Are you using your HSA correctly?

Are you using your HSA correctly?

| February 07, 2020

Did you know that you can use your Health Savings Account to pay for qualified medical expenses from a previous year?

In fact, I believe you should not use your HSA for current year medical expenses.

Remember, a HSA is triple tax free.  Contributions go into the account pre-tax, grow tax free and come out tax free for qualified medical expenses.  If you put money in and then take it out only a few months later to pay a medical expense, you are not maximizing the tax free growth. 

There is no time limit for how long ago a medical expense occurred and when you decide to reimburse yourself for it.  Therefore, to maximize the value of an HSA, I suggest you pay for your medical expenses out of pocket and simply file the receipt.  Many years down the road, your pre tax HSA contribution has been able to grow and can now be taken out tax free to reimburse yourself for those medical expenses that occurred many years earlier.  This can be a great way to have some tax free money available to you in retirement.  Simply bring out one of the old medical receipts and make a withdrawal to reimburse yourself.  Please note, the HSA must have been established during the time the medical expense occurred for it to be eligible for reimbursement.

Following this strategy will allow you to fully maximize the power of the HSA, the only triple tax free account available.