All About Health Savings Accounts (HSA)
Frequently Asked Questions

These frequently asked questions and answers are provided for general information only and should not be cited as any type of legal authority. They are designed to provide the user with information required to respond to general inquiries. Due to the uniqueness and complexities of Federal tax law, it is imperative to ensure a full understanding of the specific question presented, and to perform the requisite research to ensure a correct response is provided.

For more specific questions, e-mail us at info@MidasFunds.com or contact Midas Funds Shareholder Services at 1-800-400-MIDAS (6432), 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern Time.


HSA Basics

What is a Health Savings Account ("HSA")?
What Is a "High Deductible Health Plan" (HDHP)?
How can I get a Health Savings Account?
How much does an HSA cost?


Who Can Have an HSA

Who is eligible for a Health Savings Account?
Can I get an HSA even if I have other insurance that pays medical bills?
Does the HDHP policy have to be in my name to open an HSA?
I don't have health insurance. Can I get an HSA?
I'm on Medicare. Can I have an HSA?
I am a veteran. Can I have an HSA?
My employer offers an FSA. Can I have both an FSA and an HSA?
My employer offers an HRA. Can I have both an HRA and an HSA?
My spouse has an FSA or HRA through their employer. Can I have HSA?
I don't have a job. Can I have an HSA?
Does my income affect whether I can have an HSA?
Can I start an HSA for my child?
I'm a single parent with HDHP coverage but have a child/relative that can be claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, and this dependent also has non-HDHP coverage. Am I still eligible for an HSA?


Contributing to an HSA

How much can I contribute to my HSA each year?
I have a very high deductible, is there a limit on how much I can contribute?
Do my HSA contributions have to be made in equal amounts each month?
Does my contribution depend on when I establish my HSA account or when my HDHP coverage begins?
Can my employer contribute to my HSA?
Do my contributions provide any tax benefits?
If my employer contributes to my HSA, does that also provide me any tax benefit?
Can I make contributions through my employer on a "pre-tax" basis?
Can I claim both the "above-the-line" deduction for an HSA and the itemized deduction for medical expenses?
I'm over 55 and would like to make catch-up contributions to my HSA, like I've done with my IRA. Is that possible?
I turned 55 this year. Can I make the full "catch-up" contribution?
If both spouses are 55 and older, can both spouses make "catch-up" contributions?
If each spouse has self-only HDHP coverage (neither spouse has family coverage), how much can we contribute?
If both spouses have family HDHP coverage but one spouse has other coverage, are both spouses eligible for an HSA? How much can each spouse contribute?
Does tax filing status (joint vs. separate) affect my contribution?
May a self-employed person contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis?


Using Your HSA

Does an HSA pay for the same things that regular insurance pays for?
How do I know what is included as "qualified medical expenses"?
Who decides whether the money I'm spending from my HSA is for a "qualified medical expense?"
What happens if I don't use the money in the HSA for medical expenses?
Are dental and vision care qualified medical expenses under a Health Savings Account?
Can I use the money in my HSA to pay for medical care for a family member?
Can I use my HSA to pay for medical services provided in other countries?
Can I pay my health insurance premiums with an HSA?
Can I purchase long-term care insurance with money from my HSA?
I have an HSA but no longer have HDHP coverage. Can I still use the money that is already in the HSA for medical expenses tax-free?
What happens to the money in my HSA if I lose my HDHP coverage?
Do unused funds in a Health Savings Account roll over year after year?
What happens to the money in a Health Savings Account after you turn age 65?
Can I use my HSA to pay for medical expenses incurred before I set up my account?
Who will be the "bookkeeper" for my HSA?
How do I use my HSA to pay my physician when I'm at the physician's office?


Establishing Your HSA

What do I have to do to "establish" my account?
What is the difference between an HSA "custodian" and an HSA "trustee"?
Can couples establish a "joint" account and both make contributions to the account, including "catch-up" contributions?
Must couples open separate accounts?
How soon can I open my account?
I want to make sure my HSA is "established" as soon as possible. Can I establish my account before my HDHP coverage begins?


