To FSA or HSA? Time to sign up for Health Insurance

It's open enrollment season

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. - Alright, it's the time of year to grab that pumpkin spice latte, curl up on the couch and sign up for health insurance.

Yeah, I know not the most exciting task, but it has to be done.

If you are getting your health insurance through your employer you may have a couple of options to consider in addition to your health coverage.

Either and Flex Spending Account (FSA) or a Health Savings Account (HSA).

An FSA has been around for a long time. You can only put in $2,600 a year. And it is tax free. But this is a Use It Or Lose It plan. You must use it within the calendar year and it's a bit restrictive on how you can use it: primarily medical related supplies, eye exams, dental and a few procedures.

The HSA has quite a few more benefits but a big requirement and that's you must have a high deductible insurance plan. Which means you are paying for everything out of pocket until you meet your deductible.

The amount you can contribute to your HSA changes every year and is set by the federal government. In 2017 you can contribute $3,400 for an individual and $6,750 for a family. 

This is not a use it or lose it plan. The money in your HSA rolls over year to year. And once you get to $7,000 you can begin investing it like an IRA.

HSA's are also tax free. And they are yours. Meaning the money follows you even if you leave your job.

You can only sign up for either of these options only during open enrollment, which is different for every employer but usually starts around this time. So, take some time to look into how you want to spend your healthcare dollars. They may end up actually working for you!

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