Tax Season Tip: It’s Not Too Late to Contribute to a Health Savings Account and Maximize Your 2015 Tax Savings
HSACenter.com helps consumers maximize the advantages of an HSA with tips and interactive tools that educate about tax benefits for 2015 and guide health care savings planning in 2016
Indianapolis Mar. 30, 2016 – As the tax filing deadline approaches, consumers with health savings accounts (HSAs) are reminded that they have until Monday, April 18, to make 2015 contributions up to the legal limit and increase their tax savings. This year’s deadline is a departure from the traditional April 15 filing date.
To help the growing number of consumers who have HSAs either through their employer or purchased individually, www.HSACenter.com recently expanded and enhanced its features to help them better understand the power of HSAs and the potential cost and tax savings.
HSAs combine a high-deductible health insurance plan with a tax-favored savings account. Money in the savings account can help pay deductibles and other qualified health expenses, including those not always covered by a major medical plan, such as dental and vision care costs. There is no “use it or lose it” provision at the end of the year with an HSA – the money saved earns interest and continues to accumulate year over year.’
HSAs also deliver triple tax benefits:
Dedicated to HSA education and helping consumers gain greater control over their health care, HSACenter.com now includes:
HSACenter.com was designed to help consumers learn more about HSAs and how they work, and features user-friendly tools that allow them to estimate the cost- and tax savings – now and over time – before deciding if an HSA is the best choice for their families. HSACenter.com is presented as an educational resource by UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance Company and UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company, which offer health insurance plans and ancillary products to individuals and families.
UnitedHealthcare is dedicated to helping people nationwide live healthier lives by simplifying the health care experience, meeting consumer health and wellness needs, and sustaining trusted relationships with care providers. The company offers the full spectrum of health benefit programs for individuals, employers, military service members, retirees and their families, and Medicare and Medicaid beneficiaries, and contracts directly with more than 850,000 physicians and care professionals, and 6,000 hospitals and other care facilities nationwide. UnitedHealthcare is one of the businesses of UnitedHealth Group (NYSE: UNH), a diversified Fortune 50 health and well-being company. For more information, visit UnitedHealthcare at www.uhc.com or follow @myUHC on Twitter.
www.HSAcenter.com has resources to help consumers add up savings, tax advantages
INDIANAPOLIS (March 12, 2014) – As consumers across the country navigate tax season and a changing health care landscape this year, the savings and control over health care spending offered by health savings accounts (HSAs) deserve a closer look.
The Affordable Care Act has changed a few aspects of HSAs; however, their triple-tax advantages remain – money deposited into an HSA is still tax deductible, interest on these savings still grows tax deferred, and funds withdrawn for qualified medical expenses are still tax-free. Any money left in the account at the end of the year rolls over to the next year, accumulating over time for use when needed, even for retirement health care costs.
Newly enhanced resources at www.HSAcenter.com enable consumers to learn more about health savings accounts and estimate potential savings, now and over time, before deciding if an HSA might be the best choice for their family’s budget and health care needs. Updated features include:
Consumers who already have an HSA should consider maximizing their contribution before the April 15, 2014, deadline to take advantage of their tax and savings benefits. For the 2013 tax year, HSA contributions are tax deductible up to $3,250 for individuals and up to $6,450 for families. HSA holders 55 and older can contribute and deduct an additional $1,000.
Many states also allow deductions from state taxes for HSA contributions.
www.HSAcenter.com was created as an online education site for consumers by Golden Rule Insurance Company and UnitedHealthcare Life Insurance Company, UnitedHealthcare companies offering products under the UnitedHealthOneSM brand to individuals and families who buy their own health insurance.
For more information about UnitedHealthOne HSA health plans, consumers can call 1-800-273-8082 or contact an independent local insurance broker who offers UnitedHealthOne plans.
Indianapolis (Sept. 12, 2013) — As consumers who buy their own health insurance consider their coverage options, UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance Company reminds them to consider their dental care needs as well.
Studies show good oral health is linked to overall good health. Yet, the National Association of Dental Plans reported in 2012 the number of Americans without dental insurance was three times the number of those without health insurance.
Lack of dental care not only affects people’s health, but can add strain to the health care system. According to the American Dental Association, from 2000 to 2010 the number of people without dental coverage who used emergency rooms for dental health issues doubled. Moreover, the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services estimates that 38 percent of seniors ages 65 and older have not visited a dentist in the past year.
