Do you or someone you know need dental work done but are afraid of the costs that they will rack up? If that’s the case, you should look into getting an HSA, or Health Savings Account.
Although many people might not know about an HSA and what it does, it is an extremely helpful tool that millions of Americans use every year to achieve their medical cost goals and make their lives easier and healthier.
If you need dental procedures completed and you have an HSA, you’re in luck.
What is An HSA?
The biggest question that many people have about an HSA is: what is it? As helpful as these special accounts are, not many people are aware of them.
A Health Savings Account (HSA) is a sort of personal savings account that you may open to pay for medical expenses. You may deposit money into an HSA and withdraw it tax-free if you use it for eligible medical expenditures including as deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and more. When you’re insured by some high-deductible health plans, you’re eligible to contribute to an HSA. If you have Medicare or a plan that pays its part of a covered treatment without requiring you to pay deductibles or copayments first, you can’t contribute to an HSA.
HSAs are available via a bank, insurance company, or other financial organization. The money you put into the account is tax-free if it’s used for approved out-of-pocket medical expenses, such as:
● Doctor visits
● Hearing Aids
● Prescription Drugs
● Psychological Therapy
● Qualified Long-Term Care
In other situations, you may use the money to cover comparable medical expenses for your spouse and/or dependents, and if you don’t use it, it will roll over year after year.
How Does HSA Work?
Set up direct deposit from another bank account, your paycheck, or another source of income to put money into your HSA. You may also make manual contributions to your HSA at any time.
The money you put into an HSA is different from your other bank accounts, but it remains yours forever (or until you spend it). This makes it an excellent option to save for a medical emergency fund – or, if you wait until retirement, to pay for your medical expenditures.
You should always use your HSA funds for eligible medical and health costs, whether you use them now or later. If you don’t, the IRS will punish you.
How To Withdraw From HSA
You may withdraw the money you put into your HSA at any time to pay for medical expenditures that aren’t covered by your high-deductible health insurance plan or reimbursed by anybody else.
HSAs are part of consumer-driven health care, which means you have control over the plan and may decide how to spend and invest your funds.
Deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, vision and dental care, and other out-of-pocket medical fees are examples of expenses. And the services that qualify are diverse: Acupuncture, chiropractic therapies, and even traditional Chinese medicine may all be paid for using your HSA.
Individuals may not utilize tax-advantaged money from an HSA for over-the-counter medicines that were not recommended by a doctor from 2011 to 2019. The CARES Act, which also amended the regulations to enable HSA money to be used to buy menstruation products, changed that in 2020 and opened the door for more medical expenditures to be covered for millions of Americans.
You may withdraw the money at the time of the medical expenditure or at any time in the future, as long as the HSA was previously formed at the time of the expense.
You should maintain meticulous records in any case, but if you wish to reimburse yourself for a medical expenditure after ten years, you must be able to establish that you had the expense, paid for it out of pocket using non-HSA money, and retained the receipts.
Can You Use HSA for Dental?
The answer to that question is a resounding yes! Many, but not all, dental expenditures are covered by HSAs. You may use your HSA to pay for the following things:
● Fluoride Treatments
● Teeth Cleanings
Keep in mind that you cannot use your HSA funds on procedures such as:
● Teeth Whitening
● Non-medically necessary cosmetic surgery
Advantages of a HSA
Others Can Contribute
You, your employer, a family, or anybody else who wishes to contribute to your HSA may do so. The IRS, on the other hand, imposes restrictions.
Individuals may contribute $3,600 and families can contribute $7,200 in 2021, plus a $1,000 “catch-up” payment if they are 55 or older before the end of the year.
The cap will increase to $3,650 for individuals and $7,300 for families in 2022, representing a 1.4 percent increase. The catch-up contribution amount for 2022 remains unchanged.
If you use your HSA for eligible medical costs, you won’t have to pay federal taxes on your withdrawals. HSAs, on the other hand, may be utilized as investment accounts, enabling you to buy stocks and other assets in order to possibly increase your profits.
Stocks should only be considered as part of a balanced, long-term wealth-building plan since they carry the risk of principle loss. Before taking such steps, it is prudent to get the opinion of a financial planning specialist.
If you have money left over in your HSA at the end of the year, it will be carried over to the next year.
This gives you more options than the alternative, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), which can only be carried over for up to $550 or 2.5 months into the next plan year.
Even if you change health insurance coverage, work for a new company, or retire, the money in your HSA remains accessible for future eligible medical costs. In essence, your HSA is a personal bank account in which you choose how and when the money are used.
Most HSAs provide you with a debit card, allowing you to immediately pay for prescription drugs and other qualified costs. If you don’t want to wait for a medical bill to arrive in the mail, contact the billing center and pay using your HSA debit card over the phone. If you have paid a medical bill using a different method of payment, you may repay yourself from your HSA.
Disadvantages of HSA
Pressure to Save
Because they don’t want to waste the money in their HSA account, some individuals may be hesitant to seek medical help when they need it.
You’ll owe income taxes on the money plus a 20% penalty if you remove cash for non-qualified expenditures before you reach 65. You’ll owe taxes after 65, but not the penalty.
Some HSAs impose a monthly maintenance fee or a per-transaction fee, which varies from institution to institution. While the costs are normally not excessive, they are nearly always more than any interest earned by the account and eat into your profits. These fees are often removed if you keep a specific minimum balance.
Keep receipts to show that your withdrawals were for eligible medical costs. If you are audited by the IRS, this will be required.