It's Not Too Late to Enroll in an HSA
Published on December 22nd, 2022
This year’s open enrollment window is drawing to a close, meaning by now most Americans have selected their health benefits for 2023. But there’s one decision that’s not set in stone: the choice to open a health savings account (HSA).
It can be easy for HSAs to get lost in the shuffle when it comes to enrollment, particularly if your employer didn’t clearly explain the myriad upsides to this kind of savings account. Fortunately, unlike flexible spending accounts (FSAs), HSAs can be opened at any time, as long as you’re enrolled in an HSA-qualified high-deductible health plan (HDHP). You don’t even need to experience a qualifying life event, like marriage or the birth of a child.
Further, there are no limitations regarding who you choose as your HSA provider. Your first step should be speaking with your employer’s HR department or benefits manager to determine whether your company sponsors an HSA program. If they do, you’re in luck! Your HSA contributions can be established upfront as pre-tax payroll deductions. There’s a good chance your employer may also contribute to the account on your behalf.
If your employer does not offer an HSA program, you’re still free to pursue one on your own. Take some time to research different providers until you find one that fits your needs. Keep an eye on details like fees, fund security, investment capabilities, and debit card availability. The Alegeus platform powers HSAs for many of the industry’s leading providers, who offer programs designed to maximize convenience and savings potential.
By taking the extra steps to open an HSA to complement your HDHP, you tap into a host of advantages, including:
- Significant tax savings – HSAs provide a “triple-tax advantage.” Your contributions aren’t taxed going in, your money grows tax-free, and your withdrawals for qualified healthcare expenses aren’t taxed. (When you use your HSA to pay for out-of-pocket medical costs, that translates into a savings of up to 30 percent!)
- Yours for life – The funds you or your employer contribute to your HSA are yours to keep, unlike FSA dollars that must be spent or forfeited each year. This allows you to grow savings over time for future or unexpected medical expenses. Even if you leave your employer, the money stays with you. It can also be consolidated into another HSA.
- Investing potential – Many HSAs allow you to invest your balance in stocks, bonds, ETFs, and mutual funds – much like a 401K – once you’ve reached a certain threshold. This helps your savings to grow much faster.
- Retirement spending – After you turn 65, you can use your HSA dollars for any expense, even if it’s not healthcare-related, without paying any penalties.
With an HSA, better financial health and greater control over healthcare costs are within reach – and it’s never too late to get started.