Managing Your HSA

Who has control over the money invested in a Health Savings Account?
Can the funds in an HSA be invested?
Will my custodian notify me if I've exceeded my allowable contribution amount?
Can I borrow against the money in my HSA?
Can I roll the money in a Health Savings Account over into an IRA?
Can I roll over an IRA, 401(k) or other retirement plan into an HSA?
Can I roll funds in my Archer MSA into my HSA?
What happens to the money in my HSA when I die?


Employer Participation in HSAs

As an employer, do I own my employees' HSAs? Can I control how they spend the money in them?
My employees want to contribute to their HSAs but want to make sure they get a tax benefit out of doing so. How does that work?
How much do I have to contribute to my employees' HSA, as an employer?Do HSA contributions have to be made in equal amounts each month?
As an employer, do I have to contribute the same amount to every employee's HSA?
Our company offers benefits through a Section 125 plan, do contributions have to be comparable under these plans as well?
Our company wants to offer "matching" contributions, can we do that?
I don't offer health insurance, but some of my employees have opened HSAs and I'd like to help them out, what can I do?
How are contributions treated for owners and shareholders of S corps?
How are contributions treated for partners in a partnership or limited liability company (LLC)?
May a self-employed person contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis?


HSA Basics

What is a Health Savings Account ("HSA")?

A Health Savings Account is an alternative to traditional health insurance; it is a savings product that offers a different way for consumers to pay for their health care. HSAs enable you to pay for current health expenses and save for future qualified medical and retiree health expenses on a tax-free basis.

You must be covered by a High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) to be able to take advantage of HSAs. An HDHP generally costs less than traditional health care coverage, so the money saved on insurance can be put into the Health Savings Account.

You own and you control the money in your HSA. Decisions on how to spend the money are made by you without relying on a third party or a health insurer. You will also decide what types of investments to make with the money in the account in order to make it grow.

What Is a "High Deductible Health Plan" (HDHP)?

You must have an HDHP if you want to open an HSA. Sometimes referred to as a "catastrophic" health insurance plan, an HDHP is an inexpensive health insurance plan that generally doesn't pay for the first several thousand dollars of health care expenses (i.e., your "deductible") but will generally cover you after that. Your HSA is available to help you pay for the deductible or other expenses your plan does not cover.

For 2016, in order to qualify to open an HSA, your HDHP minimum deductible must be at least $1,300 (self-only coverage) or $2,600 (family coverage). The annual out-of-pocket (including deductibles and co-pays) for 2016 cannot exceed $6,550 (self-only coverage) or $13,100 (family coverage). HDHPs can have first dollar coverage (no deductible) for preventive care and apply higher out-of-pocket limits (and co-pays & coinsurance) for non-network services. Amounts are adjusted annually for inflation.

How can I get a Health Savings Account?

Consumers can sign up for a Midas Funds HSAs by filling out the application, and mailing it in with your contribution. Your employer may also set up a plan for employees as well.

How much does an HSA cost?

An HSA is a savings account into which you can deposit money on a tax-preferred basis for use with health-related expenses.

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Who Can Have an HSA

Who is eligible for a Health Savings Account?

To be eligible for a Health Savings Account, an individual must be covered by a HSA-qualified High Deductible Health Plan (HDHP) and must not be covered by other health insurance that is not an HDHP. Certain types of insurance are not considered "health insurance" (including dental, vision, disability and long-term care) and will not jeopardize your eligibility for an HSA.

Can I get an HSA even if I have other insurance that pays medical bills?

You are only allowed to have auto, dental, vision, disability and long-term care insurance at the same time as an HDHP. You may also have coverage for a specific disease or illness as long as it pays a specific dollar amount when the policy is triggered. Wellness programs offered by your employer are also permitted if they do not pay significant medical benefits.

Does the HDHP policy have to be in my name to open an HSA?

No, the policy does not have to be in your name. As long as you have coverage under the HDHP policy, you can be eligible for an HSA (assuming you meet the other eligibility requirements for contributing to an HSA). You can still be eligible for an HSA even if the policy is in your spouse's name.

I don't have health insurance. Can I get an HSA?

You cannot establish and contribute to an HSA unless you have coverage under a HDHP.

