HSA Frequently Asked Questions
A Health Savings Account is a way for you to save money by putting aside funds tax-free for your health and medical expenses. HSAs allow you to save money from year to year and to invest your money to grow it even more so that you can save for health costs during retirement. An HSA works with an HSA-eligible health plan to help you save money for current and future expenses.
To be eligible to open or contribute to an HSA, you must:
- Be covered by an HSA-eligible health plan
- Not be enrolled in Medicare
- Not be covered by any other disqualifying health coverage
- Not qualify as another person’s tax dependent
If you and your spouse are both covered under the HSA-eligible plan, you can both open your own HSA, but your dependent children cannot open their own HSA.
Your insurance company keeps track of IRS requirements for an HSA-eligible health plan and can advise you whether or not your plan is eligible. Your HR representative may also be able to help you with knowing which plans are eligible for HSA. HMOs or PPOs may be HSA eligible.
You can make contributions directly from your paycheck if your employer and insurance plan allow it. You can also make a direct deposit from your bank account using your online portal. You can change your election as needed throughout the year.
The IRS sets limits on the maximum amount you can contribute to your HSA each year. This limit is based on the level of health plan coverage you have and not your family status. People age 55 and older who are eligible can make an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution each year.
If you are only eligible for part of the calendar year, you are only eligible for part of the contribution limit. To find out your limit, take the annual amount, divide by 12, and multiply by the number of months you were eligible.
Your HSA can cover qualified medical expenses with tax-free distributions. Qualified expenses are defined by the IRS and include things like medical visits, dental and vision exams, and prescription costs.
You can also pull money from your HSA to cover expenses that are not eligible, but you will have to pay a penalty and taxes on the amount that you withdraw if it is not used for an eligible expense.
You will receive a debit card that is programmed to pay for eligible expenses right at the counter. It’ll automatically track your purchases and save the information so you don’t need to keep track of all your receipts.
If you don’t have your card, can’t use it, or want to reimburse an expense separately, you can pay out of pocket and then file a claim to receive reimbursement via check or direct deposit through your online portal.
Not usually. Having a regular Health FSA (Health FSA) or Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA) counts as disqualifying coverage for an HSA.
If the FSA or HRA are Limited Purpose accounts that only cover benefits like vision and dental care, those will not affect your HSA eligibility. You may also have a post-deductible FSA or HRA that only reimburses costs paid after meeting your deductible for the year.
If you have an HSA and then switch to a plan with an FSA or HRA, you will keep any money you’ve already contributed to your HSA, but you won’t be able to make additional contributions.
Having a dependent care, parking, or transit FSA won’t impact your HSA eligibility.