Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

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Topic Author
tomwood
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Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Fri Oct 11, 2019 12:03 pm

I have only recently learned about HSA accounts and the amazing Tax advantages they offer. I’m very familiar with a company or business matching contributions to a TSP/401k.
Are there some health plans that match HSA contributions, or does the federal government offer any matching for HSA’s? If so, would someone please direct me to how I find such plans and how I can best take advantage of these matches?

daheld
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Location: Midwest US

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by daheld » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:18 pm

Select your state and explore available plans:

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insuranc ... ion/plans/

Helo80
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by Helo80 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:47 pm

Yes; the match is called "pass-through", and I believe said premium pass through is from the insurer and not the government.

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:41 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:47 pm
Yes; the match is called "pass-through", and I believe said premium pass through is from the insurer and not the government.
Thank you.
And will this pass though be listed somewhere on the health insurance company’s brochure?

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:42 pm

daheld wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:18 pm
Select your state and explore available plans:

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insuranc ... ion/plans/
Thank you.
Does the health plan have to be a high deductible plan to be eligible for HSAs?

Helo80
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by Helo80 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:30 pm

tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:42 pm
daheld wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 2:18 pm
Select your state and explore available plans:

https://www.opm.gov/healthcare-insuranc ... ion/plans/
Thank you.
Does the health plan have to be a high deductible plan to be eligible for HSAs?

Yes; HSAs are only benefits of HDHPs that qualify per I believe IRS rules that set-forth what the boundaries of a legal HDHP are. GEHA, Aetna, and a few others are there for you to select from. I would recommend searching Boglehead FEHB and HDHPs as they are a popular option among BH feds that are healthy.

Personally, I'm on the MHBP (Mail handlers benefit plan even though I'm not USPS; it is open to any federal employee) as the underwriter is Aetna. My premium pass-through to my HSA is $1200 for single coverage. The HSA Aetna uses is Payflex, and it has several Vanguard index funds to choose from that I believe have the exact same ER as Vanguard's public market. Personally, I have all of my money in VFIAX and it's ER is 4 bp.

Helo80
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by Helo80 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:33 pm

tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:41 pm
Thank you.
And will this pass though be listed somewhere on the health insurance company’s brochure?

It will be listed for you somewhere in the documents/brochure, and the insurer will automatically open up an HSA account with their preferred broker. You are free to have your agency direct deposit any amount you want from your payroll check into an HSA of your choosing (e.g. Fidelity). Keep in mind, the onus is on you to correct calculate how much you contribute to HSA as if you go over, you'll be liable for any fines for deposits and growth beyond the 2020 legal HSA contribution limit.

bene1
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by bene1 » Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:18 pm

There are a few different plans that are HSA eligible. This one from GEHA is a popular one. Pretty good summary and the brochure is there for download with complete details. https://geha.com/plans/medical/2020/hig ... ealth-plan

The pass-through contribution is not actually a "match." You get the contribution whether or not you contribute any of your own funds. For Self Plus One/Family, the pass-through is $150 per month ($1800 annually). The pass-through contribution counts toward the annual limit, BTW, currently $7000 under age 55.
tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:42 pm
Does the health plan have to be a high deductible plan to be eligible for HSAs?
Yes.

keystone
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by keystone » Sat Oct 12, 2019 4:31 pm

bene1 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 10:18 pm
There are a few different plans that are HSA eligible. This one from GEHA is a popular one. Pretty good summary and the brochure is there for download with complete details. https://geha.com/plans/medical/2020/hig ... ealth-plan

The pass-through contribution is not actually a "match." You get the contribution whether or not you contribute any of your own funds. For Self Plus One/Family, the pass-through is $150 per month ($1800 annually). The pass-through contribution counts toward the annual limit, BTW, currently $7000 under age 55.
FWIW, my family has been on the GEHA HDHP plan for the past three years and I've been thoroughly satisfied with it. Before I went with GEHA, I noticed somewhat low customer satisfaction rates in Washington Consumer Checkbook, but after digging a little further on this site, I concluded that was primarily because the typical insurer wasn't familiar with the high deductible concept and was annoyed that there are bills to be paid for many types of doctor visits. I definitely believe that to be the case after my three years of experience, GEHA has been great. The $1800 pass through is nice too.

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grabiner
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by grabiner » Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:31 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:33 pm
tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:41 pm
Thank you.
And will this pass though be listed somewhere on the health insurance company’s brochure?