I'm on Medicare. Can I have an HSA?

You are not eligible for an HSA after you have enrolled in Medicare. If you had an HSA before you enrolled in Medicare, you can keep it. However, you cannot continue to make contributions to an HSA after you enroll in Medicare.

I am a veteran. Can I have an HSA?

If you have received any health benefits from the Veterans Administration or one of their facilities, including prescription drugs, in the last three months, you are not eligible for an HSA.

My employer offers an FSA (Flexible Spending Account). Can I have both an FSA and an HSA?

You can have both types of accounts, but only under certain circumstances. General FSAs will probably make you ineligible for an HSA. If your employer offers a "limited purpose" (limited to dental, vision or preventive care) or "post-deductible" (pay for medical expenses after the plan deductible is met) FSA, then you can still be eligible for an HSA.

My employer offers an HRA (Health Reimbursement Account). Can I have both an HRA and an HSA?

You can have both types of accounts, but only under certain circumstances. General HRAs will probably make you ineligible for an HSA. If your employer offers a "limited purpose" (limited to dental, vision or preventive care) or "post-deductible" (pay for medical expenses after the plan deductible is met) HRA, then you can still be eligible for an HSA. If your employer contributes to an HRA that can only be used when you retire, you can still be eligible for an HSA.

My spouse has an FSA or HRA through their employer. Can I have HSA?

You cannot have an HSA if your spouse's FSA or HRA can pay for any of your medical expenses before your HDHP deductible is met.

I don't have a job. Can I have an HSA?

Yes, if you have coverage under an HDHP. You do not have to have earned income from employment - in other words, the money can be from your own personal savings, income from dividends, unemployment or welfare benefits, etc.

Does my income affect whether I can have an HSA?

There are no income limits that affect HSA eligibility. However, if you do not file a federal income tax return, you may not receive all the tax benefits HSAs offer.

Can I start an HSA for my child?

No, you cannot establish separate accounts for your dependent children, including children who can legally be claimed as a dependent on your tax return.

I'm a single parent with HDHP coverage but have a child/relative that can be claimed as a dependent for tax purposes, and this dependent also has non-HDHP coverage. Am I still eligible for an HSA?

Yes, you are still eligible for an HSA. Your dependent's non-HDHP coverage does not affect your eligibility, even if they are covered by your HDHP.

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Contributing to an HSA

How much can I contribute to my HSA each year?

Your maximum annual HSA contribution is based on the statutory limit for your type of coverage. For 2014, if you have self-only HDHP coverage, your contribution is $3,250; $6,450 if family HDHP, no matter what your HDHP deductible is. If you are age 55 or older, you can also make additional "catch-up" contributions (see below).

I have a very high deductible, is there a limit on how much I can contribute?

The most you can put into your account for 2014 is $3,250 if you have single coverage and $6,450 for family coverage. These amounts will be adjusted for inflation in future years.

Do my HSA contributions have to be made in equal amounts each month?

No. You can contribute in a lump sum or in any amounts or frequency you wish. Your Midas Funds account has a $1,000 minimum investment to start. However, there is no minimum if you start an Automatic Investment Program, making at least $100 monthly investments. Automatic investing is safe, easy, and convenient -- just fill in the appropriate information on the application.

Does my contribution depend on when I establish my HSA account or when my HDHP coverage begins?

Your eligibility to contribute to an HSA is determined by the effective date of your HDHP coverage. Your annual contribution depends your HDHP coverage. If you are not covered on December 1, your contribution depends on the number of months of HDHP coverage you have during the year (technically, the months where you have HDHP coverage on the first day of the month).

If you are covered on December 1, you are treated as an eligible individual for the entire year. However, if you cease to be an eligible individual during the following year, the excess over the prorated contribution is included in income and subject to a 10% additional tax. The amount you can contribute is not determined by the date you establish your account. Medical expenses incurred before the date your HSA is established cannot be reimbursed from the account.

Can my employer contribute to my HSA?

Contributions to HSAs can be made by you, your employer, or both. All contributions are aggregated to determine whether you have contributed the maximum allowed. If your employer contributes some of the money, you can make up the difference.

