Topel Forman News

The HSA: A healthy supplement to your wealth-building regimen

May 18, 2022

A Health Savings Account (HSA) can be a powerful tool for financing health care expenses while supplementing your other retirement savings vehicles. And it offers estate planning benefits to boot.

ABCs of an HSA

Similar to a traditional IRA or 401(k) plan, an HSA is a tax-advantaged savings account funded with pretax dollars. Funds can be withdrawn tax-free to pay for a wide range of qualified medical expenses. (Withdrawals for nonqualified expenses are taxable and, if you’re under 65, subject to penalties.)

An HSA must be coupled with a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). For 2022, an HDHP is a plan with a minimum deductible of $1,400 for individuals and $2,800 for family coverage, and maximum out-of-pocket expenses of $7,050 for individuals and $14,100 for family coverage.

The IRS recently issued inflation-adjusted amounts for 2023: the minimum HDHP deductible for individuals will be $1,500 and $3,000 for family coverage. The maximum HDHP out-of-pocket cost will be $7,500 for self-only coverage and $15,000 for family coverage.

Be aware that, to contribute, you must not be enrolled in Medicare or covered by any non-HDHP insurance (a spouse’s plan, for example).

For 2022, the annual contribution limit for HSAs is $3,650 for individuals and $7,300 for those with family coverage. For 2023, the HSA contribution limit for individuals will be $3,850 and $7,750 for those with family coverage.

If you’re 55 or older, you can add another $1,000 annually. Typically, contributions are made by individuals, but some employers contribute to employees’ accounts.

HSA benefits

HSAs can lower health care costs in two ways: 1) by reducing your insurance expense (HDHP premiums are substantially lower than those of other plans) and 2) by allowing you to pay qualified expenses with pretax dollars.

In addition, any funds remaining in an HSA may be carried over from year to year and invested, growing on a tax-deferred basis indefinitely. To the extent that HSA funds aren’t used to pay for qualified medical expenses, they behave much like in an IRA or a 401(k) plan.

Estate planning and your HSA

Unlike traditional IRA and 401(k) plan accounts, HSAs need not make required minimum distributions once you reach a certain age. Except for funds used to pay qualified medical expenses, the account balance continues to grow on a tax-deferred basis indefinitely, providing additional assets for your heirs. The tax implications of inheriting an HSA differ substantially depending on who receives it, so it’s important to consider your beneficiary designation.

If you name your spouse as a beneficiary, the inherited HSA will be treated as his or her own HSA. That means your spouse can allow the account to continue growing and withdraw funds tax-free for his or her own qualified medical expenses.

If you name your child or someone else other than your spouse as the beneficiary, the HSA terminates and your beneficiary is taxed on the account’s fair market value. It’s possible to designate your estate as a beneficiary, but in most cases, that’s not the best choice, because a beneficiary other than your estate can avoid taxes on qualified medical expenses paid with HSA funds within one year after death.

Contact us for more information regarding HSAs.

© 2022


If you have questions, please reach out to your Topel Forman contact.


About Topel Forman

What makes our firm special

News & Events

The latest news you need

Our People

Specialists in your industry

Related News Posts

Proposed Legislation: The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

Proposed Legislation: The Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024

On January 19, 2024, the Ways and Means Committee of the House of Representatives successfully propelled HR 7024 forward, known as the “Tax Relief for American Families and Workers Act of 2024.” The bill is the outcome of an agreement established earlier that week between the Ways and Means Committee’s Chairman Smith and the Senate Finance Committee’s Chairman Wyden.

read more
The standard business mileage rate will be going up slightly in 2024

The standard business mileage rate will be going up slightly in 2024

The optional standard mileage rate used to calculate the deductible cost of operating an automobile for business will be going up by 1.5 cents per mile in 2024. The IRS recently announced that the cents-per-mile rate for the business use of a car, van, pickup or panel truck will be 67 cents (up from 65.5 cents for 2023).

read more
Tax Planning: Charitable Giving

Tax Planning: Charitable Giving

Charity donation is one of the most flexible tax planning tools because taxpayers can generally control the timing, manner, and amount of their donations to meet their needs. For those charitably inclined, giving to charity provides not only the satisfaction of doing good but also valuable tax savings when leveraged properly.

read more