Investing in an HSA? Better Shop Around

Health savings accounts are a great way to save long term, but high fees can hurt returns.

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Nearly half of all people covered by private health insurance are now in high-deductible plans, with the percentage rising every year, according to the National Center for Health Statistics. Whether you sign up for a high-deductible plan by choice or because it’s the only option available, having a high-deductible policy unlocks a valuable opportunity: the ability to get a triple tax break with a health savings account. Your contributions are tax-deductible (or pretax if made through your employer), the money grows tax-deferred, and you can withdraw money tax-free for eligible medical expenses at any time.

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Kimberly Lankford
Contributing Editor, Kiplinger's Personal Finance

As the "Ask Kim" columnist for Kiplinger's Personal Finance, Lankford receives hundreds of personal finance questions from readers every month. She is the author of Rescue Your Financial Life (McGraw-Hill, 2003), The Insurance Maze: How You Can Save Money on Insurance -- and Still Get the Coverage You Need (Kaplan, 2006), Kiplinger's Ask Kim for Money Smart Solutions (Kaplan, 2007) and The Kiplinger/BBB Personal Finance Guide for Military Families. She is frequently featured as a financial expert on television and radio, including NBC's Today Show, CNN, CNBC and National Public Radio.