Do my contributions provide any tax benefits?

Your personal contributions offer you an "above-the-line" deduction. An "above-the-line" deduction allows you to reduce your taxable income by the amount you contribute to your HSA. You do not have to itemize your deductions to benefit. Contributions can also be made to your HSA by others (e.g., relatives). However, you receive the benefit of the tax deduction.

If my employer contributes to my HSA, does that also provide me any tax benefit?

If your employer makes a contribution to your HSA, the contribution is not taxable to you the employee (excluded from income).

Can I make contributions through my employer on a "pre-tax" basis?

If your employer offers a "salary reduction" plan (also known as a "Section 125 plan" or "cafeteria plan"), you can make contributions to your HSA on a pre-tax basis (i.e., before income taxes and FICA taxes). If you can do so, you cannot also take the "above-the-line" deduction on your personal income taxes.

Can I claim both the "above-the-line" deduction for an HSA and the itemized deduction for medical expenses?

You may be able to claim the medical expense deduction even if you contribute to an HSA. However, you cannot include any contribution to the HSA or any distribution from the HSA, including distributions taken for non-medical expenses, in the calculation for claiming the itemized deduction for medical expenses.

I'm over 55 and would like to make catch-up contributions to my HSA, like I've done with my IRA. Is that possible?

Yes, individuals 55 and older who are covered by an HDHP can make additional catch-up contributions each year until they enroll in Medicare. The additional "catch-up" contributions to HSA allowed are as follows:

2015 - $1,000

I turned 55 this year. Can I make the full "catch-up" contribution?

If you had HDHP coverage for the full year, you can make the full catch-up contribution regardless of when your 55th birthday falls during the year. If you did not have HDHP coverage for the full year, you must prorate your "catch-up" contribution for the number of full months you had HDHP coverage. However, if you are covered on December 1, you are treated as an eligible individual for the entire year and get the full contribution.

If both spouses are 55 and older, can both spouses make "catch-up" contributions?

Yes, if both spouses are eligible individuals and both spouses have established an HSA in their name. If only one spouse has an HSA in their name, only that spouse can make a "catch-up" contribution.

If each spouse has self-only HDHP coverage (neither spouse has family coverage), how much can we contribute?

For 2014 and forward, each spouse is eligible to contribute to an HSA in their own name, up to the statutory limit. Catch-up contributions are in addition to these limits.

If both spouses have family HDHP coverage but one spouse has other coverage, are both spouses eligible for an HSA? How much can each spouse contribute?

The following examples describe how much can be contributed under varying circumstances. Assume that neither spouse qualifies for "catch-up contributions."

Example 1: Husband and wife have family HDHP coverage with a $5,000 deductible. Husband has no other coverage. Wife also has self-only coverage with a $200 deductible. Wife, who has coverage under a low-deductible plan, is not eligible and cannot contribute to an HSA. Husband may contribute $5,800 to an HSA.
Example 2: Husband and wife have family HDHP coverage with a $5,000 deductible. Husband has no other coverage. Wife also has self-only HDHP coverage with a $2,200 deductible. Both husband and wife are eligible individuals. Husband and wife are treated as having only family coverage. The combined HSA contribution by husband and wife cannot exceed $5,800, to be divided between them by agreement.
Example 3: Husband and wife have family HDHP coverage with a $5,000 deductible. Husband has no other coverage. Wife also has family HDHP coverage with a $3,000 deductible. Both husband and wife are eligible individuals. The maximum combined HSA contribution by husband and wife is $5,800, to be divided between them by agreement.
Example 4: Husband and wife have family HDHP coverage with a $5,000 deductible. Husband has no other coverage. Wife also has family coverage with a $200 deductible. Husband and wife are treated as having family coverage with the lowest annual deductible ($200). Neither husband nor wife is an eligible individual and neither may contribute to an HSA.
Example 5: Husband and wife have family HDHP coverage with a $5,000 deductible. Husband has no other coverage. Wife also is enrolled in Medicare. Wife is not an eligible individual and cannot contribute to an HSA. Husband may contribute $5,800 to an HSA.

Does tax filing status (joint vs. separate) affect my contribution?

