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The Difference Between HSA and FSA

For many of us, the end of the calendar year does not just mean it’s the holiday season — it’s also open enrollment time for health insurance. Whether you are signing up on marketplace, in your workplace, or independently — this is when many of us look ahead to determine what kind of healthcare coverage we will want to choose going into 2023.

Navigating healthcare coverage choices and terminology can be challenging. After all, most of us only worry about this stuff once a year, wait for our insurance card, and forget about it. But to help you get acclimated to this year’s enrollment, let’s review some terms, so you make good choices and get the most bang for your buck.

You’ll see the acronyms HSA and FSA come up frequently as you troll through healthcare information. There is a significant difference between the two.

What is an HSA?

Heathcare.gov describes an HSA as a type of savings account that lets you set aside money on a pre-tax basis to pay for qualified medical expenses. The untaxed funds in the Health Savings Account can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses like deductibles, copayments, coinsurance, and some other expenses — resulting in lower out-of-pocket healthcare costs.

But here’s something important to note — HSAs can be used ONLY with high-deductible health plans, which is the choice for about 30 million Americans right now.

When to Use an HSA

Here’s an example of when you would use your HSA. Let’s say you break your arm. Ouch. To correct the injury, you need surgery. Even though your health insurance may cover the bulk of the surgery, your patient responsibility or co-pay might be several hundred dollars. You can use the money you tucked away in your HSA to pay that deductible.

There are some dos and don’ts when it comes to using your HSA funds. Let’s unpack one. If you travel internationally, either through work or leisure, you can use your HSA to pay for treatment in a foreign country as well as any prescribed drug you purchase and consume in another country if the drug is legal in both the other country and the United States.

There are many stipulations regarding the use of an HSA. It’s best to check what counts as a qualified medical expense based on criteria set by the IRS. If you use your HSA for an expense other than eligible medical expenses, you can subject yourself to significant IRS penalties after being flagged for an audit.

What Is an FSA?

An FSA, or Flexible Spending Account, is similar to an HSA. If you have a health plan through a job, you can use a Flexible Spending Account (FSA) to pay for copayments, deductibles, some drugs, and some other healthcare costs.

A Flexible Spending Account is a special account you put money into that you use to pay for certain out-of-pocket health care costs without paying taxes on that money.

Sometimes an employer will make contributions to your FSA, although it’s not required, or money can be taken from your paycheck and put into the FSA.

FSA vs. HSA

Here are two very important differences between these two savings plans.

  1. Generally, you must use the money in an FSA within the plan year. An HSA, on the other hand, has no “use it or lose it” provision. HSA money is there for you to use well into the future.
  2. You own the money in your HSA. Your employer owns the money in your FSA.

Utilizing Health Accounts at Any Lab Test Now®

One of the medical expenses you can pay for with both an HSA and FSA is diagnostic lab work from Any Lab Test Now®. We have thousands of tests available to you, providing comprehensive health screenings that allow you to focus on your family’s health.

At Any Lab Test Now®, we provide clear, concise, and understandable results. You also have the option to glean additional information with our DialCare service. This allows you to consult with our provider about your results. The clarity you receive from a medical professional can affect the way you handle your health and can be lifesaving.

Remember, at Any Lab Test Now®, the lab tests we provide are confidential, affordable, and convenient. You own the results, and you choose how to proceed with them, whether that means consulting with your provider for further details or perhaps the results give you the peace of mind you were seeking.

Obtaining lab testing through blood tests is a very precise indicator of your health. It tracks your overall well-being, can detect issues with organs, or how well you are managing a disease. It is an important look at your overall wellness.

Stay on top of your family’s health by utilizing our diagnostic lab testing, which can be paid for using your FSA or HSA. Call now to schedule an appointment at a location near you.

How to Use My FSA?

When it comes to flexible spending accounts or FSAs, the phrase “Use it or Lose it” is typically first to come to mind. However, it may be a surprise to learn just how much Americans actually lose in unused contributions. It’s estimated that more than $400 million is forfeited every year in FSA/HSA funds! That’s because we either miss or forget our spending deadlines. An FSA is a great deal if you use it wisely. It allows you to put away pre-tax dollars for eligible healthcare services and products — including everything from co-pays to prescriptions.