It will be listed for you somewhere in the documents/brochure, and the insurer will automatically open up an HSA account with their preferred broker. You are free to have your agency direct deposit any amount you want from your payroll check into an HSA of your choosing (e.g. Fidelity).
But if you use your insurer's HSA provider, fees are likely to be waived, which may make it worth staying with that provider.
Wiki David Grabiner

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tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:44 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:30 pm
Personally, I'm on the MHBP (Mail handlers benefit plan even though I'm not USPS; it is open to any federal employee) as the underwriter is Aetna. My premium pass-through to my HSA is $1200 for single coverage. The HSA Aetna uses is Payflex, and it has several Vanguard index funds to choose from that I believe have the exact same ER as Vanguard's public market. Personally, I have all of my money in VFIAX and it's ER is 4 bp.
If your pass through is $1200, I assume the insurance company deposits $100 to your HSA account each month or maybe it’s per paycheck. But either way, is that your money to have in future years? If you don’t use that $1200 in a year and you switch health insurance companies to a new plan which also has an HSA account, I assume all the money you’ve deposited comes with you but what about this $1200 pass through?

And what happens in a future year if you switch to a health insurance plan which doesn’t offer an HSA?

nps
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by nps » Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:55 pm

tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:44 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:30 pm
Personally, I'm on the MHBP (Mail handlers benefit plan even though I'm not USPS; it is open to any federal employee) as the underwriter is Aetna. My premium pass-through to my HSA is $1200 for single coverage. The HSA Aetna uses is Payflex, and it has several Vanguard index funds to choose from that I believe have the exact same ER as Vanguard's public market. Personally, I have all of my money in VFIAX and it's ER is 4 bp.
If your pass through is $1200, I assume the insurance company deposits $100 to your HSA account each month or maybe it’s per paycheck. But either way, is that your money to have in future years? If you don’t use that $1200 in a year and you switch health insurance companies to a new plan which also has an HSA account, I assume all the money you’ve deposited comes with you but what about this $1200 pass through?

And what happens in a future year if you switch to a health insurance plan which doesn’t offer an HSA?
You own your HSA including premium pass-through deposits. Switching to a new plan that uses a different HSA administrator does nothing to your original HSA. All the money remains there unless you move it to the new HSA or elsewhere.

If you switch to a non-HDHP you can still spend money from your HSA, you just can't contribute more.

Helo80
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by Helo80 » Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:00 pm

tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:44 pm
If your pass through is $1200, I assume the insurance company deposits $100 to your HSA account each month or maybe it’s per paycheck. But either way, is that your money to have in future years? If you don’t use that $1200 in a year and you switch health insurance companies to a new plan which also has an HSA account, I assume all the money you’ve deposited comes with you but what about this $1200 pass through?

And what happens in a future year if you switch to a health insurance plan which doesn’t offer an HSA?

Yes; $100 deposited (roughly) first of month and that's done automatically by MHBP. Hence, my payroll contribution is $3450 - $1200 = $2250 split across all pay-days. Unlike TSP and employer match (with inidivual limit at $19k), the insurers contributions are included in that individual IRS annual limit.

Yes, the money is available for all future years for future, eligible healthcare expenses even if I no longer have a qualifying HDHP.

The HSA money passed through stays with me for now and until spent. If I leave my employer, find a different plan in 2020, change providers, buy more Cadillac plans and/or carry no health insurance, I keep the $1200.

FYI -- I believe at Age 65, the HSA monies are eligible to be withdrawn for non-healthcare expenses penalty free and are treated like a traditional IRA (taxes on gains).

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:14 pm

grabiner wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:31 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:33 pm
tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 6:41 pm
Thank you.
And will this pass though be listed somewhere on the health insurance company’s brochure?

It will be listed for you somewhere in the documents/brochure, and the insurer will automatically open up an HSA account with their preferred broker. You are free to have your agency direct deposit any amount you want from your payroll check into an HSA of your choosing (e.g. Fidelity).
But if you use your insurer's HSA provider, fees are likely to be waived, which may make it worth staying with that provider.
Can this information also be found in the health insurance brochure: if the fees will be waived?
Thank you for this great extra tip.

