Senior Vice President of eHealthInsurance Bob Hurley explains how a health savings account functions.
Host: How exactly do HSAs work? Bob Hurley: The way that Health Saving Accounts work is that you need to first buy a qualified Health Insurance Plan and basically, that's the key to be able to set up one of these Health Savings Accounts. So at the end of the day you are going to have two different products. You are going to have a Health Insurance Plan that happens to have a higher deductible and you are going to have a savings account.You can have that savings account at your own local bank. You don't have to go to your Insurance Company to get it. If you go to your bank, many of the banks today are offering these savings accounts that are specifically set up to be tied to your Health Insurance Plan and so the idea that you buy a higher deductible Health Insurance Plan let's say it has a $1,500 deductible for an individual or $2,500 deductible for a family.The idea is that by raising the deductible on your Insurance Plan you are going to lower the monthly premium on your health insurance product and the thinking is that by having that higher deductible plan you are going to be making better choices when it comes to your healthcare. You are going to be seeking out the best value for your dollar knowing that you have a higher deductible plan.Now in order to help you with that higher deductible you have your Health Savings Account and the idea is you are putting money into that Health Savings Account tax-free, you can leave it in there and it can grow tax-free, but if you need it because you had a healthcare related expense and because of the higher deductible, maybe you needed some of that cash to help cover that cost. You can pull money out of that Health Savings Account and use it to cover whatever those healthcare related expenses that you need to have covered.Let me give you some examples, you know many of us with a Higher Deductible Plan maybe we have to go a doctor a couple of times a year we get the routine colder or whatever. We go to that doctor but because we have a Higher Deductible Plan that doctor visit may not be covered. We can pull money out of that Health Savings Account to cover that trip to the doctor. Let us say the doctor now prescribes to us a medicine for whatever the condition is that we have, we can pull money out of that Health Savings Account to pay for that medicine that goes long with that Physician visit that we have just had. Another example is let's say we have Health Insurance Coverage but our Health Insurance does not cover our dental coverage and we have chosen maybe because we can't afford it to buy, we have not chosen to buy a dental coverage. But now I have got toothache and I need to have a tooth removed I can go to my Health Savings Account, pull money out of my Health Savings Account and use that to pay for the dental work that I need to get because I don't have that covered by my health insurance plan.So there is a lot of flexibility on how I can use this Health Savings Account but the bottom line and one of the important reasons for having these accounts is if you don't use it for your healthcare related expenses now, it can be in a savings account and be growing for the future for when you may need it because all of us as we get older may develop conditions where we do need help and again, if we have a Higher Deductible Plan then when we have a condition that it is going to cost us $1,000 sometime down the road and we can again, go to our Health Savings Account and pull money out to cover that expense that's not covered by our Health Insurance Coverage. So again, a very powerful tool, we all need to learn more about them. Once you get it they are actually quite easy to administer and so I encourage all of you to learn more about them in and pick up the phone and call one of our team members and make him certainly talk to you about them as well.
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