Typically, you must spend all the money in your FSA account by the end of the year or risk losing it. However, we are getting a little extension thanks to the COVID relief bill implemented late last year. This bill allows the FSA money you accrued in 2020 to still be available to you until December 31, 2021. In addition, the money you accrue in 2021 will be available to you until December 31, 2022. With the extended deadlines, you can plan out how to spend your FSA dollars on services that can directly impact your health rather than rush to spend the money on boxes of bandages and containers of calamine lotion you don’t necessarily need.

One of the services many people don’t think of using their FSA money on is lab testing. Over the past year, many of us put off an annual check-up from our primary care doctor so as not to risk exposure to COVID-19.  You don’t have to wait until your next doctor’s visit for your next overall health assessment. Any Lab Test Now® has a wide variety of tests — all of which fall under the FSA guidelines — that can track different aspects of your physical well-being.

The Comprehensive Male and Female Panels are two of the best choices for men and women looking to take their health into their own hands and be smart about FSA spending. Both panels include a Complete Metabolic Panel (CMP) and a Complete Blood Count (CBC); two blood tests that offer vital health information. These tests are essential to understanding your electrolyte and hydration status, kidney function, liver function, and blood cell values. Each panel provides information for you to self-monitor your health and discuss with your doctor to better understand your body and learn to manage your healthcare proactively.  

Here is a look at what else each panel includes.

Comprehensive Female Panel:

No matter what stage of life you are in, the Comprehensive Female Panel will help you recognize and address hormone imbalances and the overall condition of your health.

The Comprehensive Female Panel includes the following tests:

  • Cholesterol (Lipid) Panel
  • Estradiol
  • Testosterone (Free and Total)
  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
  • HbA1C (Hemoglobin A1C)
  • Progesterone
  • DHEA-Sulfate
  • FSH (Follicle Stimulating Hormone)
  • LH (Luteinizing Hormone)

Comprehensive Male Panel:

An important aspect of the Comprehensive Male Panel is the inclusion of the test for prostate cancer, which is one of the most common types of cancers among men.

The Comprehensive Male Panel includes the following tests:

  • PSA (Prostate-Specific Antigen)
  • Cholesterol (Lipid) Panel
  • Testosterone (Free and Total)
  • TSH (Thyroid Stimulating Hormone)
  • HbA1C (Hemoglobin A1C)
  • DHEA-S (Helps in the evaluation of your adrenal gland function)

Be at Ease 

Fasting is required for both the Male and Female Comprehensive Panels. What isn’t required is an appointment. You can walk into your nearest Any Lab Test Now location to have these tests, and any other lab tests that may be beneficial to you, completed and covered by your FSA dollars. We provide a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 190+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with preferred CDC protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to help every customer feel at ease as we continue to navigate through the pandemic. We are here to help!

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now location at www.anylabtestnow.com.

Don’t Let Your FSA Money Go to Waste

2020 is almost over.  Don’t let your FSA money go to waste!  

Due to the pandemic, many people are finding themselves with a higher-than-usual balance in their flexible spending accounts (FSA) at this point in the year.

The coronavirus has turned 2020 upside-down. Fewer people have been visiting doctors’ offices. Elective surgeries were postponed. Other services, including daycares, which are eligible for FSA dollars, closed down.  This has many worried about the tax-free dollars they haven’t used and stand to lose.

For example, during last year’s open enrollment, a parent may have put aside $2,500 in pre-tax income in a flexible spending account to help pay for childcare for the year ahead. When daycares closed due to the pandemic, that money wasn’t spent. Even if the daycare reopened, it is likely the parent is concerned about how to spend the money by the end of the year so as not to lose it.

There are plenty of ways to spend your money wisely and still meet the deadline for flexible spending accounts while gathering some vital information that will help you take control of your health. We are talking about lab tests, which are covered under your FSA.

Here are five tests from Any Lab Test Now you could take that would show a baseline you could share with your physician.

Annual Check-Up Panel

If you weren’t able to make it to your doctor for an annual physical and blood work due to COVID concerns, this is the test for you. The Annual Check-Up Panel evaluates your overall health by establishing a baseline for a number of very important tests, including your blood counts, kidney function, liver function, electrolytes, total cholesterol, triglycerides, HDL, LDL and thyroid function. Fluctuations in these could signal problems.

