In the first two weeks of open enrollment, 1.46 million Americans have signed up for individual healthcare through healthcare.gov. That is a 46% increase over the same period last year. Couple that with the traditional employer open enrollment that is happening in offices all across the country and millions upon millions of Americans are reviewing, comparing, and selecting healthcare over the last and next few weeks.
Now that you have selected healthcare, what should you do next?
1. Open an HSA
Check to make sure your new health plan is HSA-eligible and open an HSA. With Lively, this takes 5 minutes in our online portal and requires no annoying and messy paperwork. Opening an HSA is the first step to creating a dedicated health savings vehicle that you can grow over your lifetime. You can take control of your health costs and health savings with an HSA. There is truly no other option like an HSA on the market today.
2. Take a Penny and Add a Penny
The most important thing you can do after you open your HSA is to “establish” it. “Establishing” is defined differently state by state. In some states, it’s as simple as opening up an account. In other states, it means you have to open the account and fund it with as little as a penny. This meets all federal requirements for establishing an HSA.
The importance of establishing an HSA is that you can use HSA funds for expenses incurred before your account actually had the money in it! That’s right, you can back-date these expenses and reimburse yourself when you do have enough money in your account. Any costs (based on purchase date or payment date), post-HSA establish date are eligible. Establishing an HSA just adds more flexibility to your healthcare payment options.
3. Take a Breath
If you couple your HSA-eligible health plan with an HSA, you now have created the most comprehensive way to prepare, save, and plan for health costs for this year and years to come. You still need to review your health plan selection each year, but as you do, you will now enter next year’s open enrollment with your HSA and any funds you have accrued. An HSA doesn’t expire, you can take it with you and save well into retirement. Now take a breath and take stock in that you are prepared for any health challenges that come your way.