GOLDEN VALLEY, Minn. – With open enrollment season approaching, it’s time for many of us to start thinking about doctors and deductibles.

Matt Gulbransen with Callahan Financial Planning stopped by KARE 11 at 4 to talk about how your health care plan can be an important part in saving for the future.

Gulbransen says a health savings account is a tax-free account that offers you a way of saving for medical costs that aren’t covered by insurance.

“HSA’s are usually part of a high-deductible insurance policy, you (and sometimes your employer) put in pre-tax dollars, and that money grows tax-deferred,” says Gulbransen. “You can withdraw money at any time tax-free as long as you use it for qualified medical expenses.”

Unlike a Flexible Spending Account, the money rolls over if you don’t use it by the end of the year. HSA funds also come with you if you change jobs.

Gulbransen says that HSA’s can also be a pretty handy retirement tool. Once you turn 65, you can use your HSA funds for any reason without paying a penalty. You will have to pay ordinary income tax for expenses other than medical.

“Think of it like an additional IRA,” says Gulbransen. “Unlike an IRA, there are no Required Minimum Distributions, so you can keep your money in an HSA long into retirement.”