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Vail Valley: Healthcare savings through the ages

Patricia French
Vail, CO, Colorado

There are countless ways to save on monthly expenses. You can cut out cable TV and your morning latte, turn off your air conditioning once in a while or carpool to work. The small things are easy to identify and cut, but what about larger, less tangible expenses like healthcare? Whether you’re 25, 40, or 55 years old, a health savings account could help free up a big portion of your monthly budget.

A health savings account is paired with a high-deductible health plan and gives you the option to save the money you would have spent on a more expensive health plan for medical expenses. There are many benefits to these accounts, such as the ability to carry the money over from year to year, a cash reserve for unexpected medical expenses, and tax savings. Not sure if a health savings account is right for you? Read on.

Young singles



Having good health allows for maximum savings with a health savings account. Young singles may overlook the savings potential of high deductible health plans, but when used with a health savings account to offset minor costs, young singles can reduce their monthly premiums, freeing up cash in their monthly budgets.

If you are young and living on your own income, having an emergency reserve for unexpected health care costs is practical and important. While you must be an high deductible health plan holder to contribute to a health savings account, existing savings in the account remain yours regardless of job or benefits changes.



Families

When you have kids at home, their needs come first. Families may shy away from a high deductible health plan for fear of unforeseen medical expenses requiring that the high deductible is met. With a health savings account, however, families are able to opt for a high deductible health plan, paying lower monthly costs while knowing there is an out of pocket maximum in the case of a large medical bill. Children need medical care frequently and sometimes unexpectedly, but that does not mean young families can’t reap the financial benefits of health savings accounts.

Pre-retirees



Today’s pre-retirees are sandwiched between their parents and grown children, and many times they must provide for all three generations. A health savings account is a great way to save money for health expenses, especially when providing for the family because the savings accrue from year to year, earn interest, and can be used for spouses and dependents as well. Pre-retirees who are saving for retirement can use a health savings account as a medical savings account for their own retirement. Additionally the health savings account can be used to supplement their traditional retirement investments, as the savings can be withdrawn with no IRS penalty at age 65.

Health savings accounts provide a unique way to save on medical care, and can mean big savings for people at any stage in life. With today’s high unemployment rate, shifting healthcare system, and wavering marketplace, saving for medical expenses while earning interest and lowering your monthly premium makes good sense. For more information about HSAs and to calculate your estimated savings by switching, visit Thrivent Financial Bank at http://www.thriventbank.com/has.

Patricia French, is with Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, a not-for-profit, Fortune 500 financial services company. She can be reached at 970-926-0251. Thrivent Financial Bank, a wholly owned subsidiary of Thrivent Financial for Lutherans, provides a full range of banking products.


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