YOU ASK:

Can a health savings account (HSA) be used to pay for dental service bills?

WE ANSWER:

Yes, it can. In fact, you may use the HSA not just for yourself but also for your spouse and dependent children.

To give you a background, a health savings account (HSA) enables you to save up for future medical and dental expenses. What's more, the money you accumulate is tax deductible.

You first have to be covered under a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). HDHPs are plans that charge low premiums but have higher deductibles as compared to standard dental plans. You may use your HSA on your spouse or your children even if they are not enrolled or covered under your HDHP.

You may not use your HSA to pay for deductibles, but you are allowed to accumulate money on your HSA for medical and dental bills that are not covered under your HDHP. For instance, if tooth extractions are not covered under your HDHP, you can use your HSA to pay for the service. You get to save since you are using tax-free dollars to pay for the services.

An HSA can be used to pay not just dental treatments but the premiums for the dental plan as well. Having a Health Savings Account is a good way of trying to supplement your dental insurance. It also provides you with more freedom to choose which kind of treatment you get. If the dentist would only like to give you a quick (and cheap) fix to your dental problem, you can opt for a more expensive yet more effective treatment by using your HSA to pay for the treatment.

To avail of an HSA, you should also meet these conditions:

  • You are not covered under Medicare.
  • You have to other primary (or first-dollar) medical insurance.
  • You are not a dependent of another individual. In other words, no one is listing you in his tax return as a dependent and a tax deductible item.

You may put in money to your HSA for as long as you meet the conditions of eligibility. There are also specified limits as to how much you can put in. If you are aged 55 and above, you are also allowed to give additional funds to "catch up" and make your funds bigger as your need for medical and dental treatments increase.

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