Tuesday, May 19, 2009

HSA News: "When and How Much" edition

Nothing dramatic, but two recent items may be useful for readers. The first, for those who reside in the Beehive State, clarifies that the “establishment date” of an HSA (the "account" portion of a Health Savings Account plan) is the "first day that an account holder is covered by a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Previously, an HSA wasn’t considered established until the account was both open and funded." In other words, one had to actually "activate" the account (by depositing money into it) before it was considered "live."
This was a problem for folks who use their accounts on a "revolving door" method (waiting for an actual expense before funding the account). That dilemna is now resolved, at least for those in Utah.
The second item is news that 2010 will see increases in both the amount one may contribute to the HSA and the minimum deductible required for a plan to be HSA-compliant. For singles, the max contribution will go to $3050 (an increase of $50, or about 2%); for families, it'll be $6150 (up $200, or a bit over 3%).
On the other hand, the minimum deductible for single cover increases from $1150 to $1200 for singles (over 4%), while the minimum family deductible goes to $2400 (also about 4%). While these numbers aren't large, they are significant: the percentage increase in minimum deductibles is almost twice that for tax-advantaged contributions to help pay them. That's disturbing.
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