Have you heard the good news about a health savings accounts (HSAs)? They’re an ideal choice for people with high-deductible healthcare plans (otherwise known as an HDHP) to set aside money for medical expenses. Which leads us to our first question: do you contribute to your HSA?
An HSA fund gives you a triple tax break. This means that your contributions are sheltered from income taxes, the money grows tax-free, and you can use it tax-free for eligible healthcare expenses whenever the time is right.
So, how do you grow this savings account quickly, maximizing all of its benefits? There are lots of ways. You’ll soon see that you don’t have to build a stash of money all on your own.
Who Can Contribute to My HSA?
Who is allowed to contribute to your HSA? Choose your answer:
- Mom or Dad
- Grandpa or Grandma
The correct answer is #5, Anyone! Anyone can put money in your HSA. In fact, even that neighbor from down the street who appreciated your help setting up his smartphone can contribute. Health savings accounts do not restrict who can contribute.
How will you benefit from these contributions? You’ll receive a tax deduction for the amount added to your account, while instantly getting a boost in your savings! You may get so excited about this perk that you’ll ask for HSA contributions instead of gifts on your birthday.
Are your parents looking for a way to invest in your health? Then share this little known tip with them.
“If you have a working child who is starting out with an HSA, you can help them by putting in the balance to maximize their annual contributions.” This from Cynthia Turoski, a CPA and managing member of The Bonadio Group, a financial consulting firm. “It’s considered a gift (which itself has a limit of $15,000 per child per year), but you can put it directly into an HSA, and the child gets the tax benefit.” (investors.com)
Your parents’ generosity will be a gift towards your good health.
If you get your HSA through your work, find out if you receive employer contributions. Some employers may provide a small amount and others may fund your entire HSA. Any amount is like receiving extra money for your healthcare – a great bonus!
How Can I Contribute to My Own HSA?
Putting money into your own HSA is super easy. Start growing your account by contributing from:
- Your paycheck. Your employer may allow you to have your HSA contribution deducted automatically from your paycheck. If that’s the case, you will not be taxed on the money that’s transferred to your account. By making your contribution automatic, you’re more likely to stick to saving and you’ll enjoy watching the HSA funds steadily grow. What’s the reward? More free time to plan your next vacation.
- Your bank account. You can have the HSA account manager set up an automatic withdrawal from your checking account directly to your HSA. The contribution is tax-deductible. You can choose the amount of the contribution and the day of the month for the transfer.
A good old fashioned check. You may prefer to write a check to the HSA account, or send a certified check or money order.
How Much Can I Contribute to My HSA?
Under 2020 HSA rules, the maximum contribution is $3,550 for individuals and $7,100 for families, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). In 2021, the annual limit on HSA contributions will be $3,600 for individuals and $7,200 for family coverage.
Plus, because the tax filing deadline for 2020 was extended from April 15 to July 15, 2020, you still have time to top off those contributions from last year. Be sure to check and see whether or not you reached your contribution limit for 2019… a larger tax break could await. Just remember that the contributions from yourself, your employer, your Mom, whomever (!), count toward your limit.
And then of course there are catch-up contributions. If you’ll be 55 or older by December 31, you can put away an additional $1,000 for that year. The maximum amount for catch-up contributions in 2020 is $1,000, as well as 2021.
Learn more about the benefits of an HSA here.