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Your Aetna Health Savings Account Transcript
Welcome to the Aetna Health Savings Account (HSA)

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Hi, I'm Christine.

Just like you, I have an Aetna Health Savings Account - or HSA, for short. You're probably asking some of the same questions I did, when I first signed up, like:

  • What exactly is a health savings account?
  • How does it work with my health plan?
  • How does money get into my account, and
  • How can I use the money in my account?
Your health plan may be different than mine, so check with your employer or review your plan materials for some of the specific details about how your plan works.

Over the next ten minutes, you'll learn about how your health savings account can work for you. You can watch the entire video, or choose to watch a section at a time. The menu on the left hand side of your screen lets you move from section to section.

I've had my health savings account for a couple of years now, and I want to share some of my experiences with you. I think you'll see your Aetna HSA has a lot to offer.

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What is an HSA?

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A health savings account is like a bank account that works with your health plan. As money is added to your health savings account, you can use it to pay for most health care expenses, like the amount you may need to pay before your plan begins to make payments - called a deductible - or for medical expenses not covered by your health plan.

If you don't spend all of the money in your health savings account, the remaining balance rolls over to the following year. You don't lose any money that you don't spend.

In fact, what I like best about my HSA is that I own it - so I decide how best to put it to work for me!

I can use my health savings account dollars anytime to help pay for my share of our health care expenses. I've used my HSA dollars at the pharmacy, to pay for my daughter's medication, and to cover the cost of my husband's new glasses.

I can also save some or all of my health savings account dollars for future medical expenses. The HSA is a great way to start planning for retiree health care expenses. In my family, we do a little of both - here's how:

Each year, my husband and I plan to save some of our health savings account dollars. We pay for some of our health plan expenses ourselves, and let the remaining money in our HSA earn interest and grow. Even though retirement is years away for us, we want to get a head-start.

Remember, the money in your health savings account belongs to you. So you keep your HSA dollars even if you change health plans or jobs.

And when my health savings account balance reaches two thousand dollars, I may even have an HSA investment service available. That means the money in my health savings account may grow even faster. Talk to your employer to find out more.

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How your HSA works for you

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Did I mention that my health savings account is tax free? That's right! The money I put into my HSA is tax free. And the money I withdraw from my HSA is tax free as well, as long as I use that money to pay for eligible expenses as defined by the IRS.

You can find a list of these expenses right on Aetna's secure member website.

Any money added to my health savings account by my employer is tax free as well!

My HSA dollars also earn interest tax free, and there's no minimum balance required to earn interest.

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Using your HSA

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Now let me show you how I use my health savings account to pay for my family's medical expenses. I'll use my health plan as an example. Your plan may work differently.

With my plan, the first two thousand dollars of medical expenses are my responsibility. I can use the money in my health savings account to help pay for those expenses. After that, my health plan will pick up most of the cost for my care.

First, it's important to know that preventive care, like routine physicals and well child visits, is covered by my health plan at one hundred percent. So when I take my daughter for her annual checkup, I pay nothing.

Let's look at how I can use my health savings account dollars to pay for visits to my doctor.

Earlier this year, I hurt my wrist. I had to see a specialist and have some X-rays taken. Because I was still responsible for my part of my health care expenses - my health plan's deductible - I knew I would need to pay for the care I received.

I asked my doctor to send the bills directly to Aetna. That way I could be sure I'd pay the discounted price Aetna had negotiated with the doctors in its network. Aetna let my doctor know what the correct charge for the services was, and the doctor then sent me a bill for that amount.

When I received the bill from my doctor, I checked my HSA balance first to make sure there was enough in my account to cover the charges.

This is my Aetna HSA Visa debit card, which came with my HSA welcome kit. I simply wrote my HSA debit card number on the bill and sent it back to my doctor. The money was then withdrawn from my health savings account.

Sometimes my HSA has less money in it than the amount I owe. When this happens, I pay the bill out of my own pocket. Later on, when my health savings account has more money in it, I can reimburse myself.

At the pharmacy, I use my HSA debit card to pay for my part of the cost of my prescription. I just have to be sure that I only use my HSA debit card to pay for eligible expenses. So if I'm buying shampoo and paying for my daughter's medication, I just make sure I pay for them separately.

I can use my HSA debit card at other retail locations as well - for example, at the optometrist's for my husband's new glasses.

I can also use Aetna HSA checks to pay for my health care expenses. Your HSA welcome kit will have a check order form.

There may be some banking transaction fees that go along with your health savings account - your employer should provide you with a list of these.

Remember, I always have the option of paying for my medical expenses out of my own pocket, leaving the money in my health savings account to earn interest. I can also use my HSA dollars to reimburse myself if I pay cash for an eligible expense.

It's all up to me!

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Contributing to your HSA

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So I told you how I use my health savings account, now let me show you how you can start contributing to your own HSA.

First, let's take a look at who can contribute to your health savings account. Obviously, you can contribute to your own account. Your employer may choose to contribute as well. Your spouse and other family members may also be able to contribute; check your welcome kit for more information.

