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Can't get answers about HSA

I can't seem to get any real answers about why none of the bronze plans are listed as "HSA".  I only have 2 "HSA" plans to choose from.  One is Silver and the other is gold.  I thought the whole purpose of HSA was to use medical expenses as a tax deduction for people with high deductable insurance plans.  It seems backwards that the VERY high deductable Bronze plan now does not qualify as HSA in 2016.

For 2015, I had a Bronze HSA policy.  For 2016, the new plan is not listed as HSA.  I can only find 2 plans listed as HSA but they are both Silver.

I called healthcare.gov and the insurance company.  I can't get any straight answers from either of them.  The insurance rep told me that the Bronze plan seems to meet the criteria for HSA but it was just decided to not include it on the HSA list.  I didn't think that was the decision of the insurance provider.  I thought as long as a plan met the criteria than the tax payer could set up their own HSA account and use the tax benefit.

I did some research at the IRS website.  It seems that as long as a plan meets the criteria than the tax payer can set up an HSA on their own.  Is this correct? 

I also found that there is an upper limit for the deductable to qualify as an HSA qualified account.  The deductible range is $1,300 - $6450 for a person and $2,600 - $12,900 for a family.  So there is an upper limit to what qualifies as "high" deductable??????  The bronze plan I was on raised it's deductable for 2016 to $13,700.  So I guess now that they change more, this dis-qualifies the plan as an HSA plan?????

However, there are some other plans that fall within the window and seems to meet every HSA requirement but are still not listed as "HSA".  What gives?  Is this an attempt into trying to make people go from a Bronze to a Gold or Silver plan?

Basically, what I can't seem to figure out is this.  If a plan meets the IRS HSA requirements but not listed as "HSA", can I set up my own HSA savings account and use the tax break?  For my 2015 policy, I just set up an HSA at my own bank.  I wanted to just continue using that account and stay with a bronze plan.

As a side note this whole thing seems to be going from bad to worse.  High Premiums (and rising)............. High deductibles and rising............  Now HSA is only available if you want a higher premium / lower deductible plan which is just backwards!



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Answers

  • Well if that's what the IRS site says, then go with it. All you can do is find what best fits. Sad that it has to be so confusing.
  • Posts: 2
    I can't figure it out either, so frustrating. Plus they raise our premiums every year . I did find a bronze HSA ITS WITH ANTHEM BCBS PATHWAY X 40. 5000 deductible. The plan I had HSA 100 with UnitedHealth is no longer there, plus the one they offered me (the cheapest) was $638. 2015 paying 419. Both lousy, basically no coverage, just if I end up in hospital. I'm 63 makes me want to try going without and pay penalty,
  • Posts: 70
    Well I have a lot of issues with the whole process, and many of them revolve around not being able to have simple questions answered.  I do think it is worth mentioning, though, that if it were trying to get the same answers through an insurance company, as it used to be, it might be just as irritating and difficult, though.  We were promised ease and convenience, but are not really seeing much of those.
  • Do you have to use an HSA? At my work they give us an option of having a traditional plan or going with the HSA route. I personally much rather just pay the same amount every paycheck and not have to worry about using a separate debit card if I am involved in some sort of accident. Make sure to verify that the HSA is the only thing available for you.
  • All of this bewilders me. I have never had to shop from scratch for insurance before. Freelancing has its downsides. All I know is that every tweak I tried to make this affordable, it didn't work. 
  • Posts: 70
    Well, the good news here, if there is any, is that you are certainly not alone is feeling left out there in the cold with no real information about the service.  I feel your pain there, and it is irritating as all hell not being able to get answers to simple questions, which I really thought was the whole point.  I am hoping that things improve, but at this point I just do have the optimism left in me.  Thanks for sharing.
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