Health Savings Accounts: Are They Just What the Doctor Ordered?

Are health insurance premiums taking too big of a bite out of your budget? Do you wish you had better control over how you spend your health-care dollars? If so, you may be interested in an alternative to traditional health insurance called a health savings account (HSA).

HSAs offer several valuable tax benefits:

  • You may be able to make pretax contributions via payroll deduction through your employer, reducing your current income tax.

  • If you make contributions on your own using after-tax dollars, they're deductible from your federal income tax (and perhaps from your state income tax) whether you itemize or not. You can also deduct contributions made on your behalf by family members.

  • Contributions to your HSA, and any interest or earnings, grow tax deferred.

  • Contributions and any earnings you withdraw will be tax free if they're used to pay qualified medical expenses.

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