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Ask Dave

Taxes, And A Twist

Chris is receiving donations after his wife was diagnosed with a brain tumor, and wonders how he should work this money into his health savings account.

QUESTION: Chris’ wife had a brain tumor removed a couple of months ago. A benefit fund has been started for her and they have a health savings account as their health insurance. Should they take the benefit money and put it in the HSA for the co-pays and medicines, for tax purposes? Dave thinks so, but then discovers a wrinkle here.

ANSWER: Yes, that’s wise. Max your HSA out, because you’re going to use every dime of it. If the max is $6,000, that will save you 25% on taxes, or about $1,500. That keeps it out of the government’s hands and allows you to pay more medical bills.

If your hospital is closing and the oncologist you see works for that hospital, you have to stop and look at that. That could be a $100,000 decision on your part. These doctors are good, but they are not God. There are other doctors that can help you, and you may have to hand your wife’s file off to someone else.

Sit down with the doctor and say that you’ve been boxed into a corner here. You are using a special drug and now you’re about to be taken off the insurance. Go to the administration and get them to accept your particular case as in-network. You really need to fight that.