GEHA HDHP & HSA Questions

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Jb11
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:09 pm

GEHA HDHP & HSA Questions

Post by Jb11 » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:00 pm

During open season this year, I’m looking at enrolling in the GEHA HDHP for 2018. From everything I’ve read it looks like my enrollment with the HDHP would commence on January 7, 2018, but my HSA would not be created until sometime in February. If correct that raises two questions:

1. Once established, can I use funds from my HSA to reimburse myself for any medical expenses I incur from January 7 until the HSA is opened?
2. If GEHA doesn’t establish the HSA until February when would they deposit the first pass-through contribution? February? Or not until March?

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FiveK
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Re: GEHA HDHP & HSA Questions

Post by FiveK » Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:52 pm

Jb11 wrote:
Sun Nov 12, 2017 11:00 pm
1. Once established, can I use funds from my HSA to reimburse myself for any medical expenses I incur from January 7 until the HSA is opened?
No. You can receive tax-free distributions from your HSA to pay or be reimbursed for qualified medical expenses you incur after you establish the HSA. In most states, "establish the HSA" occurs when the first eligible dollar is contributed to the HSA.
2. If GEHA doesn’t establish the HSA until February when would they deposit the first pass-through contribution? February? Or not until March?
No idea who GEHA is, let alone when they would do the deposit. Probably worth a call to the HR/Benefits folks.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: GEHA HDHP & HSA Questions

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Mon Nov 13, 2017 5:47 am

I’m on GEHA HDHP with HSA. Their contributions to my HSA post the month after, as a rule. Keep that in mind if you plan to max out your HSA for the year. My “premium pass through” for December 2017 will take place in January 2018, but per currently enacted law, it counts as a 2017 contribution.

There’s nothing stopping you from opening and partially funding a separate HSA on your own on Day 1 of your HDHP coverage, so that you can cover medical expenses from it from the get-go. You’ll miss out on FICA deduction, but you still get the above-the-line deduction in your tax return.
Understand that choosing an HDHP is very much a "red pill" approach. Most would rather pay higher premiums for a $20 copay per visit. They will think you weird for choosing an HSA.

Jb11
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Joined: Tue Feb 21, 2017 4:09 pm

Re: GEHA HDHP & HSA Questions

Post by Jb11 » Mon Nov 13, 2017 6:48 am

Thanks for the responses. They really help me plan for this transition to the HDHP.

kazper
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Re: GEHA HDHP & HSA Questions

Post by kazper » Mon Nov 13, 2017 2:57 pm

I have the GEHA HDHP. 2017 was my third year in it.

My HSA wasn't opened until mid-February. One way you can get around this is to open your own HSA somewhere else even if it will never be used. As luck would have it, we had some large expenses (emergency type things) the first January we made the switch that weren't reimbursable. Quite annoying, especially considering that I called the GEHA help line in November to try and figure out how things would go down at the beginning of the next year.

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tarnation
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Re: GEHA HDHP & HSA Questions

Post by tarnation » Tue Nov 14, 2017 12:39 am

We switched in 2010, but back then they opened it ASAP with "penny funding". Just checked and says it was established Jan 3rd.
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