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Mr.Nobody  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, February 21, 2012 2:36:19 AM(UTC)
Mr.Nobody

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 10/5/2011(UTC)
Posts: 18

I enrolled Aetna HDHP federal plan in Oct,11, and started the premium transfer from 11/11.  Now my HSA account has $250.  I have not established additional contribution yet.

A week ago, I went to see a physician as a new patient and later on went to ER and have a surgery.  Now the claims from hospital and the physician started to get processed by Aetna.  Since I never used my health insurance before, here are some newbie questions on how to max my benefit and use the insurance:

1. I was in this plan less than 12 months, can I still make additional contribution to the HSA account based on the $3050 per individual limit? So for year 2011, I should contribute 2 months worth of money, $508?

2. I enrolled HSA auto-debit, so the $250 balance was automatically used to pay part my bill.  For the rest of bill (from different individuals and hospital), how should I pay them? Directly go to their place and pay with my credit card (my HSA account now has 0 balance)?

3. Or should I top my HSA account off with $508 first then pay the rest of them with my credit card?

4. Can I get reimbursement w/o fee from HSA account later on for my credit card payment?

Thanks a lot. 

upandup  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, February 21, 2012 7:21:39 AM(UTC)
upandup

Rank: Senior Member

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Posts: 716

1. Since you were enrolled by December 1, 2011, you may make a full year's contribution for 2011. You must remain an HSA-eligible individual for all of 2012 or will be subject to excess contribution penalties. You have until April 15, 2012, to make a contribution to your HSA for 2011. Make sure the trustee designates your contribution as a prior-year contribution. You will claim a deduction on your taxes for your contribution for contributions you make directly. Remember that the plan's pass-through contributions count towards your yearly limit. http://www.irs.gov/publications/p969/ar02.html

Going forward, you may also wish to set-up automatic payroll deductions to your HSA. I send $90 every pay period to my HSA, which combined with GEHA's $750 contribution, leaves me $10 shy of the yearly cap at the end of the year. I save on FICA taxes this way, whereas contributions made directly only result in an income tax savings.

2. Pay however you'd like. I always pay directly by credit card and then reimburse myself from my HSA at the time of my choice (or never--holding onto receipts for future use, but letting the funds grow tax free).

3. It does not matter. You can reimburse yourself at any time for medical expenses incurred AFTER the *establishment* of the HSA account. The date of the contribution doesn't matter. You could make a contribution and withdrawal it on the next day as a normal distribution if you have eligible medical expenses.

4. You can withdrawal funds as a normal distribution in a variety of ways. Check with Chase/Aetna about your options. Some are free, and some may have a fee (ordering a checkbook, for instance).
http://custom.aetna.com/fehbp/medhdhp_faq.php


upandup2012-02-21 15:26:56
Mr.Nobody  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, February 21, 2012 11:32:53 AM(UTC)
Mr.Nobody

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 10/5/2011(UTC)
Posts: 18



Thanks so much for your reply.

So you are saying the payroll deduction saves even more in tax than a lump sum transfer from my checking account?

I tried in myPay setting up new allotment for HSA, it asks for routing number and account number.  I checked my Aetna HSA statement, and there is only a 12-digit HSA account number listed, no routing number at all.  A normal checking account number is 9-digit, coupled with the routing number.  How could I set up the payroll deduction then? The info on Aetna's federal HDHP site is confusing. Per this PDF (http://www.opm.gov/retire/pubs/bals/2007/07-202.pdf) it sounds like I need to enroll FEDFLEX in order to do payroll deduction for HSA. But when I checked mypay site, I have this option to make new allotment to HSA (routing and account number required), and it specifically says "it's not FSAFEDS enrollment".

Also, for my 2nd question, you said you pay upfront with credit card then reimburse yourself.  How did you do that? You just withdraw cash using ATM? Do you need to fill out a form at least showing the receipts that indicates you paid with credit card first?

Thanks a lot.





Mr.Nobody2012-02-21 20:06:11
upandup  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, February 22, 2012 5:59:57 AM(UTC)
upandup

Rank: Senior Member

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FedFlex is NOT FSAFEDS. FedFlex is a fancy term for  the pre-tax deductions for various things including your FEHB contributions.

MyPay is the proper place to set up HSA contributions. That's what I use to make my HSA contributions to my credit union. Contact Chase to get the routing number to use.



upandup2012-02-22 14:07:03
upandup  
#5 Posted : Wednesday, February 22, 2012 6:01:43 AM(UTC)
upandup

Rank: Senior Member

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Joined: 9/25/2010(UTC)
Posts: 716

You reimburse yourself by making a withdrawal (normal distribution)--cash, check, EFT, etc.--in whatever way your financial institution supports. You do not need to show any receipts to your financial institution. The IRS may choose to audit you, so you do need to keep records.

An HSA is very  similar to an IRA, with the tax benefits of the Roth and Traditional IRA combined.


Mr.Nobody  
#6 Posted : Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:26:11 AM(UTC)
Mr.Nobody

Rank: Newbie

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Joined: 10/5/2011(UTC)
Posts: 18

Hi upandup,

I remember you mentioned that you have a primary HSA other than the GEHA HSA bank, and all your payroll deduction and stuff goes into that primary account.  Do you have any recommendation for such HSA in DC/MD area?

I just realized that neither Chase nor HSA bank have any branch or ATM machine in this area.  So the reimbursement from ATM could be difficult.  Also, Aetna requires fee for the investment bank (HSA bank waive the fee for balance more than $5000). 

So I would like to have an HSA account that has better/fee free service or higher interest than the Aetna one.

Thanks a lot.


upandup  
#7 Posted : Thursday, February 23, 2012 12:54:47 AM(UTC)
upandup

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/25/2010(UTC)
Posts: 716

My HSA is with Alliant Credit Union.
http://www.alliantcreditunion.org


Mr.Nobody  
#8 Posted : Thursday, February 23, 2012 8:41:04 PM(UTC)
Mr.Nobody

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/5/2011(UTC)
Posts: 18

upandup wrote:
My HSA is with Alliant Credit Union.
http://www.alliantcreditunion.org



Actually I've seen at least 3 positive recommendation for this place.  Would you mind elaborating a bit more on how to use set it up and its pros and cons?

I saw people saying you need some membership or live in Chicago in order to qualify for eligibility?  Do they have sign-up bonus or something like that too?

Thanks a lot.
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