Senior Vice President of eHealthInsurance Bob Hurley explains the basics of health savings accounts.
Host: What are health insurance Health Savings Accounts? Bob Hurley: Health Savings Accounts are a very powerful tool. They are like Formula 1 kind of steroids in a -- I say that because they actually came out of the Medicare Reform Bill of 2003 and people say, "Well, what does Health Savings Accounts have to do with Medicare? " Well, it was simply a little pilot project that was plugged into that Medicare Reform Bill that added pharmacy benefits to Medicare back in 2003.They became effective in 2004 and the whole idea behind a Health Saving Account is that all of us get more involved in the cost of our Health Insurance Care or our healthcare and what that means is and the idea behind these is they wanted to create a savings vehicle where we can put money into a savings account tax-free if we meet the various different criteria and I will go through those. So the money can go into these accounts tax-free. We can leave the money in the account and have it grow tax-free for the rest of our lives. But what's very powerful about these accounts is if we need to pull some money out of that account for healthcare related expenses that are eligible under the healthcare, under this plan we can pull the money out of the account tax-free, not pay any taxes on them, no penalties, pull the money out and we can use it for our healthcare related expenses. So it's the triple tax advantage savings account, very powerful and all of us need to learn more about them.
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