If you’re like many who opted for a high-deductible health insurance plan, you’ll want to make sure you’re reaping the full benefits of what it offers.

Mandan Insurance Agent Jamy Mills explains how you could end up paying more if you don’t allocate some of your own funds toward your healthcare savings account, or HSA.

“If your deductible is $2,100 and your employer contributes $600, you will be paying the remaining $1,500 out of pocket until you reach your deductible,” he said. “So if you or a member of your family gets sick during that period of time, it could end up costing you a small fortune.”

To help avoid this predicament, Mills suggests having money taken out of your paycheck each month and put into your HSA account. “Using this same example, you could cover the remaining $1,500 in advance by having about $125 taken out of your paycheck each month.” The funds you contribute are tax-free, so you end up saving money in the long run.

Even if you contribute your funds and don’t end up using them this year, they will remain in your account to be used another year. “HSAs aren’t like Flex where you need to use it by the end of the year or you lose it,” said Mills. “Those funds will roll over to the next year so you won’t have to contribute anything the next time around to cover your deductible.”

There is no set time the money needs to accrue either. It draws on compound interest each year as it sits in HSA, and those gains that an account produces are tax-free for medical purchases. Those medical purchases can be used out of the HSA for anything, including (but not limited to) eye glasses and care, dental, cold medication, etc.

If you have questions about your high-deductible plan – or any type of insurance policy – Starion Insurance agents are a great resource and are happy to assist you. While you may have to pay more upfront, making a commitment to contribute to your HSA now can save you and your family money and give you peace of mind.