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Paying for health care can be challenging — but are you taking full advantage of all the resources available to you?
You might have access to a Health Savings Account (HSA) or a Flexible Spending Account (FSA), so let’s look at both.
An HSA is a personal savings account used to pay health care costs. If you’re enrolled in a high-deductible health plan, you also may be eligible to contribute to an HSA. You aren’t taxed on the money you put into this account or on the earnings generated from your contributions, as long as withdrawals are used for qualified health care costs such as deductibles, copayments and coinsurance. And there’s no “use it or lose it” provision with HSAs — the money stays in your account until you use it. In fact, you can carry your HSA with you all the way until retirement, when you can use the money to pay for qualified expenses that Medicare or Medicare Supplement Insurance (Medigap) doesn’t cover. In 2023, you can contribute up to $3,850 to an HSA, or $4,850 if you’re 55 or older; for family coverage, you can put in up to $7,750.
It’s important to keep in mind that your HSA’s tax benefits only apply when your withdrawals are used for qualified heath care costs. If you use the money for non-qualified expenses, it is considered taxable income, and you may also face a penalty of 20% on the amount withdrawn. However, once you turn 65, you can use your HSA funds for any purpose without a penalty, though the withdrawals will still count as taxable income.
Now, let’s turn to the Flexible Savings Account. An FSA may be available to you if you get health insurance through your employer. And because you fund your FSA with pretax dollars, your contributions can reduce your taxable income. (In 2023, you can contribute up to $3,050 to an FSA.) Your employer may also choose to contribute to your FSA. Once your account is funded and active, you submit claims with proof of your medical expenses, along with a statement that these expenses aren’t covered by your plan, and you can be reimbursed for your costs.
It’s helpful to have a good estimate of your yearly medical expenses for a Flexible Savings Account. That’s because an FSA generally needs to be spent before the end of the plan year — if you don’t use all the money, you can only carry over some of it and any remaining balance is forfeited. (You can carry over up to $610 from 2023 into 2024.)
You can't contribute to an HSA and a traditional FSA in the same year. But if you have an HSA, you might be able to use what’s known as a Limited Purpose Flexible Spending Account (LPFSA) for dental and vision expenses. You’ll need to check with your plan to see if this option is available.
Managing your health care expenses should be a key part of your overall financial strategy — so consider putting an HSA or FSA to work for you.
Chad Choate III, AAMS
828 3rd Avenue West
Bradenton, FL 34205
This article was written by Edward Jones for use by your local Edward Jones Financial Advisor.
Edward Jones, Member SIPC
The NCH Wingard Stroke Institute has earned The Joint Commissions Gold Seal of Approval for Comprehensive Stroke Center Accreditation by demonstrating continuous compliance with its performance standards. There are only 4 designated Comprehensive Stroke Centers in Florida accredited by The Joint Commission and NCH Wingard Stroke Center will become the 5th and only center on the West coast of Florida to achieve this designation. For more than 70 years, The Joint Commission has been a global driver of quality improvement and patient safety in health care. The Gold Seal is a symbol of quality that reflects a healthcare organizations highest commitment to providing safe and quality patient care. Proper accreditation is now more important than ever for a hospital to display its commitment to high-quality, comprehensive patient care. Thats why The Joint Commission focuses on quality care with the goal of helping hospitals become high reliability organizations for delivering safe, effective care. Achieving Joint Commission Comprehensive Stroke Certification is the benchmark for delivering the highest level of care in the healthcare industry. No other certifications are as comprehensive, respected, and as widely recognized as the Joint Commission. We could not be more proud of this amazing accreditation we receive today, said Mazen AbuAwad, MD, Medical Director for the NCH Wingard Stroke Institute. This accomplishment as the only Joint Commission designated Comprehensive Stroke Center in SW Florida is the culmination of years of teamwork. It represents a commitment to quality process improvements that are ultimately reflected in the higher-than-average outcomes and care we provide to stroke patients who come to NCH as opposed to going to a non-accredited hospital. NCH had already received certification as a Thrombectomy-Capable Stroke Center from The Joint Commission in coordination with the American Heart Association and American Stroke Association. This designation makes NCH the one and only certified Joint Commission Comprehensive Stroke Center in Southwest Florida. Todays designation from The Joint Commission further confirms that NCH is the best place to go in a stroke event, said NCH President and CEO, Paul Hiltz. Our community should feel confident in choosing the best quality in SWFL, right here at NCH. We are always doing more to strive for excellence for our patients. As a healthcare accreditor, The Joint Commission works with healthcare organizations across care settings to inspire a safer and higher quality of care that is more equitable and compassionate, says Ken Grubbs, DNP, MBA, RN, executive vice president of Accreditation and Certification Operations and chief nursing officer, The Joint Commission. Through collaborating on innovative solutions and evidence-based resources and tools, The Joint Commission helps drive improvement while maintaining accountability through our leading survey methods and standards. We commend NCH for its commitment to advancing safety, quality, equity, and compassion for all patients.