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Sun Oct 13, 2019 8:20 am

nps wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:55 pm
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:44 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:30 pm
Personally, I'm on the MHBP (Mail handlers benefit plan even though I'm not USPS; it is open to any federal employee) as the underwriter is Aetna. My premium pass-through to my HSA is $1200 for single coverage. The HSA Aetna uses is Payflex, and it has several Vanguard index funds to choose from that I believe have the exact same ER as Vanguard's public market. Personally, I have all of my money in VFIAX and it's ER is 4 bp.
If your pass through is $1200, I assume the insurance company deposits $100 to your HSA account each month or maybe it’s per paycheck. But either way, is that your money to have in future years? If you don’t use that $1200 in a year and you switch health insurance companies to a new plan which also has an HSA account, I assume all the money you’ve deposited comes with you but what about this $1200 pass through?

And what happens in a future year if you switch to a health insurance plan which doesn’t offer an HSA?
You own your HSA including premium pass-through deposits. Switching to a new plan that uses a different HSA administrator does nothing to your original HSA. All the money remains there unless you move it to the new HSA or elsewhere.

If you switch to a non-HDHP you can still spend money from your HSA, you just can't contribute more.
That’s great. Thanks

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:06 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:00 pm
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:44 pm
If your pass through is $1200, I assume the insurance company deposits $100 to your HSA account each month or maybe it’s per paycheck. But either way, is that your money to have in future years? If you don’t use that $1200 in a year and you switch health insurance companies to a new plan which also has an HSA account, I assume all the money you’ve deposited comes with you but what about this $1200 pass through?

And what happens in a future year if you switch to a health insurance plan which doesn’t offer an HSA?

Yes; $100 deposited (roughly) first of month and that's done automatically by MHBP. Hence, my payroll contribution is $3450 - $1200 = $2250 split across all pay-days. Unlike TSP and employer match (with inidivual limit at $19k), the insurers contributions are included in that individual IRS annual limit.

Yes, the money is available for all future years for future, eligible healthcare expenses even if I no longer have a qualifying HDHP.

The HSA money passed through stays with me for now and until spent. If I leave my employer, find a different plan in 2020, change providers, buy more Cadillac plans and/or carry no health insurance, I keep the $1200.

FYI -- I believe at Age 65, the HSA monies are eligible to be withdrawn for non-healthcare expenses penalty free and are treated like a traditional IRA (taxes on gains).
Thank you. This has been helpful.

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grabiner
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by grabiner » Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:01 pm

tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:14 pm
grabiner wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:31 pm
But if you use your insurer's HSA provider, fees are likely to be waived, which may make it worth staying with that provider.
Can this information also be found in the health insurance brochure: if the fees will be waived?
Thank you for this great extra tip.
I think it can; check the brochure for the plan you use.
Wiki David Grabiner

Helo80
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by Helo80 » Mon Oct 14, 2019 6:22 pm

tomwood wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 7:06 pm
Thank you. This has been helpful.

Yup -- if you are in good health, HDHP is a no-brainer. It's no surprise that on a PF forum, we whore ourselves out to those policies as it's win-win-win (income tax reduction -- capital gains tax free -- free withdrawals for qualified expenses).

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tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:37 pm

grabiner wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:01 pm
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:14 pm
grabiner wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:31 pm
But if you use your insurer's HSA provider, fees are likely to be waived, which may make it worth staying with that provider.
Can this information also be found in the health insurance brochure: if the fees will be waived?
Thank you for this great extra tip.
I think it can; check the brochure for the plan you use.

Are a HSA and a HRA the same thing?
I found a plan that offers HRA, is that different from an HSA in any way?

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:41 pm

Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:30 pm
Personally, I'm on the MHBP (Mail handlers benefit plan even though I'm not USPS; it is open to any federal employee) as the underwriter is Aetna. My premium pass-through to my HSA is $1200 for single coverage. The HSA Aetna uses is Payflex, and it has several Vanguard index funds to choose from that I believe have the exact same ER as Vanguard's public market. Personally, I have all of my money in VFIAX and it's ER is 4 bp.
I found a MHBP in my area called Consumer Option (HDHP).
For a family it’s $300 per month, but the HSA/HRA offers $200 per month. Does that mean I’m paying $300 and $200 is deposited into my HSA from MHBP giving me a $100 net monthly premium? Or is the $300 premium the net result after factoring the $200/month HSA pass through?

tj
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tj » Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:51 pm

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:41 pm
Helo80 wrote:
Fri Oct 11, 2019 8:30 pm
Personally, I'm on the MHBP (Mail handlers benefit plan even though I'm not USPS; it is open to any federal employee) as the underwriter is Aetna. My premium pass-through to my HSA is $1200 for single coverage. The HSA Aetna uses is Payflex, and it has several Vanguard index funds to choose from that I believe have the exact same ER as Vanguard's public market. Personally, I have all of my money in VFIAX and it's ER is 4 bp.
I found a MHBP in my area called Consumer Option (HDHP).
For a family it’s $300 per month, but the HSA/HRA offers $200 per month. Does that mean I’m paying $300 and $200 is deposited into my HSA from MHBP giving me a $100 net monthly premium? Or is the $300 premium the net result after factoring the $200/month HSA pass through?
The $300 premium is the premium you pay. The $200 is deposited into your HSA.