Cholesterol Tests

The American Heart Association (AHA) recommends all adults get their cholesterol checked every four to six years. If you have a family history of high cholesterol, it is a good idea to get tested annually.  If untested, high cholesterol can go completely undetected until an emergency event such as a heart attack or stroke. High cholesterol can lead to plaque building up in your arteries, which will eventually cause damage to your body. If you do have high cholesterol, you can get started on medication or a diet plan to help reverse it.

Basic Nutritional Panel

Dairy-free, gluten-free, vegan, keto – the list of alternative eating lifestyles is growing. Many people choose diets that avoid specific foods. While it’s possible to get a wide variety of nutrients when eating this way, removing a food group from your diet can result in deficiencies of necessary nutrients. This panel will test for a variety of nutrients and vitamins, including iron and vitamins B12 and D, three of the most common deficiencies in the United States.

Vitamins, Minerals and Nutrition Lab Tests

Most of us realize we need vitamins and minerals to keep our bodies healthy. But, unless you know the specific and sometimes unusual signs, you may not realize is what vitamins and minerals your body is deficient in. Signs can include hair loss, lack of energy and slow wound healing. The qualified professionals at Any Lab Test Now can help you determine which test is most appropriate for your diet and lifestyle.

Allergy Tests

Allergies can develop at any point in your life. Allergies usually first appear early in life and become a lifelong issue. However, allergies can start unexpectedly as an adult. A family history of allergies puts you at a higher risk of developing allergies at some point in your life. At Any Lab Test Now, you can get tested and determine what is causing your allergies to act up.

Be at Ease

With all the options we have to offer, you’ll get the most out of your FSA dollars! And with your test results in hand, you can get the proper medications and start making lifestyle changes to ease your symptoms.

You can also be at ease when it comes to seeking out any type of lab work at Any Lab Test Now.

We provide you a safe and clean alternative location for lab work. Each of our 185+ stores is sanitized several times a day, in accordance with the CDC’s protocols. Any Lab Test Now is a committed partner in helping you manage your family’s healthcare so you can make educated decisions that will directly affect your quality of life. We want to put you at ease during the coronavirus outbreak. We are here to help.

Find your closest Any Lab Test Now store at www.anylabtestnow.com.

 

Fuel Resolutions with FSA Savings

Many Americans are making resolutions to get healthy and lose weight in the new year as the deadline for spending money from their flexible savings accounts looms. Rather than let your hard-earned savings expire, Any Lab Test Now offers a number of ways to stay on top of your health care and spend wisely.

A flexible spending account, or FSA, is part of an employer’s benefits package that allows workers to save pre-tax money for out-of-pocket health care costs. FSA rules vary by employer, but most companies require people to spend their FSA savings prior to the end of the year. Using your FSA savings to help fulfill New Year’s resolutions to get in shape is a no-brainer, and Any Lab Test Now is here to help.

You do not need insurance to take advantage of Any Lab Test Now’s affordable lab testing. An appointment can be scheduled online, or patients can walk into any of the more than 170 Any Lab Test Now locations nationwide for testing. Patients can have test results mailed or faxed to them, or they can come to pick them up at their testing location. As 2019 draws to a close, stop by Any Lab Test Now for a cost-effective and easy way to ensure your health and make the most of your FSA savings.

Any Lab Test Now offers a full range of clinical lab tests designed to support your well-being and provides a great springboard for the start of weight-loss season. Here are some options to consider when taking advantage of FSA savings.

Annual Check-Up Panel is a great option for taking a close look at your overall health and wellness. The panel provides a baseline for managing your overall health. The blood counts, kidney function, liver function, electrolytes, cholesterol health, blood glucose levels and thyroid function values.

Thyroid Panel When it comes to managing weight, one of the leading culprits causing weight gain in women is the thyroid. Thyroid imbalances can be the source of fatigue, weight gain, memory loss, and a host of other problems. Before embarking on a wellness journey, make sure the thyroid isn’t the reason your pants are feeling tight. The Thyroid Panel screens for thyroid disease, hyperthyroidism, and hypothyroidism by examining your body’s production of the thyroid hormones.

Diabetes Maintenance Panel More than 30 million people in the United States have diabetes; and one in four of them are undiagnosed, according to research from the Centers for Disease Control. Diet and exercise can help nip diabetes in the bud. Knowing if you are at risk of getting the disease will allow you to start down a path of wellness. The four tests in the Diabetes Maintenance Panel can help diagnose diabetes and help patients manage the disease with the help of a physician.

