Author Topic: Family separation to maximize HDHP/HSA & also get good benefit for frequent user  (Read 1043 times)


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Currently my wife (stay at home; 31yo), son (15mo) and myself (31yo) are all on the same medical plan under my employer. I will be starting as an independent contractor this summer and therefore will be purchasing insurance on the open market for the first time. My son and I are completely healthy and have no medical problems and only use preventative screenings. Unfortunately, my wife has struggled with some anxiety/depression after the recent passing of her mother and now sees a counselor ~2x/week and a psychiatrist every 3 months or so. After doing some digging and talking to a few health insurance reps on the open market, they suggested that instead of having all three of us under one health plan, they recommended having me and my son under a bronze level plan that is eligible for an HSA. Since both my son and I are on the plan we would be able to contribute the full FAMILY amount to the HSA compared to an individual and would benefit from lower premiums since we are both healthy. Separately, my wife would then get on a higher tiered silver or gold plan that had better coverage for mental health since she would likely use the health insurance more. A few questions:

1- Does this strategy make sense? Am I still able to claim the family HSA deduction on tax returns due to me and my son on HDHP even though I am married filing jointly?
2-Are the health insurance premiums deductible for both me/son as well as my wife? My understanding is that it will all be deductible since I am the one paying for it and we are married filing jointly but just wanted to make sure it wasn’t just me/son and not my wife. I had heard that in 2012 by IRS Chief Counsel Advice (CCA) 201228037 that this was found to be ok but wanted to make sure before I proceeded any further.