Tuesday, December 24, 2013

New HSA Guidelines for 2014

For those of you who have a Health Savings Account, here are the 2014 Guidelines.

New HSA Guidelines for 2014

Here are some highlights for 2014.

Minimum Individual Deductible
Minimum Family Deductible
Maximum Individual Out-of-Pocket (in network)
Maximum Family Out-of-Pocket (in network)
Maximum HSA Individual Contribution
Maximum HSA Family Contribution

  1. Maximum contributions are $3300 for an individual (up $50) and $6550 for a family (up $100). Person’s aged 55 years old and older can add an additional $1000/year as a catch up contribution (no change).

  2. Minimum Deductibles are the same. The minimum deductible for an individual plan is $1,250 and for a family it is $2,500.

  3. Catch up contributions for those 55 years old and older is still $1,000/year.

  4. Maximum out of pocket has changed. The maximum out of pocket (including deductible) on an individual plan is now $6350 (up $100) and for a family it is $12,700 (up $200).

Items that haven’t changed, but are beneficial to know.

  • You can put the full amount in immediately without waiting (This even applies to new hires or a person starting an HSA qualified health plan in the middle of a calendar year).

  • You can put the maximum contribution into your HSA account, regardless of your deductible.

  • A person can choose to accumulate HSA qualified expenses over the course of years (instead of taking the expenses out of the HSA account at the time of service). Every year they need to fill out a Form 8889 and carry the balances forward. At 65 years old, they can then take a distribution equal to the total amount of expenses incurred tax free.

  • An individual can take a one-time distribution from their IRA to fund their HSA account.

  • As always, you have until April 15th (or when you file your taxes) to contribute to your HSA savings account for last year.

Check with your accountant for more information on how this would specifically apply to you.

Here is a link to the original IRS announcement: http://www.irs.gov/pub/irs-drop/rp-13-25.pdf.

Copyright 2013 Robert C Slayton

Monday, December 16, 2013

Have Children that are forced out of the Exchange due to not qualifying (or being forced onto Medicaid)? Read this.

If you are like many parents, you want your children to have good health insurance coverage. Yet due to the way the system is designed, ESPECIALLY in Illinois. You as parents can qualify for a subsidy, but healthcare.gov will not allow you to enroll your children in the exchange (due to them qualifying for Medicaid - in Illinois it's called AllKids).

There is also another obvious glitch. I've had multiple people who have had 3+ children all under the age of 18 where only the youngest qualifies for Medicaid and all the rest QUALIFY FOR NOTHING. The letter states that they should go to a local clinic.


  1. Remain on your existing plan (if possible). Sometimes this is the best option if the following options would be more expensive overall.
  2. Place the people eligible for a subsidy on a subsidy eligible plan. Next take the non-eligible children and purchase an off-exchange policy directly from the insurance company. Use an agent to help guide you how to do this. If this is cheaper/better coverage, this is a good alternative.
  3. Purchase one family policy off-exchange. It probably won't save you any money other than having the combined deductibles and out of pocket maximums and one bill.
  4. Do an expedited appeal through their secret special website: http://externalappeal.com/. It takes 72 hours (if you qualify to appeal) and may cost around $25. But $25 is better than having your children uninsured.
  5. If you don't want your children on Medicaid, you could estimate your income as higher for 2014. The issue with this is your family subsidy will go down when you boost your income up. The income guidelines are so generous for Illinois' AllKids (medicaid) plans, that you may wipe out the majority of your subsidy by boosting your income. See http://www.allkids.com/income.html. For example, a family of 4 would need to make over $74,892/year not to qualify for AllKids.


  1. If your eligibility letter stated that the children's applications have been submitted to your state Medicaid program, then follow up with your state program to make sure they actually made it. If you are unsure, apply directly to your state Medicaid office. Cross your fingers and hope for the best (and expect to hear 1 - 3 months later).
  2. Purchase an off-exchange policy for your children or keep your children on an existing policy until you receive a determination from Medicaid. You may be able to purchase a Short Term Medical plan instead of a full-blown policy. Realize that short term medical plans do not cover any pre-existing conditions, are of limited length
  3. Always consider talking to your state representative and see whether they can help facilitate your application. These politicians work for you and are happy to help you out. If you don't know who your local politician is, go to votesmart.org to find out.

If you find out any other options, please leave a comment or FB, G+, LinkedIn me to let me know what it is.

Thank you,