Access to healthcare is important—but standard insurance policies might not be the ideal fit for your needs. In some cases, a Healthcare Savings Account (HSA) is the right solution for covering your medical expenses.
Here are five things you should look for when considering your HSA options.
Now more common than ever, it’s still important to confirm that the HSA in question that you plan on trying out includes access via a debit card. The convenience of paying for health services right there at the clinic or other location—or via an online bill-payment system—is priceless. Don’t get bogged down by HSAs that require added paperwork just to receive a disbursement of your funds.
Not all HSAs are built alike—some charge monthly or use fees, such as for transfers or withdrawals. Others, though, can help you avoid most, if not all, fees and maximize the amount of funds you can put toward your balance. Shop around and price-compare—most financial institutions have varying options from which to choose.
Most HSAs will have some sort of minimum balance requirement—they often operate similarly to a checking or savings account in that regard. As such, you should seek out an HSA with a minimum balance that is realistic for you to uphold. Sometimes these minimums determine whether or not you’re charged a monthly service fee, so read the fine print and find your best-fit solution.
Finding the perfect HSA isn’t always about factors under your control—often health insurance through an employer will require you select an HSA from a certain bank or credit union. Weigh your options—does the institution offer more than one style or level of HSA? Is there another local HSA provider that you might suggest to your HR department for future benefit package consideration?
Depending on how often you utilize medical services, you may want to contribute a higher amount to your HSA on a regular basis. In this case, it’s a good idea to look at what your options allow—is the maximum contribution amount low enough to keep you from using your HSA to meet your expected needs? Exceeding the contribution maximum will incur taxes, so budget out your year to determine if an HSA will be a cost-effective healthcare solution for you and your family.