Health Savings Account FAQs
What is a Health Savings Account?
A Health Savings Account (HSA) allows eligible individuals who are covered by a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to pay for eligible medical expenses of the eligible individual, his/her spouse, and his/her tax dependents.
An HSA helps you pay for the medical expenses not covered by your HDHP—tax-free.
What is a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP)?
To contribute to an HSA, generally, you may only have health coverage under a qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP). A qualified HDHP usually has a higher annual deductible than a typical health insurance plan. Additionally, there is a maximum limit on the sum of the annual deductible and out-of-pocket medical expenses that an individual must pay for covered expenses.
What are the benefits of an HSA?
HSAs offer the benefit of tax-advantaged savings and reduced taxable income, regardless of your income level. Individuals may set aside income tax-free and build assets that they can use in their retirement years; and/or reduce their medical costs right now.
- HSAs afford you several tax advantages:
- Tax-free contributions
- Tax-free growth
- Tax-free distributions for eligible medical expenses
- You “own” the account:
- Balances roll over from year to year, there’s no “use or lose” requirement
- Even if you change jobs, change medical coverage, become unemployed, move to another state, or change your marital status, your HSA goes with you!
- HSA dollars may pay for eligible medical expenses as defined by the Internal Revenue Code. Eligible medical expenses would include deductibles, co-payments, dental, vision expenses, or doctor appointments, as long as these expenses are not covered by other insurance.
What happens to my HSA if I switch employers?
Your HSA is your account, and you may take it with you wherever you work. If you participate in a qualified HDHP at your new employer, you may continue contributing to your HSA. If your employer has an HSA set up under a Section 125 Plan, you may continue to contribute on a pre-tax basis through payroll deduction. If your employer does not offer an HSA, you may no longer contribute to your HSA. However, you may still use your remaining HSA funds to pay for eligible medical expenses.
What if I am no longer covered by a qualified HDHP?
If you are no longer covered under a qualified HDHP, you may no longer contribute to your HSA. However, you may still use your remaining HSA funds to pay for eligible medical expenses.
Can my HSA be used to pay premiums?
Generally, HSA funds may not be used to pay for health insurance premiums tax-free. However, there are exceptions for some premiums where distributions are considered eligible. You may use your HSA funds to pay for health insurance premiums if you are collecting Federal or State unemployment benefits, if you have COBRA continuation coverage through a former employer, or have Medicare part A, B, C, or D (supplemental medical coverage premiums do not qualify).
Do the funds in an HSA roll over?
Yes! Unused funds roll over year to year, so you will not lose any money you don’t use.
Can you have more than one HSA?
Yes, you can have more than one HSA. You must be covered by a qualified HDHP to contribute to them, and your contributions combined must not exceed the annual maximum limit.
What can I purchase with my HSA?
The funds you withdraw from your HSA are tax-free when used to pay for eligible medical expenses. Refer to the HSA Eligibility List for a comprehensive look at many of the items covered by an HSA.
Do HSAs cover anything not covered by a Healthcare Flexible Spending Account (HCFSA)?
Yes, in addition to covering the same items as an HCFSA, HSAs will also cover COBRA and long-term care expenses.
Can HSA funds be invested?
An HSA offers significant tax advantages and provides opportunities to invest in mutual funds. If you’re looking for an additional way to plan for retirement, an HSA may provide you with another means to save for your retirement goals.
When to invest your money
Account holders can choose to invest their funds in a variety of options. A minimum balance of $2,500 must be maintained in the HSA before investing.
InvesTrust, a member of the American Fidelity family, serves as the custodian for all investments made through your HSA.
You will not be charged fees to invest, however, fees associated with certain funds may be incurred. We recommend you review the fund’s prospectus for additional information when choosing an investment option.
Where to invest your money
American Fidelity Assurance Company provides no-load mutual funds that cross all investment risk tolerances, such as American Funds, AIM, Vanguard, and Morgan Stanley. You pick the mutual fund that best suits your needs and risk tolerance from our selected list.
What happens to my HSA when I die?
