Personal Finance

Using a Health Savings Account to Pay for Long-Term-Care Insurance

Elderly couple doing some calculations

[Question]Can I withdraw money tax-free from my health savings account to pay my long-term-care insurance premiums? If I can, is there a limit to the amount I can use? Does it have to be for a stand-alone long-term-care policy, or can it be for a life insurance policy with long-term-care benefits, too?

SEE ALSO: 10 Things You Need to Know About Health Savings Accounts

[Answer]You can use HSA money to pay premiums for an eligible long-term-care insurance policy, but the amount you can withdraw tax-free each year is based on your age at the end of the year. The older you are, the more you can withdraw tax-free. The amount increases slightly every year, and the limits are per person. In 2018, people who are 40 or younger can withdraw up to $420 tax-free from an HSA to pay their long-term-care premiums. People age 41 to 50 can withdraw $780, those age 51 to 60 can withdraw $1,560, those age 61 to 70 can withdraw $4,160, and if you're 71 or older you can withdraw $5,200.

To qualify for the tax-free HSA withdrawals or the tax deduction for long-term-care insurance premiums (see below), the policy must be a "qualified long-term-care insurance contract," which includes most stand-alone long-term-care policies currently on the market. Ask your insurer if your policy is eligible. Life insurance policies that can also provide a long-term-care benefit don't qualify.

If you don't have an HSA or you don't use HSA money for these expenses, your long-term-care insurance premiums may be tax-deductible up to the same limits listed above. To qualify for the medical-expense deduction in 2018, you must itemize, and your eligible medical expenses are deductible only to the extent that they exceed 7.5% of your adjusted gross income. Your state may offer an additional break from your state income taxes for qualified long-term-care insurance premiums.

SEE ALSO: 50 Ways to Save on Health Care

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.


The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Nasdaq, Inc.

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Retirement