Tax filing status does not affect your contribution.

May a self-employed person contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis?

No. Self-employed persons may not contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis and may not take the amount of their HSA contribution as a deduction for SECA purposes. However, they may contribute to an HSA with after-tax dollars and take the above-the-line deduction.

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Using Your HSA

Does an HSA pay for the same things that regular insurance pays for?

HSA funds can pay for any "qualified medical expense", even if the expense is not covered by your HDHP. For example, most health insurance does not cover the cost of over-the-counter medicines, but HSAs can. If the money from the HSA is used for qualified medical expenses, then the money spent is tax-free.

How do I know what is included as "qualified medical expenses"?

There is currently no definitive list of "qualified medical expenses". A partial list is provided in IRS Pub 502. There have been thousands of cases involving the many nuances of what constitutes "medical care" for purposes of section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code. A determination of whether an expense is for "medical care" is based on all the relevant facts and circumstances. To be an expense for medical care, the expense has to be primarily for the prevention or alleviation of a physical or mental defect or illness. The determination often hangs on the word "primarily."

Eligible Medical Expenses

Abdominal supports
Abortion
Acupuncture
Air conditioner (when necessary for relief from difficulty in breathing)
Alcoholism treatment
Ambulance
Anesthetist
Arch supports
Artificial limbs
Autoette (when used for relief of sickness/disability)
Birth control pills (by prescription)
Blood tests
Blood transfusions
Braces
Cardiographs
Chiropractor
Christian Science Practitioner
Contact Lenses
Contraceptive devices (by prescription)
Convalescent home (for medical treatment only)
Crutches
Dental treatment
Dental x-rays
Dentures
Dermatologist
Diagnostic fees
Diathermy
Drug addiction therapy
Drugs (by prescription)
Elastic hosiery (by prescription)
Eyeglasses (by prescription)
Fees paid to health institute prescribed by a doctor
FICA and FUTA taxes paid for medical services
Fluoridation unit
Guide dog
Gum treatment
Gynecologist
Healing services
Hearing aids and batteries
Hospital bills
Hydrotherapy
Insulin treatment
Lab tests
Lead paint removal
Legal fees

Lodging (away from home for outpatient care)
Long term care insurance premiums
Medicare Parts A & B after age 65
Metabolism tests
Neurologist
Nursing (including board and meals)
Obstetrician
Operating room costs
Ophthalmologist
Optician
Optometrist
Oral surgery
Organ transplant (including donor's expenses)
Orthopedic shoes
Orthopedist
Osteopath
Oxygen and oxygen equipment
Pediatrician
Physician
Physiotherapist
Podiatrist
Postnatal treatments
Practical nurse for medical services
Prenatal care
Prescription medicines
Psychiatrist
Psychoanalyst
Psychologist
Psychotherapy
Radium therapy
Registered nurse
Special school costs for the handicapped
Spinal fluid test
Splints
Sterilization
Surgeon
Telephone or TV equipment to assist the hard-of-hearing
Therapy equipment
Transportation expenses (relative to health care)
Ultra-violet ray treatment
Vaccines
Vasectomy
Vitamins (by prescription)
Wheelchair
X-rays

Who decides whether the money I'm spending from my HSA is for a "qualified medical expense?"

You are responsible for that decision, and therefore should familiarize yourself with what qualified medical expenses are (as partially defined in IRS Publication 502) and also keep your receipts in case you need to defend your expenditures or decisions during an audit.

What happens if I don't use the money in the HSA for medical expenses?

If the money is used for other than qualified medical expenses, the expenditure will be taxed and, for individuals who are not disabled or over age 65, subject to a 10% tax penalty.

Are dental and vision care qualified medical expenses under a Health Savings Account?

Yes, as long as these are deductible under the current rules. For example, cosmetic procedures, like cosmetic dentistry, would not be considered qualified medical expenses.

Can I use the money in my HSA to pay for medical care for a family member?

Yes. You may withdraw funds to pay for the qualified medical expenses of yourself, your spouse or a dependent without tax penalty. This is one of the great advantages of HSAs.

Can I use my HSA to pay for medical services provided in other countries?