Upon the death of an HSA account holder, any amounts remaining transfer to the designated beneficiary. If the beneficiary is the surviving spouse, then the spouse becomes the account holder of the HSA and the transfer is not taxable. Any distributions that are used for non-eligible medical expenses are subject to income tax. If the beneficiary is someone other than the deceased account holder's surviving spouse, then the HSA ceases to be an HSA and is subject to income tax.
I lost my HSA card, how do I get a new one?
What is my HSA balance?
To check your HSA balance, log in to your online account. On the home page, or under the My HSA tab, you will be able to review your current account balance and information.
How do I pay with my HSA?
Benefits Debit Card
When you use your Benefits Debit Card to pay for eligible medical expenses, the amount is deducted straight from your account.
With an HSA, funds are available in your account as contributions are made. If funds are not yet available at the time a payment is due, you may pay out of pocket and reimburse yourself when you have funds in your account with the following methods:
Online Bill Pay
You can choose to reimburse yourself for any eligible medical expenses or pay your provider directly from your online account using our online bill pay option.
If you prefer not to use the online reimbursement option, you can withdraw funds to reimburse yourself for eligible medical expenses by completing our Distribution Request Form and mailing or faxing it back to American Fidelity.
How do I obtain my Benefits Debit Card PIN?
You may obtain your debit card PIN by creating an online account. Once in your online account, select My Profile from the top, then select Debit Card Management from the drop-down box. You can display your PIN by clicking on the thumbtack icon next to your name.
What are the fees associated with an HSA?
Fees vary depending on what your employer has decided to pay or not pay on your behalf. See our Fee Schedule for details.
Are there any tax penalties if I close my HSA?
There are no tax penalties to close your HSA. Keep in mind that if you pay for an ineligible medical expense, you must report it in your annual tax filing and pay income tax and a 20% additional tax penalty before age 65.
Do I need to report HSA activity on my tax forms?
Yes, there are specific forms you will receive to report on your tax forms if you have an HSA. Below are a few of the necessary forms you will need to help you file your tax return correctly with the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).
NOTE: American Fidelity Assurance Company does NOT provide tax advice. If you have questions regarding how to fill out IRS Form 8889, you will need to consult a tax professional.
IRS Form 1099-SA reflects all distributions from your HSA for the previous tax year. You will only receive this tax form if you’ve taken distributions for the specific tax year. These forms are mailed out and made available to you through your online account at the end of January.
IRS Form 5498-SA indicates your total contributions from the previous tax year. These contributions can be made up until the federal tax-filing deadline (usually April 15) of the new tax year. These forms are mailed out and made available to you through your online account at the end of May.
The information for contributions is also on your W-2, box 12, as long as you've contributed via payroll deduction. You do not have to wait until the end of May for your contribution information.
IRS Form W-2 shows total contributions made to your HSA through your employer (both your own pre-tax contributions and any your employer makes on your behalf) in Box 12W. This form is provided to you by your employer.
IRS Form 8889 is used to report contributions, distributions, and your tax deductions. You or your tax professional will complete this form using IRS Forms 1099-SA and 5498-SA provided by American Fidelity.
IRS Publication 502 – Eligible and ineligible medical expenses.*
IRS Publication 969 – Health Savings Accounts and other tax-favored health plans
IRS Forms 1099-SA and 5498-SA – Complete instructions for these forms
How do I reimburse myself?
If you paid for an expense out of pocket and need to reimburse yourself, log in to your online account. Hover over My HSA and click Request a Payment.
Is there a time limit to when I can reimburse myself?
No, there is no time limit to when you can reimburse yourself, as long as the expenses were incurred after you opened your HSA.
Do I need to keep receipts for HSA transactions?
You are not required to submit receipts to withdraw funds from your HSA. However, we recommend keeping receipts for your records to prove funds were used for eligible medical expenses in case of an audit.
Who is eligible to open an HSA?
Employees can open an HSA if they:
- Are included in an employer-sponsored qualified High Deductible Health Plan
- Are not covered by any other type of health plan, including Medicare
- Are not claimed as a dependent on another person’s tax return (excluding spouse)
Can I use my HSA to pay for my spouse or dependent’s medical expenses?