Take the first step to a healthy lifestyle this new year by visiting your local Any Lab Test Now and spending your remaining FSA dollars before time runs out. From cholesterol tests to DNA testing, Any Lab Test Now offers superior customer service at an affordable price.

Keeping Your Bottom Line Healthy With Any Lab Test Now!

Deciding to exercise is smart! So is choosing a salad over a hamburger or taking the stairs instead of the elevator. You are faced with dozens of choices every day, and many of them can affect your health. A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is just one of those choices. A Flexible Spending Account allows you to use your dollars (pre-tax!) to pay for out-of-pocket medical expenses not covered by your insurance.

As the year starts to wind down, many people find they are left with a few dollars in their accounts and are faced with a “use it or lose it” situation. It’s your money; don’t let it go to waste! Any Lab Test Now offers you hundreds of ways to get the most from your FSA dollars, while you’re taking control of your health. Browse through our tests and you are bound to find something that can help you improve your health — and provide you with information that may not necessarily be covered by your usual annual physical. Here are a few ideas that can help you get started.

MMR TITER TESTING

After a certain age, you just sort of forget to worry about the measles, mumps, or rubella but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says, “Not so fast!” The CDC is watching outbreaks in several jurisdictions and warning people (especially those traveling) to make sure they are protected! The MMR Titer measures your antibody levels and can provide you with a sense for whether your immune system has the ability to respond to an attack from one of these diseases. These latest measles outbreaks are no joke! According to the CDC, as of August of this year, 1,203 individual cases of measles have been confirmed. One hundred and twenty-four of those people were hospitalized, and 64 of them had complications! The MMR Titer is definitely money well spent!

FOOD SENSITIVITY AND INTOLERANCE TEST

Do you find that you seem to suffer from digestive problems now when you never had any problems in the past? Food intolerances develop later in life due to compromised digestive functions brought on by stress, alcohol intake and the use of NSAIDs. That means that foods you’ve been eating your whole life can begin to have a totally different effect on your body. The 50 Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Test can help you pinpoint what could otherwise be a “needle in a haystack” kind of situation. Remember, these aren’t allergic reactions! These are going to be much more subtle — bloating, fatigue, headaches, or weight gain.

ANEMIA PANEL

Fatigue and exhaustion seem to be states that we simply accept as a consequence of modern life, but we shouldn’t! Stress can cause fatigue for almost all of us, but should it be a way of life? You could actually be suffering from an undiagnosed medical condition like anemia. It’s estimated that approximately three million people in the United States suffer from anemia. Anemia is a condition where your red blood cell count is lower than normal. The lack of hemoglobin in your red blood cells can cause fatigue, headaches, shortness of breath, dizziness, rapid heartbeat, and a number of other symptoms. Don’t just assume — know, with the Anemia Panel.

Any Lab Test, literally!

From nutritional testing to DNA results, Any Lab Test Now offers hundreds of high-quality and accurate tests that can help you answer many questions you might have about your health or your history! Don’t let your FSA dollars go to waste. You can walk into your convenient Any Lab Test Now location without an appointment and talk with our experts there and they can guide you to an appropriate test. Just like eating your vegetables, Any Lab Test Now is another smart health choice!

Flexible Spending Accounts: Don’t Let It Go To Waste

If your funds aren’t used by the end of the year; some of it may not roll over and will be lost.

A Flexible Spending Account (FSA) is a tax-free account set up through an employer to use specifically for out-of-pocket health care costs. If any available funds are left over by the end of the year, $500 of any unused money can be rolled over into the next calendar year. However, that is based on the employer’s decision as to how the plan is set up and will not exceed $500 if there is more in the account at the end of the year. This is a change, as past year’s FSA accounts did not offer any money to roll over to the next year. It’s important to plan carefully on health related costs such as copayments, coinsurance, drugs, other costs and lab testing… which is where we come in!

You can use your FSA to pay for tests at ANY LAB TEST NOW®. We are committed to helping people with affordable, convenient lab testing. With thousands of options and strong alliances with leaders in the field of laboratory testing, we’re here to help you Take Control of Your Health®.

Talk to your employer about your FSA options. If you already have one set up find your closest ANY LAB TEST NOW to get in touch with an assistant who can help with your next lab test.