A health savings account (or HSA) combines a health plan with a health savings account that includes a contribution or deposit from your employer. The combination of your HSA with a medical plan gives you a lot of flexibility! You get to make decisions about how to use your plan services, and how to spend the money in your account, giving you more opportunities to be actively engaged in improving your health and your health spending.
How a Health Savings Account Work
Here’s how the HSA works.
Contributing to Your HSA
First, you have contribution options in addition to your employer’s contribution. You can contribute to your HSA up to the federal limits through regular payroll deductions, or anytime it’s convenient for you. Your employer’s contribution also counts toward the federal limit.
|HSA contribution limit |
(employer + employee)
|Self-only: $3,850 |
|HSA catch-up contributions |
(age 55 or older)
|HDHP minimum deductibles||Self-only: $1,500|
|HDHP maximum |
The money in your HSA earns interest each month once you meet a minimum balance. You can elect to invest your savings. Details about your choices are included in your enrollment materials and, because your account is a “tax advantaged” savings account, the contributions, interest, investment income and withdrawals for qualified health care expenses are not subject to federal taxes.
Using your HSA
Next, you have options on how you want to use your HSA. You can use your HSA to pay for some of your covered healthcare costs or to pay for qualified health care costs not covered through your medical plan (such as dental, vision, and other over-the-counter costs). It also pairs well with an FSA.
Additionally, you can decide to not spend the money in your account. Think of it as a long-term savings option for future healthcare expenses and take full advantage of the tax savings your account offers.
Paying with Your HSA
Finally, you have options on how you pay for your healthcare expenses for the services that are covered by your plan. There are many ways to pay, for example a debit card that draws from your HSA. You can also link your medical claims to your HSA and then elect to pay some or all of those claims automatically. This option can be turned on or off at any time during the year.
Electronic fund transfer (EFT) lets you easily transfer money from your HSA to your personal bank account allowing you to reimburse yourself for expenses paid for with personal funds. Online bill pay lets you pay your bills online by setting up a white or recurring payment a checkbook. If you purchase one your own personal funds, this allows you to save your HSA dollars for expenses in future years or at retirement.
There are many benefits to having an HSA. You own all the money in your HSA; it is always yours to keep and rolls over a year after year. You also get to decide how the money in your HSA is spent. The services you receive within your plan are up to you you also have opportunities to make decisions about your health. This includes the freedom to review the doctors and healthcare facilities that will best help you.
If you are considering an HSA, keep in mind these key benefits:
- You and your employer can contribute to your account up to the current federal limit.
- You own all the money in your HSA. It is always yours to keep and rolls over year after year.
- You get to decide how the money in your HSA is spent