In the journey through the golden years, regular health check-ups emerge as a cornerstone of proactive senior care, offering a vital means of maintaining overall well-being. As our bodies naturally undergo changes with age, routine health examinations become essential for early detection and prevention of potential health issues. Regular check-ups enable healthcare professionals to monitor key indicators such as blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and glucose levels, providing invaluable insights into an individual's cardiovascular and metabolic health. Detecting and addressing these factors early on can significantly reduce the risk of chronic conditions, ensuring seniors can lead healthier and more active lives.Moreover, regular health check-ups serve as a proactive approach to holistic senior care, encompassing not only physical but also mental well-being. Cognitive health assessments, screenings for conditions like osteoporosis, and discussions about mental health concerns are integral components of these check-ups. By fostering open communication between seniors and healthcare providers, these examinations create opportunities for personalized care plans and the management of age-related health challenges. In essence, the importance of regular health check-ups for seniors extends beyond the diagnosis of illnesses; it embodies a commitment to preventive care, early intervention, and the promotion of a higher quality of life in the later years.
For older adults, life can become quieter and lonely as the years go by. One way to combat this life change is by owning a pet. The health benefits of owning a pet for seniors far outweigh the work that goes into owning one.Our furry, feathery, or even scaly family members can provide a variety of physical, mental, and emotional benefits. The bond between seniors and their pets goes far beyond mere companionship. Here are some of the top health benefits of owning a pet for seniorsReduces Loneliness And IsolationAs they get older, many seniors experience feelings of social isolation and loneliness. This can lead to depression and other significant health problems. Having a pet, whether its a dog, cat, or even a bird, provides companionship and helps to reduce these feelings of isolation. Pets are loyal and loving, offering unconditional affection that can significantly improve your mental and emotional well-being.Increases Physical ActivityOne of the biggest benefits of owning a pet, particularly an active dog, is that it forces you to be physical. Dogs need to be walked, which in turn encourages regular physical activity on your part. Seniors with dogs are more likely to go for daily walks or play with them in the yard. Even this little bit of physical activity helps maintain mobility, joint flexibility, and cardiovascular health. In addition, physical activity of any kind leads to a stronger immune system and a reduced risk of chronic diseases like heart disease and diabetes.Lowers Stress And AnxietySimply looking at a picture of a little puppy or kitten is almost guaranteed to put a smile on your face. Studies show that petting a dog or cat can trigger the release of the mood-regulating hormone serotonin. It also increases the feel good hormone dopamine while decreasing the level of the stress hormone cortisol. This fluctuation helps to reduce stress and anxiety levels. Additionally, a pets rhythmic, soothing presence can help lower blood pressure, contributing to overall cardiovascular health.Boosts Mental AlertnessInteracting with pets can stimulate mental alertness and cognitive function. While training your pet and teaching them tricks helps to boost their mental capacity, it also helps to maintain your mental acuity. This mental stimulation can delay the onset of cognitive decline and reduce your risk of dementia and Alzheimers disease.Fosters A Sense Of PurposeMost of us work hard and look forward to the day we can finally hang up our work boots and retire. However, when that day finally comes, many seniors often experience a diminished sense of purpose. Owning a pet can give you back a sense of responsibility and purpose. Caring for a pet requires routine tasks like feeding, grooming, and exercise, providing structure to your days and a reason to get out of bed in the morning.Enhances Social ConnectionsA study has shown pet owners are more apt to meet their neighbors than non-pet owners. Pets make great icebreakers for seniors when they are out on walks or at pet-friendly facilities. This can give you an opportunity to connect with others and strike up a conversation.Reduces The Risk Of Allergies And AsthmaAlthough it sounds like it would be the opposite, having a pet has been found to reduce the risk of developing allergies and asthma the older we get. This can be an added health benefit for seniors who have had pets throughout their lives.Get Your Purrfect CompanionOwning a pet can do wonders for your health and well-being. These little bundles of joy enrich seniors lives in ways that extend far beyond companionship. The emotional, physical, and mental health benefits of having a pet cannot be argued or overlooked. Seniors who share their lives with a furry friend often experience reduced stress, increased physical activity, enhanced emotional well-being, and a greater sense of purpose. This article was submitted by VIPCare. For more information visit the website: getvipcare.com
Experience and Background I am a financial advisor in Bradenton, FL, and began my career with Edward Jones in 2017. As a financial advisor, I want to find out what's important to you and help you build personalized strategies to achieve your goals. As a lifelong Manatee County resident, I graduated from the University of South Florida and was a teacher in Manatee County before joining Edward Jones. My driving force is to change people's lives in a positive way, and what better place than my home to do that. Whether you're planning for retirement, saving for college for children or grandchildren or just trying to protect the financial future of the ones you care for the most, we can work together to develop specific strategies to help you achieve your goals. We will also monitor your progress to help make sure you stay on track or determine if any adjustments need to be made. Throughout it all, we're dedicated to providing you with top-notch client service. But we're not alone. Thousands of people and advanced technology support from our office can help ensure you receive the most current and comprehensive guidance. In addition, we welcome the opportunity to work with your attorney, accountant and other trusted professionals to deliver a comprehensive strategy that leverages everyone's expertise. Working together, we can help you develop a complete, tailored strategy to help you achieve your financial goals. I currently volunteer with the Manatee Hurricane football Broadcast and Booster Club, serve on my church's trustees council and have previously served as a leader in Young Life. I am a member of the Manatee Chamber of Commerce and an alumnus of their Leadership Manatee program. I have been married to my childhood sweetheart, Ashley, for 15 years and we have a son, Wesley, and daughter, Camryn. We enjoy watching our children play their sports and traveling as a family.