Group Health Savings Account (HSA)

A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged savings account that can be funded by employees whose only health care coverage is a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). An HSA is an alternative way for employees to pay for their qualified health care expenses and save for future qualified health care expenses on a tax-free basis.

Employees own and control the money in their HSA. The employee decides how to spend the money and what types of investments to make with the money to help it grow.

Employees must be covered by a HDHP to take advantage of an HSA. An HDHP generally costs less than traditional health care insurance, so the money employees save on insurance can be put into an HSA.

Following are some general features of HSAs:

  • The contributions employees make to their HSA are tax deductible, which reduces employees' taxable income.
  • Interest earned on HSA money is not subject to income taxes — in other words, employees don’t have to pay income tax on the earnings generated by the investments in their HSA.
  • Employees may make tax-free withdrawals to pay for qualified health care expenses.
  • Employees own all of the money in their HSA and it is the employee's to keep — even if the employee changes medical plans.

Consider establishing an HSA to help your employees maximize the benefits of an HDHP. Employees may open a health savings account with their own financial institution, or we can help you set up your employees' accounts through our preferred vendor. 

For more information, contact your insurance agent/broker or a member of your Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Nebraska sales or account service team

HEALTH INSURANCE TERMS


COINSURANCE

The percentage of the bill you pay after your deductible has been met.

COPAY

A fixed amount you pay when you get a covered health service.

Tiered benefit plan

A health care plan featuring multiple levels of benefits based on the network status of a particular provider. 

DEDUCTIBLE

The annual amount you pay for covered health services before your insurance begins to pay.

emergency care services

Any covered services received in a hospital emergency room setting.

SUBSTANCE ABUSE DISORDER SERVICES

Includes behavioral health treatment, counseling, and psychotherapy


in-network provider

A provider contracted by your insurance company to accept an agreed upon payment for covered services. 

OUT-OF-network provider

A term for providers that aren’t contracting with your insurance company. (Your out-of-pocket costs will tend to be more expensive if you go to an out-of-network provider.)

out-of-pocket

Your expenses for medical care that aren’t reimbursed by insurance, including deductibles, coinsurance and co-payments.

penalty

If you can afford health insurance, but choose not to buy it, you must have a health coverage exemption or pay a tax penalty on your federal income tax return.

premium

The amount you pay to your health insurance company each month. 


Preventive services

Health care services that focus on the prevention of disease and health maintenance.

rehab SERVICES

Services and devices to help you recover if you are injured or have surgery. This includes physical, occupational and speech therapy.

special enrollment period

The time after the Open Enrollment Period when you can still purchase health insurance only if you have a qualifying life event (losing other health coverage, having a baby, getting married, moving).

specialist

A physician who has a majority of his or her practice in fields other than internal or general medicine, obstetrics/gynecology, pediatrics or family practice.