HSA Headlines - 1/4/19 - Helpful HSA tips to start 2019 off right

Happy New Year and welcome to 2019! While millions of people are getting back to work after the holiday season, the start of a new year is the perfect time to take a closer look at your financial decisions for 2019, and this week we'll examine the best HSA tips from our year-end personal finance roundups so you can hit the ground running with your HSA contributions and qualified medical spending after the weekend. Let's dive in!

Over 55? Maximize your tax savings in this tax-advantaged account - Darla Mercado, CNBC

We cover HSAs and retirement in this column at a pretty steady rate, but we're still shocked to find that many HSA users aren't aware about "catch up contributions." On an individual level, you can contribute $3,500 to your HSA in 2019, but if you're over 55, you can contribute an additional $1,000 each year to your account. So that's $4,500 per year you can put toward qualifying healthcare expenses and your retirement nest egg.

Whether you started your retirement planning late or simply want to shield more of your money from taxes, this is a massively important provision to keep in mind as you approach Medicare eligibility at age 65. Here's the catch though: you can only apply catch-up contributions to one person at a time per account.

So, if you and your spouse use an HSA, only one can make catch-up contributions, you would need to have two HSAs open to both contribute the extra amount.

Getting the most out of your health savings account - Roger A. Young, Kiplinger

Kiplinger published a great piece on the inherent benefits of HSAs, as well as a few extremely important tips to keep in mind that could save you thousands in taxes.

One of the central benefits of HSAs is that they're portable: as long as you are enrolled in a high-deductible health plan (HDHP), you can contribute to an HSA on a yearly basis. So that means if you're self-employed, you can fund an HSA. But if you have the opportunity to fund yours through payroll deductions via your employer, that's the best route possible.

Exposing less of your money to taxes is a central benefit of tax-advantaged accounts, and those who enroll through their employer's HSA program have a leg up in avoiding traditional FICA (payroll) taxes.

Additionally, if you are trying to avoid crossing the Social Security tax threshold ($132,000 for 2019), an HSA is a great method to reduce your total allocation and avoid any unexpected large tax burdens.

HSA Headlines is a weekly roundup of the latest, most relevant news and conversations about your health savings. It appears every Friday, exclusively on the HSA Learning Center. And for more about your physical and financial well-being, be sure to follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

HSA updates, stories and deals, right in your inbox!