The Hidden Advantage of Health Savings Accounts or HSAs

Powerful tool for funding qualified medical expenses

Health Savings Accounts or HSAs coupled with a high-deductible health plan can be a powerful tool for funding qualified medical expenses on a tax-advantaged basis. For 2020, individuals with self-only coverage can make up to $3,550 in deductible contributions to an HSA, while those with family coverage can contribute up to $7,100. These limits are increased by $1,000 for individuals 55 or older.

Funds may be withdrawn tax-free to pay qualified medical expenses. When you reach age 65, you can withdraw funds penalty-free for any purpose (but subject to tax if not used for qualified medical expenses).

Hidden advantage for estate planning

There is also a “hidden” advantage of Health Savings Accounts, or at least one that many people overlook: These accounts can play a beneficial role in your estate plan. HSAs have an advantage over traditional IRAs and 401(k) plans since they are not subject to required minimum distributions at age 72. This means that to the extent you don’t use the account for medical expenses, it can continue growing on a tax-deferred basis indefinitely. This can provide valuable benefits for your loved ones.

If your spouse inherits the account, it will be treated as his or her own HSA. If someone else inherits it, the HSA will terminate and the recipient will be taxed on its value, less any qualified medical expenses of the decedent paid by the transferee within one year after the date of death.

We would be happy to discuss HSAs in more detail – give us a call at (502) 426-9660.

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