Yes. As the HSA account holder, you are eligible to use your funds, without penalty, for eligible medical expenses of your spouse and any tax-dependent children, regardless of their major medical plan.
What expenses are eligible to purchase with HSA funds?
Refer to the HSA Eligibility List for a comprehensive look at many of the items covered by an HSA.
What is the maximum annual contribution amount?
The 2018 contribution limits are $3,450 for single plans and $6,900 for family plans. For 2019, the contribution limits are $3,500 for single plans and $7,000 for family plans.
How do the contributions work for married couples?
If both spouses have an HSA and are eligible to contribute, their total contributions cannot exceed the family maximum, regardless of if they have individual HSA accounts or a family account.
What is the "catch-up" contribution for individuals 55 or older?
The “catch-up” contribution is $1,000 annually. To be eligible for the catch-up contribution, you must be between the ages of 55 and 65, (or 65 and older if you are not enrolled in Medicare).
How do I contribute to my HSA?
We offer three easy ways to contribute funds to your HSA:
Contribute Through Payroll Deduction
Payroll deduction allows you to have contributions taken directly from your paycheck. The funds are deducted pre-tax through your employer’s Section 125 Plan. You may change or stop your contribution amount at any time through your employer.
Employees should contact their Human Resources department to start payroll deductions.
Contribute Online or By Check
Contributing funds to your HSA outside of payroll deduction is easy! To contribute online, log in to your online account and hover over My HSA, Fund My HSA, and click Make a Contribution. If you decide to contribute directly to your account, you will need to take the appropriate steps on your annual tax return to receive the tax savings benefit. You may also contribute by check by completing a Contribution Form.1
Transfer Funds from Another Provider
New or existing account holders may roll over or transfer HSA funds from another provider to American Fidelity. This allows you to consolidate your HSA funds into one account, minimizing account maintenance. Contact your HSA provider for instructions.
Can I have an HSA and an Individual Retirement Account (IRA)?
Yes, you can have both an HSA and an IRA.
Although HSAs operate under many of the same rules that apply to traditional IRAs, an HSA is not an IRA; it is a tax-advantaged savings account for current and future medical expenses.
Can you use your HSA after you retire?
At age 65 and older, your funds continue to be available without federal or state income tax (in most states) for eligible medical expenses. For instance, you may use your HSA to pay certain insurance premiums, such as Medicare Parts A and B, Medicare HMO, or your share of retiree medical coverage offered by a former employer. Funds cannot be used tax-free to purchase Medigap or Medicare supplemental policies.
If you use your funds for eligible medical expenses, the distributions from your account remain tax-free. If you use the monies for non-eligible expenses after you turn 65, the distribution becomes taxable but exempt from the 20% penalty.
With enrollment in Medicare, you are no longer eligible to contribute to your HSA. If you reach age 65 or become disabled, you may still contribute to your HSA if you have not enrolled in Medicare.
How does an HSA work with Medicare?
You may not contribute to an HSA if you are enrolled in Medicare. However, you may still use your existing HSA funds for eligible medical expenses tax-free. If you choose to use the funds for ineligible medical expenses, and you are age 65 and older, you must only pay income tax on the funds—the 20% additional tax penalty does not apply to you. If you are Medicare eligible, but you have not enrolled in Medicare, you are eligible to contribute to an HSA if you meet all other eligibility requirements.
How to Use Your HSA with an HDHP
If your employer offers a High Deductible Health Plan, now’s the time to learn more about HSAs. Selecting the right coverage for you and your family is important, and we want to help you understand your benefit options.
HSA Store makes it easy for customers to start, learn about, and manage their tax-free health savings accounts. With the largest selection of HSA-eligible products online, intuitive tools, and educational content you can actually understand, this eCommerce site simplifies how technology and personal finance can help keep us healthy. HSA Store makes navigating health savings accounts easy.
For additional assistance or to file an HSA reimbursement, please log in to your account.