November 1, 2018

The Advantages of a Health Savings Account

By Curtis Farmer, Alliance Benefits

One of the unique attributes of the Alliance Health Plan is the plan design. By offering a High Deductible Health Plan, we are able to pair it with a Health Savings Account (HSA) which can be used to pay for eligible health-care expenses. As we head into Open Enrollment, I thought it might be a good time to remind you (or inform you, if you’ve never used our plan before) about the advantages of having an HSA.

  • A mandatory employer HSA contribution is integrated within the Alliance Health Plan. This means that if you are enrolled in the plan, half of your deductible amount in the calendar year (individual or family) is automatically deposited into an HSA for you.
  • In addition to this contribution, the employer and employee are able to contribute dollars into the account. The maximum amount that can be deposited into an HSA in 2019 is $3,500 for individual coverage and $7,000 for family coverage. If you are over age 55, you can contribute an additional $1,000.
  • An HSA contains three big tax advantages:
    • the contributions made are tax-deductible (similar to an IRA)
    • the money can be taken out tax-free for eligible health-care expenses
    • the money is held within a non-taxable account
  • You can choose from a variety of mutual funds to invest your HSA money in once the balance reaches $1,000.
  • Money inside the account carries over from year to year. Unlike a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), there is no “use it or lose it” risk in the HSA. These funds can be used for eligible medical, prescription, dental and vision expenses.

As you can see, a Health Savings Account is a powerful way to build for the future and a wonderful way to help with health-care expenses as those needs arise.

If you have questions about HSAs, or anything else related to the Alliance Health Plan, I encourage you to call us at (800) 700-2651 or email us at benefits@cmalliance.org. We are here as a resource for you!

 

Curtis joined as Director of Alliance Benefits in September of 2017. He is responsible for the overall administration and direction of all aspects of Alliance Benefits, including the health and retirement plans for Alliance workers in the United States and internationally. His desire is to serve our districts and churches in helping to care for our pastors and staff.


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