer, it's at the base coverage level, but when you get up to the top level PPO plan, the HSA is no longer an option.
For me, only the "budget" plan is eligible for the HSA.  The plan we had this past year is 1 step above the budget plan.  There's very little difference between these 2 plans.  So I'm really hoping that I'm not missing something critical.  I compared the 2 side by side and the yearly deductible goes up and the out of network stuff is different.

Offline Smurf Hunter

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Re: HSA and FSA
« Reply #10 on: November 28, 2016, 09:21:18 AM »
That's a great idea.  I'm funding both the HSA and a limited FSA this coming year.
For me, only the "budget" plan is eligible for the HSA.  The plan we had this past year is 1 step above the budget plan.  There's very little difference between these 2 plans.  So I'm really hoping that I'm not missing something critical.  I compared the 2 side by side and the yearly deductible goes up and the out of network stuff is different.

If your family has any special medical needs at all, the out of network option can be HUGE.  We use it all the time.  Also make sure about referrals.  e.g. if you hurt your knee, and know a good knee Doc, it's nice to make an appointment directly rather than get referred by your GP to whatever name is on the approved list.  This matters even more with delicate/severe conditions.

With the FSA max, my 2017 premiums and out of pocket expenses will exceed $8000, but even if we spend half of last year, that will be worth paying for the extended coverage.  Nothing quite like a $22K bill from Children's Hospital to sober you up real quick.