Health savings accounts are unlikely to be much help toretirees, according to the Employee Benefit Research Institute.Instead, statutory contribution limits mean retirees will fallshort of the savings needed to fund their health care.


According to EBRI's analysis, if a 55-year-old workercontributed $3,000 to an HSA in 2009, and contributed the maximumannual catch-up of $1,000 for 10 years, the account would have$48,300 assuming a 2 percent interest rate. However, it's estimatedthat a 55-year-old man today will need between $144,000 and$290,000 in 2019, just to have a 50 percent chance of coveringpremiums and out-of-pocket expenses for Medigap and Medicare PartD.


"One of the difficulties in using an HSA to save money for premiums and out-of-pocket expenses duringretirement is that contributions to the HSA are limited by law; andas a result, the savings needed for retiree health care far exceedthe savings potential of an HSA," according to the analysis."Furthermore, individuals can (and may need to) use the money inthe account to pay for health care services during their workingyears or to pay COBRA premiums and insurance premiums duringperiods of unemployment."

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