nurse with stethoscopeHealth Savings accounts are a great tool for preparing for medical expenses, both planned and unplanned. After a knee surgery last year tapped out our HSA, we bumped up our monthly contributions to try quickly build up to a useful amount. After putting the increase in place we promptly forgot about it and adjusted to the slight decrease in take home pay. Despite being forced to drop the amount contributed by the yearly caps the balance and the contributions have remained untouched and out of mind for several months.

Last week we got a bill for about $400 from the local hospital prompting me to call up and find out what our HSA balance was. To my surprise the balance was more than double what I expected! I had forgotten that we had bumped our monthly contribution months ago up and that in the meantime our employer had made a contribution which led to a significant balance. I quickly made sure the money was actually mine and faxed in the request form .

That's it, no muss no fuss and we didn't have to put the payment on a credit card or string it out for months at the hospital. As an added bonus our hospital has an incentive to pay early, so we save 5% on the total bill. When it comes to savings of any kind, the best method may be to, "set it and forget it".

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