When you have a health savings account it’s important to know the impact it can have on your annual federal and state income taxes.* Understanding the tax benefits, including your HSA’s triple-tax advantage, how to file for an HSA deduction and knowing the specific guidelines for your state, will help you get the most from your Cigna Choice Fund® HSA.**
Understanding tax benefits
You may know that the HSA is tax-advantaged, but do you know how to maximize that tax benefit? Here are some important questions to consider that will help you understand how you can benefit, or can increase your tax benefits, with the HSA:
› Are you receiving contributions from your employer?
› Are you contributing additional funds to your HSA? Is anyone else contributing?
› Have you made any rollovers this year from another HSA or IRA?
› Are you tracking your medical expenses? Are you keeping your receipts?
› Do you know where to check on your contributions and distributions for the year?
› Do you have an investment account, and if so, has the account gained or lost value?
Knowing the answers to these questions will help you better understand your tax advantages.
Your HSA is triple-tax advantaged:
› Contributions – Your contributions can be reduced from your taxable income either by making pretax payroll deductions or contributing post tax and listing the contributions on your federal income tax return. (Use the Form 8889.)
› Earnings – Any interest earned in your HSA cash account and any increase in the value of your mutual fund investments are tax-free, meaning that you do not have to list these as taxable income on your federal income tax return. No action is required to report these earnings.
› Paying for medical expenses – As long as you use the HSA for approved health care expenses,*** you do not pay any taxes on the money that you take out of the account. This means that every time you make a purchase, you are actually saving money.
Quick Tip: Use our HSA Savings Calculator to estimate your annual tax savings.
Filing for an HSA deduction
The IRS says that you must file Form 8889 if you (or someone on your behalf, including your employer) add to your HSA account. Form 8889 must also be filed if you take funds out of an HSA, even if you don’t make a contribution to the HSA that year.
While we cannot provide tax advice, we can provide some information concerning the W-2 you may receive for payroll deductions and how it applies to Form 8889. If you need tax advice, please consult a qualified tax advisor or the IRS.
› If you are receiving contributions from your employer via payroll deductions, your payroll deductions for the HSA account will be shown on your W-2 in box 12, marked code “W.” Because your payroll deductions were taken pretax, they are considered “employer contributions” and are to be entered on line nine of Form 8889. Since payroll deductions for the HSA were taken pretax, you will not be able to claim a deduction on line 13.
› If you made after-tax contributions to an HSA (sent a check or withdrew money from your bank account, for example) – your contributions should be eligible for a tax deduction. See the IRS instructions for additional information on above-the-line deductions.
› If you took funds out of your HSA account, you will receive a 1099-SA reporting the distribution of funds from your HSA. These distributions from your HSA will be entered on line 14a of Form 8889. If you have unreimbursed qualified medical expenses, they may be entered on line 15 of Form 8889. See the IRS instructions for an explanation of what may be included as an unreimbursed approved medical expense.
* HSA contributions and earnings are not subject to federal taxes and not subject to state taxes in most states. A few states do not allow pretax treatment of contributions or earnings. See your professional tax advisor for information about your state.
** All of these strategies should be carefully considered in light of your cash flow, tax and investment options. Investments are subject to market fluctuation, investment risk and possible loss of principal. Cigna always recommends you discuss these strategies with a professional financial planner and tax advisor. *** See Cigna.com/expenses.
This information is not intended as financial or tax advice and is not an opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. You are urged to consult a professional tax advisor concerning your own situation and any specific questions you may have. The HSA provider and/or trustee/custodian is responsible for all HSA services, transactions and related activities. Cigna and your employer are not responsible for any aspects of the HSA services, administration or operation.
All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company and Connecticut General Life Insurance Company. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc. All models are used for illustrative purposes only.
882304 06/15 © 2015 Cigna. Some content provided under license.
Need to Save for Retirement or
Want to Contribute More?
Did you know that you can adjust your contributions to your 403(b) or 457 (b) retirement plan anytime during the calendar year even if you made a change during Open Enrollment last November?
If you are currently participating in the University of Maine System’s 403(b) or 457(b) plan with TIAA, you may be able to save even more for retirement by increasing your pre-tax contributions.
Here is why...
As you know, the University of Maine System offers employees the opportunity to save for retirement and supplement basic pension benefits by making contributions on a pre-tax basis. This opportunity allows for saving on Federal and State taxes.
Contributions may be made up to the maximum permitted by the Internal Revenue Code [Section 403(b) and 415] with TIAA. See below for further information. To find out who is eligible, how to enroll or make changes to your plan, go to the UMS employee portal www.myyms.maine.edu, and visit under Human Resources/Employee Information/Benefits headings.
How much can I contribute?
In general, you may elect to contribute up to $18,000 in calendar year 2017. This amount is the general limit on what you can elect to defer under the 403(b) plan and may be adjusted annually in accordance with Internal Revenue Service (IRS) guidelines.
