Responding to the growing popularity of Health Savings Account eligible medical insurance plans (commonly referred to as HSAs), the Group Insurance Trust (CPA ProtectPlus) has expanded its current offerings with a third such plan, Protect HSA $2,500.
With premiums approaching the lower end of ProtectPlus co-pay plans, the new plan offers significantly greater benefits than the two already established Protect HSA plans.
As with all HSA-eligible plans, Protect HSA$2,500 features a high annual deductible that must be satisfied before benefits are paid by the plan. For the new plan the deductible is $2,500 per individual and $5,000 per family.
Though not greatly different from HSA $2,850 in respect to the deductible, the difference in benefits is large indeed.
After the deductible is met HSA $2,500 provides 100 percent coverage for all in-network office visits, professional services, emergency and in-patient hospitalization, hospital and outpatient surgery, lab costs and more.
It also pays 70 percent of the negotiated fee for all these services when provided out-of-network. In contrast, HSA $1,500 and $2,850 pay 70 percent of negotiated fees for in-network services and 50 percent of negotiated fees out-of-network.
Those considering an HSA eligible plan should keep in mind some important facts about how these plans work. First, annual deductibles and out-of-pocket maximums are applied somewhat differently in most HSA eligible plans than they are in traditional copay plans. Most copay plans “embed” the individual deductible within the family deductible.
This allows one family member to meet his/her deductible or out-of-pocket maximum before the entire family deductible or out-of-pocket maximum is met. However, most HSAs do not embed individual deductibles or out-of-pocket maximums within the family deductible and out-of-pocket maximum amounts. This is done in part because of the regulations governing HSAs and in part to reduce premium costs. As a result, for HSA subscribers covering family members, the entire family deductible and out-of-pocket maximum must be met before any family member’s deductible or out-of-pocket maximum is considered met.
It’s important to be clear about the two elements involved in HSAs that are commonly confused. This confusion stems in large part from the misleading, generic use of the term HSA.
The principle to keep in mind is that the law granting HSA tax benefits intends for subscribers to combine a high-deductible health plan (HDHP, but also called an HSA eligible plan) with a tax-exempt trust or custodial account through a financial institution. The latter is the “health savings account” that gives the entire program its name.
There are now many institutions that have HSA trustee account programs, and ProtectPlus HSA subscribers are free to use the financial institution of their choice. However, as a convenience, the Trust provides access to Health Savings Accounts through Bank of New York Mellon, US Bank, and, most recently, Alliant Credit Union. For more information regarding ProtectPlus HSA plans and Health Savings Account program visit CPA ProtectPlus, or simply compare HSA Plans here.
Also See “HSA Factors To Consider (Part 1 & 2)” for more information.