HSA Basic

A Health Savings Account (HSA) helps you save money on health care. By making you a part of the medical services decision process, HSAs are designed to help you manage medical expenses and reduce the continuing raising of health care expenses. Equally as important, the money you save remains part of your retirement account, even if you leave your present employer. You can also save the money in your account and grow your account through investment earnings. Funds in the account can grow tax-free through investment earnings, just like an IRA In short, if you don’t use all the money in your HSA for medical expenses, it can accumulate as tax-free savings for your retirement. One final benefit, HSAs can pay for many more procedures than were ever allowed before by government sponsored programs. Health Savings Accounts help you save money on unavoidable expenses and build investment savings for your retirement.

Account funds are used to cover medical expenses before the plan deductible has been met. Unspent account balances accumulate and accrue interest from year-to-year. Unlike amounts in Flexible Spending Accounts that are forfeited if not used by the end of the year, unused funds remain available for use in later years. Once the health plan’s annual deductible has been met, coverage resembles conventional insurance, typically in the form of a preferred provider organization (PPO) with little-to-no cost sharing for in-network services, and limits on total out-of-pocket costs. 

HSA Guidelines through the Treasury

Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA)

A Health Reimbursement Arrangement is a tax-advantaged benefit that allows both employees and employers to save on the cost of healthcare.
HRA plans are employer-funded medical reimbursement plans. The employer sets aside a specific amount of pre-tax dollars for employees to pay for health care expenses on an annual basis. Based on the plan design, HRAs can generate significant savings in overall health benefits.

The primary requirements for an HRA are that (1) the plan must be funded solely by the employer and cannot be funded by salary reduction, and (2) the plan may only provide benefits for substantiated medical expenses.

HRAs may be designed in many fashions to suit the specific needs of the employer and employees. It is one of the most flexible types of employee benefit plans making it very attractive to most employers.

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