Golden Rule offers consumers five important tips to help evaluate dental plans:
To learn more about choosing your own dental insurance, click on this video.
UnitedHealthcare’s personal health and dental plans are offered in 47 states and the District of Columbia. The dental plans are underwritten by Golden Rule Insurance Company, a UnitedHealthcare company since 2003. For more information on personal health and dental plans, consumers can call 1-800-273-8082, visit www.goldenrule.com or contact a local independent insurance broker.
INDIANAPOLIS (June 27, 2013) – Millions of Americans are vacation bound this summer, with nearly nine in 10 Americans planning a trip, according to one national travel survey. One of the last things vacationers want to think about is a medical emergency or illness while away from home.
Yet, with so many people taking trips, some are likely to require health care. Whether traveling overseas or within the United States, it is important to be prepared.
UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance Company (www.goldenrule.com) offers travelers five quick tips to help prepare for unexpected medical needs while away from home.
With a few minutes of planning before leaving home, travelers can help protect their health and their wallets.
About Golden Rule
A leading provider of health insurance for individuals and families for 70 years, Golden Rule became a UnitedHealthcare company in 2003. UnitedHealthcare’s personal health and dental plans are offered in 40 states and the District of Columbia, and marketed under the UnitedHealthOne brand. For more information, consumers can call 1-800-273-8082, visit www.goldenrule.com or contact a local independent insurance broker who offers Golden Rule health and dental plans.
Indianapolis (April 30, 2013) – Nearly 2 million college students across the country will collect their diplomas this spring. Once the celebrations have ended, these new grads will face many important life decisions for the first time, including what to do about health insurance.
Whether they have a job lined up with health benefits pending, are staying on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 or are considering buying their own coverage for the first time, it’s important to know the options that are available and how to make the best choices.
Recent reports indicate that many young adults continue to assume both financial and health risks by going without health insurance coverage. Although being able to stay on their parents’ plans until age 26 has reduced the numbers of uninsured young adults over the past few years, nearly three in 10 people ages 19 to 34 are uninsured. This is the highest proportion among all age groups measured in the latest U.S. Census data.
2014 will bring changes to the health insurance market that may affect many young adults, so it is important to make smart decisions today to help protect their health and finances.
UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance Company offers these tips to get started:
New grads and young adults purchasing health insurance for the first time can also check out this YouTube video.
A leading provider of health insurance for individuals and families for more than 65 years, Golden Rule has been a UnitedHealthcare company since 2003. UnitedHealthcare’s personal health and dental plans are offered in 46 states and the District of Columbia, and marketed under the UnitedHealthOne brand. For more information, consumers can call 1-800-273-8082, visit www.goldenrule.com or contact a local independent insurance broker offering their plans.
Indianapolis (Feb. 21, 2013) – For Americans facing increased taxes and rising health care costs, the tax advantages and cost-effectiveness of a health savings account (HSA) may be particularly appealing this year.
HSAs pair a tax-advantaged savings account with a qualified high-deductible health insurance plan, which typically costs less in monthly premiums when compared to more traditional health insurance. HSA savings are deposited into a tax-deferred account and can be withdrawn tax-free when used for qualified medical expenses, which include health insurance deductibles as well as dental, vision and other types of care often not covered by health insurance.
For 2012 tax purposes, deductible contribution limits are $3,100 for individuals and $6,250 for families. HSA holders 55 and older can contribute and deduct an additional $1,000. HSA contributions in 2013 are tax deductible up to $3,250 for individuals and up to $6,450 for families. Consumers with HSAs have until April 15 to contribute and maximize their 2012 deductions up to the legal limit.
“HSAs enable consumers to save on taxes and health costs today while saving for retirement health care,” said Patrick Carr, president of UnitedHealthcare’s Golden Rule Insurance Company.
Carr points to a recent study by Fidelity Benefits Consulting which estimates that a 65-year-old couple who retired in 2012 will need $240,000 just to cover their medical costs in retirement.
Insurance industry trade group America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) reported in 2012 that more than 13.5 million Americans with individual or employer group coverage had an HSA-qualified plan, an increase of 18 percent from 2011.
To learn more about HSAs, visit www.HSAcenter.com, an interactive online resource developed by Golden Rule to educate consumers about the advantages that HSAs offer. Golden Rule’s expertise goes back more than 20 years when the company introduced the first medical savings account (MSA), predecessor to the HSA.
