fbpx

< Back to Thought Leadership

Do You Know The ABCs Of HSAS, FSAS and HRAS?

There continues to be much uncertainty about the Affordable Care Act and how such uncertainty will impact healthcare costs. Leveraging all tax-advantaged ways to fund these expenses, including HSAs, FSAs and HRAs, can help reduce the healthcare costs. Here’s how to make sense of this alphabet soup of healthcare accounts.

HSAs

If you’re covered by a qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can contribute pretax income to an employer-sponsored Health Savings Account — or make deductible contributions to an HSA you set up yourself — up to $3,450 for self-only coverage and $6,900 for family coverage for 2018. Plus, if you’re age 55 or older, you may contribute an additional $1,000.

You own the account, which can bear interest or be invested, growing tax-deferred similar to an IRA. Withdrawals for qualified medical expenses are tax-free, and you can carry over a balance from year to year.

FSAs

Regardless of whether you have an HDHP, you can redirect pretax income to an employer-sponsored Flexible Spending Account up to an employer-determined limit — not to exceed $2,650 in 2018. The plan pays or reimburses you for qualified medical expenses.

What you don’t use by the plan year’s end, you generally lose — though your plan might allow you to roll over up to $500 to the next year. Or it might give you a grace period of two and a half months to incur expenses to use up the previous year’s contribution. If you have an HSA, your FSA is limited to funding certain “permitted” expenses.

HRAs

A Health Reimbursement Account is an employer-sponsored account that reimburses you for medical expenses. Unlike an HSA, no HDHP is required. Unlike an FSA, any unused portion typically can be carried forward to the next year.
There’s no government-set limit on HRA contributions. But only your employer can contribute to an HRA; employees aren’t allowed to contribute.

Maximize the Benefit

If you have one of these healthcare accounts, it’s important to understand the applicable rules so you can get the maximum benefit from it. But tax-advantaged accounts aren’t the only way to save taxes in relation to healthcare. If you have questions about tax planning and healthcare expenses, please contact your local Blue & Co. advisor.

 

Tax Reform Resource Center

Read More Thought Leadership Articles Like what you read? Subscribe to our newsletter. Click Here.

 

Reminder: Annual gift tax returns are due April 15th

Reminder: Annual gift tax returns are due April 15th

If you made any large gifts to your children, grandchildren, or other heirs last year, it’s important to determine if you are required to file a 2018 gift tax return or if filing a gift tax return would be beneficial even if it isn’t required. Filing Requirements Generally, you must file a gift tax return […]

Learn More
Small business owners still have time to set up a deductible contribution to a SEP retirement plan for 2018

Small Business Owners Still Have Time to Set Up a Deductible Contribution to an SEP Retirement Plan for 2018

Business owners who don’t yet have a tax-advantaged retirement plan still have time to establish one and reduce their 2018 tax bill. For example, a Simplified Employee Pension (SEP) can still be established for 2018, allowing you to make contributions that can be deducted on your 2018 income tax return. Contribution Deadlines A SEP can […]

Learn More
Model Risk in Financial Institutions

Model Risk in Financial Institutions

Management of community financial institutions continue to place even more reliance on models to help guide the decision-making process across all operational activities. With this increased reliance on models, there is a directionally consistent increase in the risk associated with the use of models. Managing risks is the fundamental basis of financial institutions, and in […]

Learn More