However, please keep in mind...
Additional catch-up contributions may be permitted if certain criteria are met. Specifically, if you are at least age 50 (or will turn age 50 during the calendar year), you may defer an additional $6,000 contribution, which is referred to as a catch-up contribution.
This means that if you are under age 50, you may contribute a maximum of $18,000 in calendar 2017; if you are age 50 or older or will turn age 50 sometime during calendar year 2017, you may contribute a maximum of $24,000 ($18,000 plus $6,000 age 50 catch-up during the calendar year).
What do I have to do to contribute or adjust my contributions to the 403(b) plan?
To begin pre-tax contributions or to change your current pre-tax contributions, please complete your elections online in MaineStreet. If you do not have access to a computer, contact the Employee Benefits Center (EBC) at (866) 269-9635 and complete a Salary Reduction Agreement.
Please keep in mind that you must establish an account directly with TIAA, the sole record keeper. You may change your 403(b) contributions at any time during the calendar year and as often as you like. You may, of course, keep your contributions at their current level.
457(b) Limits are exactly the same
All UMS employees who are eligible to tax-defer income under the 403(b) plan are also eligible to defer under the University’s 457(b) plan. While the 457(b) plan operates similarly to any other tax-deferred voluntary option relative to deferral of federal and state taxes, IRS regulations currently permit you to defer the calendar year maximum under each plan.
The 457(b) calendar maximums are the same as the 403(b) limits above. Therefore, if you are under age 50, you could defer a total of $18,000 in the 403(b) plan and $18,000 in the 457(b) plan; if you are age 50 or older or will turn age 50 sometime during the calendar year, you could defer a total of $24,000 in the 403(b) plan and $24,000 in the 457(b) plan.
To begin or change contributions under the 457(b) plan, please adjust your elections on line in MaineStreet. If you do not have access to a computer, contact your Employee Benefits Center at email@example.com or (866) 269-9635 and complete a Salary Reduction Agreement.
Did you know you don’t have to be a financial expert to be smart about money?
April is National Financial Literacy Month! Knowing how to manage your money can help you pursue financial goals like paying down debt, saving for retirement, buying a house or other priorities. To make the most of your money, create a plan that helps you save and invest wisely and get the most from your employer benefits. Learn more.
The University of Maine System does not provide legal, tax, or financial advice. Employees are encouraged to contact their financial representative or tax professional
Other coverage: Your plan supplements the preventive care services listed above with additional services that are commonly ordered by primary care physicians during preventive care visits. These include services such as urinalysis, EKG, thyroid screening, electrolyte panel, Vitamin D measurement, bilirubin, iron and metabolic panels.
This document provides highlights of preventive care coverage generally. Some preventive services may not be covered under your plan. For example, immunizations for travel are generally not covered. Other non-covered services/supplies may include any service or device that is not medically necessary or services/supplies that are unproven (experimental or investigational). For the specific coverage terms of your plan, refer to the Evidence of Coverage, Summary Plan Description or Insurance Certificate.
“Cigna,” the “Tree of Life” logo and “Together, all the way.” are registered service marks, of Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc., licensed for use by Cigna Corporation and its operating subsidiaries. All products and services are provided by or through such operating subsidiaries, and not by Cigna Corporation. Such operating subsidiaries include Connecticut General Life Insurance Company (CGLIC), Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company (CHLIC), Cigna Behavioral Health, Inc., and HMO or service company subsidiaries of Cigna Health Corporation, including Cigna HealthCare of Arizona, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of California, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Colorado, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Connecticut, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Florida, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Georgia, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Illinois, Inc. (IL & IN), Cigna HealthCare of Indiana, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of St. Louis, Inc. (MO, KS & IL), Cigna HealthCare of North Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of New Jersey, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of South Carolina, Inc., Cigna HealthCare of Tennessee, Inc. (TN & MS), and Cigna HealthCare of Texas, Inc.
855050 e 08/15 © 2015 Cigna. Some content provided under license.
*Savings are based on a 90-day fill/refill and are subject to your plan’s provisions. Your benefit plan may differ based on state law. Please check your plan documents for more details and to confirm that you have the Cigna Home Delivery Pharmacy benefit.
All Cigna products and services are provided exclusively by or through operating subsidiaries of Cigna Corporation, including Cigna Health and Life Insurance Company, Connecticut General Life Insurance Company, Tel-Drug, Inc., Tel-Drug of Pennsylvania, L.L.C., and HMO or service company subsidiaries of Cigna Health Corporation. “Cigna Specialty Pharmacy Services” refers to the specialty drug division of Tel-Drug, Inc. and Tel-Drug of Pennsylvania, L.L.C., doing business as Cigna Home Delivery Pharmacy. The Cigna name, logo, and other Cigna marks are owned by Cigna Intellectual Property, Inc.
886437 11/15 © 2015 Cigna. Some content provided under license.