A leading provider of health insurance for individuals and families for more than 65 years, Golden Rule has been a UnitedHealthcare company since 2003. UnitedHealthcare’s personal health and dental plans are offered in 42 states and the District of Columbia, and marketed under the UnitedHealthOneSM brand. For more information, consumers can call 1-800-273-8082, visit www.goldenrule.com or contact a local independent insurance broker who offers UnitedHealthOneSM health and dental plans.
[Daily Finance — Loren Berlin / September 28, 2011 1:00 PM]
In part one of this series, I examined how people with employer-supplied health insurance can save money and maximize their benefits during open enrollment. But in today’s economy, when the unemployment rate is at almost 10% and companies are cutting back on benefits to save money, many millions of people are responsible for securing their own health insurance through individual plans.
“Unlike employer-offered health insurance, individuals can shop for insurance anytime. There’s no specific enrollment period,” says Michael Mahoney, vice president of consumer marketing at the insurance broker GoHealthInsurance.com. “That said, individuals pay 100% of the cost of coverage, as opposed to sharing that cost with the employer.” Selecting an individual plan that both suits your budget and provides adequate coverage can be tricky so I spoke with a few consumer health experts for tips on how to maximize benefits while minimizing costs.
Because there are some similarities between shopping for individual health care and employer-offered coverage, it’s worth checking out part one of this series, which provides a few key suggestions including how to educate yourself regarding health care terminology, compare treatment costs, determine your risk tolerance and take advantage of preventative care. Then you can review the list, which is tailored specifically to individual plans.
3. Be Sure You’re Selecting a Reputable Company
Just like any other industry, there are scams and financially shaky businesses in health care, so it’s important to do your homework. Once you find a plan you like, make sure the insurer is rated by A.M. Best or another major ratings agency. “Small health insurers go out of business all the time,” says Laden. “So do the commonsense stuff too. Ask family members and trusted friends about the companies they use.”
4. Understand the Plan You’re Buying
“There are all kinds of ways to combine different insurance products,” explains Mahoney. “So you need to make sure you don’t have any unwanted loopholes in your coverage. But you also want to make sure you don’t have overlapping coverage. The last thing you want is to pay twice for the same thing.”
Laden agrees. “Know what you’ll be responsible for paying before you sign up. Know what you’ll pay and what the insurer will pay. Any reputable company that you would do business with will be glad to answer those questions for you.”
Not sure where to go if you have questions about a plan? Most plans have phone numbers posted on their websites. You can also talk with a local, independent insurance broker in your town, or ask the agent who insures your car or home, as they often offer health insurance as well, and may be able to offer a discount for bundling your coverage. Also, online national brokers like eHealthinsurance.com or GoHealthinsurance.com have representatives available to answer your questions.
5. Be Careful About Timing
Before dropping your current plan, make sure you have not only applied for, but have also been approved for it and that the coverage has gone into effect. Otherwise, you run the risk of finding yourself uninsured.
6. Consider a Health Savings Account
Unlike a Flexible Spending Account, the funds of which must to be used up within the year and cannot be transferred between employers, money in a Health Savings Account can be rolled year after year if it’s unused. It’s a tax-free, interest-bearing bank account specifically for medical expenses, though there are limits on how much money can be deposited — for 2012, single coverage is capped at $3,100, and family coverage is capped at $6,250 for the tax year. “Health savings account plans let you save on both your health care and your taxes,” says Laden. “Particularly for self-employed individuals and their families, that becomes attractive. Another nice thing is that there is one deductible per family. Everybody in the family contributes to that one deductible so that helps you meet it a lot faster in that calendar year.”
7. Research Options for Preexisting Conditions
Consumers who have serious illnesses or medical conditions that might prevent them from getting coverage in the individual market today can go to www.pcip.gov and click on their state for the options available to them. As for consumers currently on COBRA who have serious illnesses or medical conditions that might prevent them from getting coverage in the individual market, Laden suggest that they “exhaust their COBRA coverage — generally 18 months — to preserve their HIPAA eligibility for coverage, regardless of the cost of COBRA (which, on average, is over $400 per month for an individual and over $1,100 a month for a family). However, they can place other family members in an individual or family plan while they remain on COBRA for the cost savings.”