Yes.

Can I pay my health insurance premiums with an HSA?

You can only use your HSA to pay health insurance premiums if you are collecting Federal or State unemployment benefits, or you have COBRA continuation coverage through a former employer.

Can I purchase long-term care insurance with money from my HSA?

Yes, if you have tax-qualified long-term care insurance. However, the amount considered a qualified medical expense depends on your age. See IRS Publication 502 for the amounts deductible by age.

I have an HSA but no longer have HDHP coverage. Can I still use the money that is already in the HSA for medical expenses tax-free?

Once funds are deposited into the HSA, the account can be used to pay for qualified medical expenses tax-free, even if you no longer have HDHP coverage. The funds in your account roll over automatically each year and remain indefinitely until used. There is no time limit on using the funds.

What happens to the money in my HSA if I lose my HDHP coverage?

Funds deposited into your HSA remain in your account and automatically roll over from one year to the next. You may continue to use the HSA funds for qualified medical expenses. You are no longer eligible to contribute to an HSA for months that you are not an eligible individual because you are not covered by an HDHP. If you have coverage by an HDHP for less than a year, the annual maximum contribution is reduced; if you made a contribution to your HSA for the year based on a full year's coverage by the HDHP, you will need to withdraw some of the contribution to avoid the tax on excess HSA contributions. If you regain HDHP coverage at a later date, you can begin making contributions to your HSA again.

Do unused funds in a Health Savings Account roll over year after year?

Yes, the unused balance in a Health Savings Account automatically rolls over year after year. You won't lose your money if you don't spend it within the year.

What happens to the money in a Health Savings Account after you turn age 65?

You can continue to use your account tax-free for out-of-pocket health expenses. When you enroll in Medicare, you can use your account to pay Medicare premiums, deductibles, co-pays, and coinsurance under any part of Medicare. If you have retiree health benefits through your former employer, you can also use your account to pay for your share of retiree medical insurance premiums. The one expense you cannot use your account for is to purchase a Medicare supplemental insurance or "Medigap" policy.

Once you turn age 65, you can also use your account to pay for things other than medical expenses. If used for other expenses, the amount withdrawn will be taxable as income but will not be subject to any other penalties. Individuals under age 65 who use their accounts for non-medical expenses must pay income tax and a 10% penalty on the amount withdrawn.

Can I use my HSA to pay for medical expenses incurred before I set up my account?

No. You cannot reimburse qualified medical expenses incurred before your account is established.

Who will be the "bookkeeper" for my HSA?

It is your responsibility to keep track of your deposits and expenditures and keep all of your receipts. If you run out of HSA funds (and therefore need to use your HDHP), you may need to send those receipts to your insurer.

How do I use my HSA to pay my physician when I'm at the physician's office?

If you are still covered by your HDHP and have not met your policy deductible, you will be responsible for 100% of the amount agreed to be paid by your insurance policy to the physician. Your physician may ask you to pay for the services provided before you leave the office.

You can pay the physician with your own money and reimburse yourself for the expense from the account after your visit.

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Establishing Your HSA

What do I have to do to "establish" my account?

You can open your Health Savings Account by mailing the completed application with your check, or by wire. You can also set up Automatic Investment options, to make monthly investments. Automatic investing is safe, easy, and convenient -- just fill in the appropriate information on the application.

By mail: Simply complete an application, enclose it with your check drawn to the order of Midas Funds, and mail to
Midas Funds
Box 46707
Cincinnati, OH 45246-0707.

By wire: Call Midas toll-free at 1-800-400-MIDAS (6432), 8 a.m.-6 p.m. Eastern time, to be assigned an account number and for wiring instructions.

You should carefully consider the investment objectives, risks, charges and expenses of mutual funds before investing or sending money. For a free prospectus, which contains this and other important information about the Midas Funds, please contact us or download here. Read the prospectus carefully before you invest (or send money).

What is the difference between an HSA "custodian" and an HSA "trustee"?