So yes you are payin $300 to get $200. You are not paying $500 to get $200.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:10 am

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:37 pm
grabiner wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:01 pm
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:14 pm
grabiner wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:31 pm
But if you use your insurer's HSA provider, fees are likely to be waived, which may make it worth staying with that provider.
Can this information also be found in the health insurance brochure: if the fees will be waived?
Thank you for this great extra tip.
I think it can; check the brochure for the plan you use.

Are a HSA and a HRA the same thing?
I found a plan that offers HRA, is that different from an HSA in any way?
Typically an HRA is a Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangement. People on ANY PART of Medicare are ineligible to contribute to an HSA; HRAs are a workaround. The money in an HRA belongs to the employer / plan administrator, and I’m entirely unclear what happens to unspent funds either at the end of the year or if you switch plans. Your brochure should lay this out.
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.

motorcyclesarecool
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Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:39 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:16 am

Helo80 wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 9:00 pm
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 8:44 pm
If your pass through is $1200, I assume the insurance company deposits $100 to your HSA account each month or maybe it’s per paycheck. But either way, is that your money to have in future years? If you don’t use that $1200 in a year and you switch health insurance companies to a new plan which also has an HSA account, I assume all the money you’ve deposited comes with you but what about this $1200 pass through?

And what happens in a future year if you switch to a health insurance plan which doesn’t offer an HSA?

Yes; $100 deposited (roughly) first of month and that's done automatically by MHBP. Hence, my payroll contribution is $3450 - $1200 = $2250 split across all pay-days. Unlike TSP and employer match (with inidivual limit at $19k), the insurers contributions are included in that individual IRS annual limit.

Yes, the money is available for all future years for future, eligible healthcare expenses even if I no longer have a qualifying HDHP.

The HSA money passed through stays with me for now and until spent. If I leave my employer, find a different plan in 2020, change providers, buy more Cadillac plans and/or carry no health insurance, I keep the $1200.

FYI -- I believe at Age 65, the HSA monies are eligible to be withdrawn for non-healthcare expenses penalty free and are treated like a traditional IRA (taxes on gains).
Something to note about the premium pass-through:
I have GEHA Health Savings Advantage plan. Their schedule has them deposit the pass-through for any given month on the following month. So my December 2019 pass through will arrive in my HSA in January 2020, but count toward the 2019 tax year. Whatever plan you choose, make sure you understand the mechanics of the pass-through so you don’t accidentally over-contribute.
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.

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grabiner
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by grabiner » Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:01 pm

tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:37 pm
Are a HSA and a HRA the same thing?
I found a plan that offers HRA, is that different from an HSA in any way?
An HRA is a Healthcare Reimbursement Agreement. It is managed by the plan, and is automatically used to pay current medical expenses. The government HRAs can be carried over from year to year, but only as long as you stay with the same plan. And unlike an HSA, you cannot make your own contributions.

The government HDHPs will open an HRA for you if you are not eligible for an HSA. The HRA balance is equal to the amount the plan would contribute to your HSA.
Wiki David Grabiner

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:56 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:10 am
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:37 pm
grabiner wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:01 pm
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:14 pm
grabiner wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 7:31 pm
But if you use your insurer's HSA provider, fees are likely to be waived, which may make it worth staying with that provider.
Can this information also be found in the health insurance brochure: if the fees will be waived?
Thank you for this great extra tip.
I think it can; check the brochure for the plan you use.

Are a HSA and a HRA the same thing?
I found a plan that offers HRA, is that different from an HSA in any way?
Typically an HRA is a Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangement. People on ANY PART of Medicare are ineligible to contribute to an HSA; HRAs are a workaround. The money in an HRA belongs to the employer / plan administrator, and I’m entirely unclear what happens to unspent funds either at the end of the year or if you switch plans. Your brochure should lay this out.
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is much better than HRA. Do I correctly understand this to be true?

