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Subject:  Re: Medical Savings Account ? Date:  2/1/1999  1:01 PM
Author:  piz Number:  8228 of 105397

TMFPixy wrote:
An MSA is available to self-employed persons or firms with 50 or fewer employees. Thus, they are not plans for retirees. To open one, the business/self-employed person must have a high-deductible medical plan in force, and that plan must continue for as long as deposits are made to the MSA. In general, the health insurance in force must have an annual deductible of at least $1,500 and no more than $2,250 for individuals (no less than $3K or more than $4.5K for families). The annual pre-tax MSA contribution can be any amount up to 65% of the individual deductible or 75% of the family deductible amounts. Tax-free withdrawals may be made at any time to pay medical expenses. Other distributions are subject to taxes and a 15% penalty. Money can be taken penalty-free at age 65 for any purpose, but taxes are due on the withdrawal just as they are due on any other retirement account.

Wait a sec! I just started a new job with a company that doesn't fit any of the requirements you list, and at my orientation they discussed something where I could put pre-tax dollars into an account for medical expenses, but I would forfeit anything I didn't use by the end of the year. This account was funded by money taken from my paycheck, not from the dollar amount I could use to pick and chooose benefits. What were they talking about?

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