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piggy bank - paying for long term care insurance

Many people are aware that expenses for long term care services can be paid by a HSA – a health savings account established in conjunction with a high deductible medical plan. Fewer people know that long term care insurance premiums are also considered a qualified medical expense and therefore can be paid on a pre-tax basis through a HSA.

As you know, a health savings account is a tax-exempt financial vehicle set up to pay or reimburse certain medical expenses for eligible individuals. Because they are funded with pre-tax dollars and not subject to taxes at withdrawal, they can be a very helpful way to cover health care expenses. Another attractive feature is that contributions to a HSA can carry over to the following year and accumulate. In addition, the funds are able to be invested and grow tax-free.

In order to open a HSA someone must be covered under a high deductible health plan, and meet some other requirements.

Here are a few items to consider regarding using a HSA to pay for LTC insurance:

  • The long-term care insurance contract must be tax-qualified (which most all policies tend to be these days).
  • There is a limitation on eligible long term care insurance premiums, as well as a limitation on annual deposits into a HSA.
  • The deduction for eligible long-term care insurance premiums is limited to a maximum dollar amount, defined by the taxpayer’s age on the last day of that tax year.

The limitations for 2021 are shown below:

    • Age 40 or under: $450 (was $430 in 2020)
    • Age 41-50:  $850 (was $810 in 2020)
    • Age 51-60:  $1,690 (was $1,630 in 2020)
    • Age 61-70:  $4,520 (was $4,350 in 2020)
    • Age 71 or older:  $5,640 (was $5,430 in 2020)
Now during tax season it’s timely to consider utilizing an existing HSA to cover your long term care insurance premium in a tax-favorable way.