BackOfTheNet
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by BackOfTheNet » Wed Oct 16, 2019 2:38 pm

I have the GEHA family plan and it is a really good deal for us:

Annual cost: $3,770
- tax savings $829
- passthrough $1,500
- basic dental ~$500
- basic vision ~$250
--------------------------------
Final cost is around $1,500 per year. Plus the opportunity to add money to hit the HSA max every year.

motorcyclesarecool
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:50 pm

tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 1:56 pm
motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 5:10 am
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:37 pm
grabiner wrote:
Sun Oct 13, 2019 9:01 pm
tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 12, 2019 10:14 pm


Can this information also be found in the health insurance brochure: if the fees will be waived?
Thank you for this great extra tip.
I think it can; check the brochure for the plan you use.

Are a HSA and a HRA the same thing?
I found a plan that offers HRA, is that different from an HSA in any way?
Typically an HRA is a Healthcare Reimbursement Arrangement. People on ANY PART of Medicare are ineligible to contribute to an HSA; HRAs are a workaround. The money in an HRA belongs to the employer / plan administrator, and I’m entirely unclear what happens to unspent funds either at the end of the year or if you switch plans. Your brochure should lay this out.
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is much better than HRA. Do I correctly understand this to be true?
HSA is far superior to HRA.
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.

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm

grabiner wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:01 pm
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:37 pm
Are a HSA and a HRA the same thing?
I found a plan that offers HRA, is that different from an HSA in any way?
An HRA is a Healthcare Reimbursement Agreement. It is managed by the plan, and is automatically used to pay current medical expenses. The government HRAs can be carried over from year to year, but only as long as you stay with the same plan. And unlike an HSA, you cannot make your own contributions.

The government HDHPs will open an HRA for you if you are not eligible for an HSA. The HRA balance is equal to the amount the plan would contribute to your HSA.
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks

Topic Author
tomwood
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:53 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 4:50 pm


HSA is far superior to HRA.
Thank you

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grabiner
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Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by grabiner » Wed Oct 16, 2019 8:09 pm

tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
grabiner wrote:
Tue Oct 15, 2019 10:01 pm
tomwood wrote:
Mon Oct 14, 2019 10:37 pm
Are a HSA and a HRA the same thing?
I found a plan that offers HRA, is that different from an HSA in any way?
An HRA is a Healthcare Reimbursement Agreement. It is managed by the plan, and is automatically used to pay current medical expenses. The government HRAs can be carried over from year to year, but only as long as you stay with the same plan. And unlike an HSA, you cannot make your own contributions.

The government HDHPs will open an HRA for you if you are not eligible for an HSA. The HRA balance is equal to the amount the plan would contribute to your HSA.
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks
Yes, because you can contribute $5300 of your own to the HSA and get a tax deduction, and because unused HRA money will be lost if you switch plans or leave the government.

The HRA still makes the plan attractive if you are ineligible for an HSA for some reason (for example, because you are covered by a spouse's non-HDHP or FSA).
Wiki David Grabiner

nps
Posts: 714
Joined: Thu Dec 04, 2014 10:18 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by nps » Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am

tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks
What plan are you looking at that pays $2,400 for HRA but only $1,800 for HSA?

tj
Posts: 2603
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tj » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:06 pm

nps wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am
tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks
What plan are you looking at that pays $2,400 for HRA but only $1,800 for HSA?
Mhbp has the $2400 HSA.

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:43 pm

nps wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am
tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks
What plan are you looking at that pays $2,400 for HRA but only $1,800 for HSA?
The $2,400 HRA plan is with NALC (national association of letter carriers). Their payment per paycheck is low and the $2,400 is a great pass through from what I can see, but it’s listed as an HRA.

Other plans, such as GEHA costs slightly higher payments per paycheck and $1,800 HSA/HRA.


In my question I was comparing two different plans.

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:46 pm

tj wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:06 pm
nps wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am
tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks
What plan are you looking at that pays $2,400 for HRA but only $1,800 for HSA?
Mhbp has the $2400 HSA.
Yes and that’s the plan I will likely select,
Though the national association of letter carriers (NALC) health plan is about $700/year less for a family and offers $2,400 though as best as I can tell it’s only available as HRA. Before selecting another plan I wanted to be sure NALC was not the best deal available for my family who’s in good health and doesn’t have many doctor visits.
Thank you for your post and information

tj
Posts: 2603
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tj » Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:00 pm

tomwood wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:46 pm
tj wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:06 pm
nps wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am
tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks
What plan are you looking at that pays $2,400 for HRA but only $1,800 for HSA?
Mhbp has the $2400 HSA.
Yes and that’s the plan I will likely select,
Though the national association of letter carriers (NALC) health plan is about $700/year less for a family and offers $2,400 though as best as I can tell it’s only available as HRA. Before selecting another plan I wanted to be sure NALC was not the best deal available for my family who’s in good health and doesn’t have many doctor visits.
Thank you for your post and information
I find the GEHA HDHP to be of better value than the MHBP HDHP. GEHA has more comprehensive vision and dental coverage. I believe you are correct about NALC.

