It's not often that I give money advice here, mostly because I feel kind of unqualified. (Have no fear, for my next money post, I'm bringing in a professional & we are talking about how to budget for IVF!) But this topic today is one I cannot shy away from because our HSA has been a LIFESAVER during our infertility journey and has proven to be very needed even after we got pregnant. So let's dive in to why you need an HSA if you are going through infertility treatments (or if you are preparing to begin treatments in the future!)
RELATED: How to Pay for IVF
First, let's talk about what the heck an HSA even is. HSA stands for Health Savings Account. This savings account is taken directly out of your paycheck and are pre-taxed dollars and you are not taxed on the use of the money in your HSA. Meaning, this money is never ever taxed. It's just for you to use for qualifying medical expenses. The money in your HSA also never expires, so it rolls over from year to year! Meaning you can grow one hefty savings account.
Second, let's talk about how Parker and I paid for Infertility Treatments before we started using an HSA… We used Credit Cards. We would save up money, then use a credit card to pay at the Clinic and then we would try to pay off that credit card right away. Welp. Newsflash: we hardly ever budgeted enough or saved up enough to pay the treatments or medications off in full and we are still paying off those credit cards two years later… I DO NOT recommend taking this route.
Once we turned 26 and got kicked off our parents' insurance plans, we were "forced" into buying insurance from the company we worked for. Said company offered a High Deductible Plan with an HSA option. But not only that, the HDP+HSA an amazing HSA perk: the company would match up to $70 per pay period for employees that signed up for their HSA program. That meant that they were matching $140 per month of pre-taxed dollars. We made the decision to put in the max match amount into our HSA from each of our paychecks every month, so while we were both working there, we were putting $70 from Parker's paycheck and $70 from my paycheck into our HSA twice a month. Our company would then match both of our $140 contributions which meant that every month we were putting $560 into our HSA every single month. That adds up fast! Plus, putting $560 into savings from our paychecks every month just wasn't an option because #creditcarddebt and #bills. So having an option where we only had to contribute $280 per month and our company would match that was like a dream!
However, shortly after we began building our HSA account, I quit working for that company, so that amount was cut in half. We (Parker's paycheck + the company match) now contribute $280 to our HSA every month-- which still adds up SO fast!
If you or your partner work full-time, check with your company to see if they have an HSA match. If they do, that is free (untaxed) money right into your HSA account for your Infertility Treatments!
IT SHOULD BE NOTED: we had to choose a higher deductible insurance plan in order to be able to opt into the HSA match program that Parker's company offers. We made this decision BECAUSE our insurance would not cover any of our Infertility Treatments but we would be able to use our HSA to pay for our Infertility Treatments.
Our HSA helped us pay for just about half of our IVF cycle. If we hadn't have been part of the clinical trial we were part of, we would have waited to pay for the entire cycle with our HSA. THAT'S HOW MUCH YOU NEED AN HSA. (We paid out of pocket--with money we fundraised-- for the other half because we wanted to get into the clinical trial and were on a time crunch)
IT SHOULD BE NOTED: There is a yearly limit to what you are able to contribute to your HSA. So paying for a full round of IVF may take a few years. The HSA contribution limit for 2019 is $6,900. (But remember: HSA money rolls over from year to year!!)
Infertility Treatments are expensive. Saving for them can be SO DAUNTING. Especially when you've got the rest of your life's bills staring you in the face every month. A few other perks of having an HSA:
The money is in a separate account with a special debit card (that can ONLY be used for qualifying medical expenses) so it is out of sight & out of mind. You're saving without even thinking about it.
The money comes straight out of your paycheck before you even see it. Whether you sign up for an HSA through your company or your bank, your HSA money comes out of your paycheck before you even get your paycheck so it's like you never had that money to begin with and then your balance grows in your HSA account with each paycheck.
I mentioned this before, but unlike an FSA (flexible spending account), your HSA money rolls over from year to year so the account just keeps growing.
Parker and I have loved having our HSA. We recommend it to literally everyone because it has been so helpful for us! It helped us pay for IVF which ended in a miracle pregnancy. And now, we can use our HSA money to pay for things like:
Labor and Delivery Costs (that aren't covered by our insurance)
the Owlet Baby Monitor (which Parker is insistent on & I'm not complaining about)
As you can tell from this post, I am a HUGE fan of the HSA. (Especially when you or your partner work for a company that has an HSA match!) I cannot say enough good things about having an HSA while going through infertility treatments.
Do you have any questions about an HSA? Have you used an HSA before?