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Building an HSA Balance

One of the biggest concerns people often have about switching to a health savings account (HSA) is being able to cover the high deductible before the insurance plan starts paying for expenses.   However, there are ways that people can fund their savings in order to handle that deductible.

Some suggestions include:

* Figure out what the old insurance plan premium was and the savings involved in switching to a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Put that difference into savings right away.  The family won't miss the money and they'll be that much closer to their savings goal.

* Set up a direct deposit/automatic transfer from a checking account to a savings account.  Set a realistic amount that won't hurt the budget and make it a mandatory requirement that it's transfered, just like paying a mortgage payment or a utility bill.

* Find money where the family can, such as selling unneeded items on ebay or a local site, such as Craigslist.

* Take lunch to work a few times a work and put the money saved into the account instead.

* Save on groceries using coupons, store specials, and bulk food warehouse clubs. Most stores are now reflecting savings from that visit on the receipt.  Take that amount and put it in the savings account.

* Save a certain amount of money each day, whether it's putting a dollar or even 50 cents a day into a jar. At the end of the month, a family could have $30 extra dollars to deposit into savings.

* Put tax refunds into the savings account rather than using them to buy items or take trips.

Using these suggestions and thinking about "pinching pennies" in general can help an individual or family quickly accumulate a good savings nest egg to cover the deductible and since the money is growing tax free, it's also an investment in the future.



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