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March 09, 2017

Why a health savings account can make cents for you

Insurance HSA

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We’ve all heard the saying, “A penny saved is a penny earned.” One way to increase your health care savings is by using a health savings account (HSA) to put money aside tax-free to pay for certain medical expenses.

What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

An HSA is a type of savings account that lets you put money aside tax-free to pay for qualified out-of-pocket health care expenses — like copays and deductibles for doctor visits and prescription drugs. You can even use HSA funds to pay for some services your health plan doesn’t cover.

Just like a traditional savings account, the money you put into an HSA earns interest, so it grows over time. You don’t pay taxes on the interest, and you have the option to invest the money in an HSA so it grows even more.

Do I need a special type of health plan to use an HSA?

Yes. To open and use an HSA, you must enroll in an HSA-qualified high deductible health plan (HDHP), like our Personal Choice PPO Bronze Reserve plan.

How does an HSA help me save money?

First, you save because an Independence HSA-qualified HDHP like our Personal Choice PPO Bronze Reserve Plan offers lower monthly premiums. Then, you save even more when you open and use an HSA.

When you use the money in an HSA to pay for qualified health care expenses, you pay no taxes on:

• Money you put in
• Money you withdraw to pay for qualified health care expenses
• Interest you earn on HSA funds

When your HSA balance reaches a specified amount, you can choose to invest it for long-term growth.

Do “use it or lose it” rules apply to money in an HSA?

No. Unlike other available health care accounts, such as a flexible spending account, “use it or lose it” rules don’t apply to an HSA. There is an annual limit on how much you can contribute to the account, but if you don’t use all of the money in your HSA at the end of your health plan’s benefit period, it rolls over year after year.

Who owns the HSA, me or my employer?

You do! And because you own the account, it moves with you — if you change health plans or employers, for example, and even into retirement.

How do I know if an HSA plan is right for me?

Something to consider when choosing an HSA-qualified plan is how often you use health care services. If you’re generally healthy and don’t go to the doctor often, an HSA plan may be a good choice because your monthly premiums are lower and you can save money to help you pay for out-of-pocket costs when you need care.

If you’re shopping for health insurance and want to get more from your health care dollars, consider our Personal Choice®PPO Bronze Reserve plan. It offers you lower premiums and the chance to save for current and future health care expenses with an HSA.

Visit to compare Independence health insurance plans and find the one that fits your needs and budget.

About Paula Sunshine

As SVP and Chief Marketing Executive at Independence Blue Cross, Paula Sunshine is accountable for the Individual Under-65 market segment. In this capacity, she is directly responsible for developing and executing all direct-to-consumer marketing and sales capabilities. In addition, Ms. Sunshine is accountable for insuring the delivery of market-competitive products and pricing as well as operational readiness for the Consumer market. 

This content was originally published on IBX Insights. 

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