Fresh off the heels of my health insurance mail order prescription savings finding, leading to $120 in annual savings on prescription drugs, my employer just contributed an additional $400 to my health savings account (HSA).
I simply showed up to an annual physical exam (100% covered by my HDHP because it is considered preventative, by the way). Well, it wasn’t too simple. I did get poked by a needle and have lived to tell about it.
My wife did the same.
As a result, we received a bonus $400 contributed to my HSA.
To be honest, this did not catch me off guard. I knew this bonus incentive would happen, which is why I scheduled the appointments in the first place. It wasn’t exactly advertised heavily by my company, but I read every last line of my description of benefits and immediately scheduled the appointments.
I bring this up to serve as an FYI and reminder for others to:
- research and find out if your employer offers any bonus HSA contributions
- do what you need to do before it is too late in the year to be eligible for the incentive or you leave your job
Employers are starting to wise up and realize that a little bit of preventative health care can go a long way in reducing the health care premiums they are paying to cover their employees. As a result, there are more incentives than ever before that are up for grabs as they are working with the HDHP insurance providers to creative incentives for their employees.
HSA bonus incentives that I’ve seen include:
- the aforementioned preventative physical exam
- controlled blood pressure
- controlled body weight
- healthy cholesterol levels
- taking nutrition programs or other health educational courses
My wife previously had an HSA through Lumenos (part of Blue Cross Anthem) that offered the following incentives:
- Complete a “MyHealth Assessment” online $50
- Enroll in a Health Coaching Program $100
- Graduate from a Health Coaching Program $200
- Complete a Healthy Lifestyles: Tobacco-Free Program $50
- Complete a Healthy Lifestyles: Healthy Weight Program $50
That’s $450 just waiting to be grabbed, with minimal effort.
One of the best features of your HSA is you can take it with you when you leave your employer. So if your employer is offering these incentives, make sure you are taking advantage of them while you can, so the money is yours to keep and use towards future health care costs. And don’t settle for a poor HSA – you can transfer funds anytime to one of the best HSA providers.
Note: employer bonus incentives do count towards your maximum HSA contribution limit. However, in order to get them you will likely need to make your contributions through your employer prior to the end of the calendar year versus the typical HSA contribution deadline, which is the same date as the tax deadline. Many HSA employers even let you front-load your HSA contribution. There are also ways to contribute to an HSA outside of an employer’s payroll deduction. Unfortunately, you can’t transfer funds from an FSA to an HSA (I looked into it).
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