July, 2019
Archive

By In Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)

Abroad and Injured? Your HSA Works for That!

I’ve occasionally posted “death of a thousand cuts” updates about the quiet desperation of navigating our health care system. Well, as one of my more troll-y friends pointed out, one experience isn’t exactly science but a recent experience with big, bad socialized medicine was almost pleasant.

On our blowout summer vacation for the whole family, my mother-in-law injured her heel from too much exploring on ancient Roman roads of solid marble. Luckily, we had an Italian friend who got her to a doctor to ensure it wasn’t more than just swelling. The doctor, not accustomed to billing for visits, didn’t charge my mother-in-law for checking her foot and then gave her crutches to rent for €1.50 (~$1.75) per day. We ended up buying them outright for €$20. She also got prescription-strength ibuprofen for a steal. All in all, my MIL’s costs were less than $30. Zoinks!

But the cost itself isn’t the reason for this post. What came to mind was that, had it been me, my wife or one of our children, we could have used our tax-free HSA funds to pay any bills that were incurred. That’s right, you can use your HSA — or FSA — funds for medical expenses pretty much anywhere on the planet. The two important rules are whatever product or service you’re getting has to be

  1. On the approved list of HSA/FSA products/services. That’s the U.S. list. Duh.
  2. Legal both in the U.S. and in the country where you’re receiving the service.
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By In Do the Math, Health Savings Accounts (HSAs), Savings and Budgets

An HSA Really Can Be a ‘Dream-Vacation’ Reserve Account…If You’re Smart About It

We’ve written extensively about how much you might end up spending on your own health care in retirement and, as a result, why it’s important to build up your HSA funds so that you can have that reserve of tax-free dollars for such expenses.

But, as a former co-worker of mine used to say, here’s a “super-secret hack” about HSAs that may change the way you spend both in retirement and beforehand: there is no time limit on when you can reimburse yourself from your HSA for medical expenses.

What does this SSH (ahem, super-secret hack!) mean for your retirement savings? It’s simple. Keep reading…

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By In General Benefits Knowledge, Health Insurance, Voluntary Benefits

Advice for My Daughter on Selecting First Employee Benefits

Over on his personal blog, Platform for Good, our cofounder Shawn has written an excellent post on the advice he gave his daughter as she readied to select benefits through her employer for the first time. It’s chock-full of insights from an adult life spent contemplating how to make the best choices for your present and your future, organized into five helpful tips for making your benefits choices. Get on over there and give it a read!

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