There's no minimum contribution, but there is a limit to how much you can contribute each year. These limits are set by the federal government and are adjusted every year.

The easiest way to contribute to your HSA is through regular pre-tax payroll deductions at work, if your employer offers you this option. It's one less thing you have to remember to do.

And you always have the option of making tax-deductible contributions by check or electronic funds transfer.

Here's some good news - if you or your spouse are fifty-five or older, you're allowed to contribute an additional "catch-up" amount to your HSA above the annual maximum. This is a great way to save even more towards those future retirement health care expenses. This amount changes from year to year, so again, you want to check your secure member website for the most up-to-date information.

It was easy for me to determine what my annual contribution limit should be - right online, with a tool on Aetna's secure member website.

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Tax time

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Because your health savings account has tax advantages, you will need to report how you used your HSA dollars throughout the year when you prepare your tax return.

To help with this, Aetna will send you reports detailing

  • How much money was contributed to your account, and
  • What money was withdrawn during the year
You can also download a report of your family's claim history from Aetna's secure member website. I love this feature - it makes it easy for me to keep track of my family's expenses throughout the year, and have the information I need at tax time, right at my fingertips.

Don't forget to hold on to your receipts anytime you use health savings account dollars. These receipts are confirmation that the money in your health savings account was used only for eligible expenses.

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Your member web site

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Now that I'm the one who decides how to spend, or save, my health care dollars, it's important that I have the information I need about my health care costs and benefits, when I need it.

My life can get pretty hectic - I don't have a lot of time to spend searching different websites for the information I need. That's why I love Aetna's member website. Aetna's taken all the tools and resources I need and put them into one secure, convenient and easy-to-use website.

I can find a doctor, research the cost of a new prescription drug, compare hospitals in my area, order a new ID card, or find the form I need - it's all right there.

The member website gives me a personalized view of my health and benefits information.

Right on the home page, I can see

  • Who's covered; and I can view
  • A list of my most recent claims
I can view my account balance right online, so it's easy to see how much money I have in my HSA. That way, I avoid trying to withdraw more than I have in my account.

Aetna also has a great tool that lets me see how my account balance can grow over time.

Since I can save money when I use a network doctor or medical facility, I check Aetna's online directory find out who is in the network.

When I want to find out how much my daughter's new medication is going to cost, or research the average cost for an X-ray in my area, I use the "Estimate the Cost of Care" tool. It's my money - I want to make sure I'm getting the most for it.

Preventive care is an important part of staying healthy. I can check online to see what types of tests and services are important for me, my husband, and my daughter.

Aetna also has some great health resources - I can look up information about a specific health condition or test, anytime.

Having one place to go for all this information has been a huge help! Not only do I have more control over how I manage my health care dollars, but I also feel confident that I'm making the right decisions. And that's a great feeling.

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Making the most of your HSA

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Your health savings account is truly your account. You decide how much to contribute, and how to spend your money - you can use your HSA dollars for health care expenses today, or save them for future medical expenses.

Now that you know how the health savings account works, here are a few tips on how to get the most out of it:

  1. Take advantage of regular payroll deductions, if your employer offers these. It's one less thing you have to remember to do!
  2. Contribute the annual maximum whenever you can. This helps your health savings account grow to its fullest.
  3. Pay for health care expenses out of pocket whenever possible. Let your HSA built toward retirement.
  4. Make sure you're seeking preventive care, like routine physicals - it's usually covered at one-hundred percent, so you don't have to touch your HSA - or your wallet.
  5. Aetna has negotiated member rates with the doctors in its network. So you save when you stay in the network!
  6. Ask your doctor about generic drugs - they're typically less money than the brand name version, and just as effective. That means less money out of your pocket or HSA.
  7. If you are fifty-five or older, take advantage of those "catch-up" contributions - they're a great way to build up your savings even more for retirement.
  8. Be an informed consumer - use Aetna's online tools and resources to help you make decisions when it comes to your health care.
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Let's Get Started

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So now that you've watched this short video, let's get started...

When you're ready, let's sign you up for the secure member website.

If you're online now, click on the highlighted link on the left of the screen, enter your information, and you'll be all set. Just follow the prompts.

If you're not online right now or want to register later, just go to There's a link to "Register Now" right on the home page.

Next you'll need to activate your HSA debit card. You'll find your debit card and instructions in your Aetna HSA welcome kit. Activating your debit card will also allow you to start tracking your health savings account balance online or over the phone.

I hope you've found this helpful. The Aetna Health Savings Account is really a great way to put your health care dollars to work for you - today, and in the future.

Stay well!

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Aetna is the brand name used for products and services provided by one or more of the Aetna group of subsidiary companies. Investment services are independently offered through JPMorgan Institutional Investors, Inc., a subsidiary of JPMorgan Chase Bank. For more information about Aetna plans, refer to

The family stories in this presentation are fictional, and Christine is played by an actress.

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