Watch our California Health Reform and Me video (below) to see if you might qualify for a health subsidy first:
We had a big question upon hearing about the streamlined health benefits allowed with California health reform's Metallic Plans especially since they were based on the very rich, Kaiser $30 no deductible copay plan. What would happen to HSA's after health reform hit the market in earnest Jan 1st 2014? Let's take a look at the options.
We've written extensively on the benefits of HSA's and we've been big proponents (and even members) of HSA plans since their inception for the simple reason that they were well-priced and their tax benefit furthered the savings for those able to fund the accounts. You can find detailed information on how the HSA's work at our page dedicated to them. By definition, the HSA's require a high deductible health plan in conjunction to a tax favored checking account where you fund money toward paying out of pocket expenses you may meet towards the high deductible. You would save on the insurance portion and if need be, use this savings for expenses that arise. If you had a good year, you would save that money and it could grow tax-free in the HSA account. It was very popular for over a decade and we weren't sure if they would survived the richer benefits landscape that Health Reform would usher in. Would there be high deductibles large enough to meet the Federal miminums.
We have to now introduce a newer term to delve into the HSA's future on the California health market. Please meet the Metallic Plans. As part of health reform, the law stipulates four basic levels of health plan benefits (and a catastrophic option for people under age 30). They are the Platinum (richest), Gold, Silver, and Bronze. Each level must meet a certain threshold of health benefits. For example, the Platinum plan must pay 90% of expected health care costs for the enrollee. The Gold would pay 80%. The Silver would pay 70% and the Bronze would pay 60%. If we were going to have an HSA eligible plan, it would be in the Bronze range...which is exactly what happened.
The individual family HSA plan is standardized as a $4500 deductible and $6350. The Group HSA plans will be similar with a little bit of flexibility. Preventative is covered at 100% on all the new plans (in-network, covered benefits). All other core benefits are subject to the main deductible. There's one more wrinkle to discuss.
The deductible for HSA plans under the ACA law are forced to have cumulative deductibles. This means that a party of two or more will have a family deductible. For example, if the deductible is $4500, one family member with very large bills would have to meet the family deductible of $9000. That's not great compared to the old "embedded deductible" of HSA plans before but it's written right into the law.
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Current Years Estimate; All those that file together on one 1040:
|Single Person:||$16k - $47k|
|2 People||$22k - $64k|
|3 People||$27k - $80k|
|4 People||$33k - $97k|
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