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:05 am

tj wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:00 pm
tomwood wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:46 pm
tj wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:06 pm
nps wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am
tomwood wrote:
Wed Oct 16, 2019 5:52 pm
It sounds as though the HRA is better than nothing but the HSA is a far superior option. Is that what you’re saying?
Given the opportunity to have $2,400/year (family) pass through in HRA or $1,800 in HSA, for a health family that doesnt see many doctors each year, would you suggest HSA is the better option? Thanks
What plan are you looking at that pays $2,400 for HRA but only $1,800 for HSA?
Mhbp has the $2400 HSA.
Yes and that’s the plan I will likely select,
Though the national association of letter carriers (NALC) health plan is about $700/year less for a family and offers $2,400 though as best as I can tell it’s only available as HRA. Before selecting another plan I wanted to be sure NALC was not the best deal available for my family who’s in good health and doesn’t have many doctor visits.
Thank you for your post and information
I find the GEHA HDHP to be of better value than the MHBP HDHP. GEHA has more comprehensive vision and dental coverage. I believe you are correct about NALC.
Vision and dental are covered without any extra cost? What is covered in vision? An Eye exam each year and maybe the cost of glasses if needed? Thank you

tj
Posts: 2603
Joined: Thu Dec 24, 2009 12:10 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tj » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:27 pm

Go to geha.com and click hdhp and look for the vision coverage for the hdhp. There's a $5 copay for vision exam. Dental is no extra cost, they just paid out $400 for a cleaning, exam, x-rays...

motorcyclesarecool
Posts: 768
Joined: Sun Dec 14, 2014 7:39 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by motorcyclesarecool » Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:44 pm

tomwood wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 11:05 am
tj wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 10:00 pm
tomwood wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:46 pm
tj wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 3:06 pm
nps wrote:
Thu Oct 17, 2019 5:55 am


What plan are you looking at that pays $2,400 for HRA but only $1,800 for HSA?
Mhbp has the $2400 HSA.
Yes and that’s the plan I will likely select,
Though the national association of letter carriers (NALC) health plan is about $700/year less for a family and offers $2,400 though as best as I can tell it’s only available as HRA. Before selecting another plan I wanted to be sure NALC was not the best deal available for my family who’s in good health and doesn’t have many doctor visits.
Thank you for your post and information
I find the GEHA HDHP to be of better value than the MHBP HDHP. GEHA has more comprehensive vision and dental coverage. I believe you are correct about NALC.
Vision and dental are covered without any extra cost? What is covered in vision? An Eye exam each year and maybe the cost of glasses if needed? Thank you
I think you pay $5 for an annual exam, and they throw in a decent chunk of change for lenses & frames.
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.

Topic Author
tomwood
Posts: 317
Joined: Mon Dec 10, 2018 9:34 am

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by tomwood » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:20 pm

motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:44 pm
I think you pay $5 for an annual exam, and they throw in a decent chunk of change for lenses & frames.
That’s a great addition.
Thanks for sharing

Tdubs
Posts: 784
Joined: Tue Apr 24, 2018 7:50 pm

Re: Are there HSA matches for Federal employees?

Post by Tdubs » Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:47 pm

tomwood wrote:
Sat Oct 19, 2019 9:20 pm
motorcyclesarecool wrote:
Fri Oct 18, 2019 5:44 pm
4
I think you pay $5 for an annual exam, and they throw in a decent chunk of change for lenses & frames.
That’s a great addition.
Thanks for sharing
Do you have access to Checkbook.com through your agency? You can see cost comparisons between the plans in cost and coverage.

The dental and vision in the HDHP are nice to have when your kids are older than 22 and still on your plan. Once they turn 22, they can't get covered under the supplemental vision and dental plans offered in the federal system, but they can get some coverage for basic service under the GEHA HDHP till they turn 26. As a result, I dropped my supplemental vision plan, which saved about $500.

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