Build your network and your practice with HSAs
By Dennis Postema
Postema Marketing Group, LLC
According to America’s Health Insurance Plans (AHIP), a leading insurance trade group, health savings account (HSA) enrollment has tripled in the last five years to 13.5 million nationwide. Yet many advisors still shy away from educating their clients on how important and useful these plans can be.
I encourage advisors to team up with local banks and establish mutually beneficial referral agreements. As a result of these agreements, when clients open an HSA account, all fees are waived. Not only has this been good for the client, but agents reap the rewards as well.
For example, the banks may reach out to these agents with clients who are not satisfied with their CD rates. They refer them to these agents because of their competitive fixed annuity rates and the solid working relationship they have established. What started off as a small agreement has escalated, simply because of the agents' commitment to sending HSA referrals their way.
Working with the senior market? If they have leftover money in their HSA after they retire, don’t forget they can roll their HSA into an IRA without it being a taxable event. Or, you may consider withdrawing money tax-free from their HSA to pay qualified long-term care insurance premiums. Initially, an HSA may not seem to pay you directly. However, doing the right thing for your client and educating them always pays off in the end.
2013 HSA contribution limits:
- Individuals (self-only coverage) — $3,250 (up $150 from 2012)
- Family coverage — $6,450 (up $200 from 2012)
- $1,250 for self-only coverage
- $2,500 for family coverage
- $6,250 for self-only coverage
- $12,500 for family coverage
Note: If you use an HSA to pay for unqualified medical expenses, the tax penalty is 20 percent of the HSA distribution.