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What’s new for HSAs in 2023

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A few good-for-you changes are coming down the pike in the next year. Here’s what to expect. 

If you’re looking to save money on medical expenses — and who isn’t? — it’s a smart idea to consider an HSA (health savings account). It’s similar to an FSA (flexible spending account). Both types of accounts allow you to save money tax-free to pay for your eligible medical expenses. For example, if you contribute $1,000 to the account, that’s $1,000 less of your income you have to pay taxes on in April.

But there are some key differences that may make the HSA a better choice for you.

The biggest one is that with an HSA, you don’t have to spend the money by the end of the year. You can let it roll over year to year indefinitely, which allows you to accrue bigger amounts over time. That could come in handy if you’re ever hit with medical expenses that are more than you could have put away in a single year. An FSA, by contrast, requires you to cash out your fund each year (though you might get a grace period of a few months). You lose any money that you don’t spend on that year’s eligible health-related purchases.

The other main difference is who’s eligible: In order to qualify for an HSA, the IRS requires that your insurance be a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). What “high deductible” means has changed a little for 2023. In 2022, your deductible had to be at least $1,400 for an individual or $2,800 for a family. It's now $1,500 for an individual and $3,000 for a family in 2023 — an increase of $100 and $200, respectively. (There are also limits on your out-of-pocket expenses, which we’ll talk about in a bit.) Compare that to FSAs, which are available to anyone whose employer offers one, no matter what insurance plan it has.

If an HSA is looking like the right choice for you, or you already have an HSA and plan to continue it into next year, there are a few updates for 2023 that you need to know about:

Optum Store carries a range of HSA- and FSA-eligible products, including over-the-counter medications, medical devices and more. And you can have it all delivered to your door.

What’s changing for 2023

1. Eligible insurance plans will have higher out-of-pocket limits
The gist: In addition to requiring the minimum deductible of $1,500 per individual/$3,000 per family, there is also a maximum out-of-pocket amount for HDHPs. Since those limits are going up for 2023, it’s possible an insurance plan that didn’t qualify in past years will qualify now.

Out-of-pocket costs are basically anything your insurance doesn’t reimburse you for. With an HDPH, you’re on the hook for at least $1,500 (individual) or $3,000 (family) before your insurance actually starts to cover the bills. And that is, of course, exactly what an HSA is useful for.

“You can use your HSA funds to pay for qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses if you haven’t reached your deductible,” says Jamieson Hopp, CFP. He is a financial planner at Seattle-based financial advisory firm Millennial Wealth. Copayments and coinsurance also count toward out-of-pocket expenses.

The details: For 2023, your insurance plan’s maximum out-of-pocket amount — in other words, the most you would have to pay from your own funds in a year — is $7,500 for an individual (an increase of $450 over 2022) or $15,000 for a family ($900 more than in 2022).

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2. You can contribute more (which means save more)
The gist: Almost every year, the amount of tax-free money you can put into your HSA increases to try to keep pace with inflation, which is great because it’s a smart idea to maximize your contribution, according to Hopp.

The details: For 2023, the maximum contribution is going up to $3,850 per year for individuals (a $200 increase from last year) and $7,750 per year for a family ($450 more than in 2022). And remember, this isn’t money you have to spend all in one year. With an HSA, it rolls over.

One crucial point, Hopp says, is that if your employer contributes to your HSA (lucky you), the money it puts in counts toward that $3,850/$7,750 limit.

What’s staying the same for 2023

It can be helpful to recap some of the other features and restrictions of an HSA, even though those didn't change from 2022 to 2023:

1. If you’re 55 or older, you can contribute even more

The amount allowed for “catch-up” contributions is still $1,000. That means anyone 55 or older can pay in $1,000 over and beyond the $3,850/$7,750 2023 contribution limits.

One added benefit with catch-up contributions: Both you and your spouse can make them if you have a family plan. If your spouse does not already have a separate HSA, your spouse will need to open a second, individual HSA in their name in order to put in their extra amount.

2. You can invest the money you’ve saved

If you began the new year with money left over in your HSA, you can choose to invest a portion of that rather than leaving it parked in your account, says Logan Allec. He’s a Los Angeles–based CPA and founder of the personal finance site Money Done Right.

“The biggest HSA benefit that people tend to miss is the opportunity for tax-free growth over decades,” he notes. “Some people view the HSA as just a quick win in order to pay medical expenses, but it can be much more than that. You should at least consider viewing your HSA as essentially another tax-free retirement account you can invest in for the long run.”

That means maxing out your contribution and investing the qualifying funds, he says. In fact, in some cases it may be advantageous to pay medical expenses from your regular bank account so your HSA money can be invested and continue to grow. If this works for you, be sure to save your receipts so you can reimburse yourself for eligible expenses later. (You’ll want to get expert advice on whether that’s a smart strategy for you. You don’t want to be caught in a situation where you really do need the money to pay medical bills and it’s not easily accessible.)

You typically need to have a certain amount of money in the account before you can begin investing. For many HSA plans, that’s $1,000.

Get all of your health care needs taken care of with the Optum Store. From virtual care options to prescription medication to over-the-counter products, we have you covered.


Additional sources
2023 changes: Society for Human Resource Management. IRS Announces 2022 Limits for HSAs and High-Deductible Health Plans.
Investment and HSAs: Optum Financial. Options to Invest Your HSA Funds.
Benefits of HSAs: Mayo Clinic. Health Savings Account: Is an HSA right for you?
HSA qualifications: IRS.gov. Publication 696, Health Savings Accounts and Other Tax-Favored Health Plans.