The differences between a "custodian" and a "trustee" are minor. A trust is a legal entity under which assets are actually owned and held on behalf of a beneficiary. The trustee has some level of discretionary fiduciary authority over the assets of the fund. The trustee must exercise that authority in the best interests of the beneficiary. A custodial arrangement, on the other hand, is like a trust, but the custodian simply holds the assets on behalf of the owner of the assets. Other than holding the assets and doing as the owner orders, the custodian has no fiduciary obligations to the owner. The determination of what constitutes a trust or custodial arrangement is a determination made under state law.

Can couples establish a "joint" account and both make contributions to the account, including "catch-up" contributions?

"Joint" HSA accounts are not permitted. Each spouse should consider establishing an account in their own name. This allows you to both make catch-up contributions when each spouse is 55 or older.

Must couples open separate accounts?

If both husband and wife are eligible to contribute to an HSA, they are both eligible to establish separate HSAs. However, if both spouses want to make "catch-up" contributions when they are age 55+, they must establish separate accounts.

How soon can I open my account?

Your account can be established as early as the effective date of your HDHP coverage. However, if your coverage begins on any day other than the first day of the month, you cannot establish your account until the first day of the following month.

I want to make sure my HSA is "established" as soon as possible. Can I establish my account before my HDHP coverage begins?

You can complete all the paperwork and make a minimum deposit to your account prior to the effective date of your HDHP coverage. However, your account is not officially "established" until your HDHP coverage begins. But completing the necessary steps before your coverage begins ensures that your HSA will be "established" as early as possible. This is especially important when your HDHP coverage is effective on a non-business day.

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Managing Your HSA

Who has control over the money invested in a Health Savings Account?

The account holder controls all decisions over how the money is invested. You can also choose not to invest your funds.

Can the funds in an HSA be invested?

Yes, you can invest the funds in your HSA. The same types of investments permitted for IRAs are allowed for HSAs, including stocks, bonds, mutual funds, and certificates of deposit.

Will my custodian notify me if I've exceeded my allowable contribution amount?

No, it is your sole responsibility to keep track of the amounts deposited and spent from your account, just like a normal savings or checking account.

Can I borrow against the money in my HSA?

No. You may not borrow against it or pledge the funds in it. For more information on prohibited activities, see Section 4975 of the Internal Revenue Code.

Can I roll the money in a Health Savings Account over into an IRA?

You cannot roll the HSA funds over into an IRA. They will stay in the HSA or be rolled into another HSA.

Can I roll over an IRA, 401(k) or other retirement plan into an HSA?

An individual can now make a one-time, irrevocable transfer from an IRA to an HSA. The transfer does count against the annual contribution maximum and requires the individual to be in an HSA-eligible HDHP for a period of 12 months after this transfer is complete.

Can I roll funds in my Archer MSA into my HSA?

Yes, if you do so within 60 days of withdrawing the funds from the Archer MSA.

What happens to the money in my HSA when I die?

What happens depends on how the HSA is designed. If your spouse is designated as the beneficiary by you, your spouse becomes the owner of the HSA when you die. If you provide that it goes to your estate or other entity, the value of the HSA at death is income to the estate or other entity.

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Employer participation in HSAs

As an employer, do I own my employees' HSAs? Can I control how they spend the money in them?

No, you do not own your employees' HSAs. The employee fully owns the contributions to the account as soon as they are deposited, just as with a personal checking or savings account to which you would deposit their compensation.

My employees want to contribute to their HSAs but want to make sure they get a tax benefit out of doing so. How does that work?

Employee contributions can be made to HSAs on either after-tax or pre-tax basis. If made on an after-tax basis they should be counted as an above-the-line deduction on their tax return, effectively making their contributions tax-free. If they want to make the contribution pre-tax it can be done through a Section 125 (also called a "salary reduction" or "cafeteria plan").

How much do I have to contribute to my employees' HSA, as an employer?

As much or as little as you want (while staying below the legal limit on annual contributions to the account).

Do HSA contributions have to be made in equal amounts each month?

No, you can contribute in a lump sum or in any amounts or frequency you wish. However, keep in mind that the funds belong to the employee after they are deposited.

As an employer, do I have to contribute the same amount to every employee's HSA?

Employer contributions must be "comparable", that is they must be in the same dollar amount or same percentage of the employee's deductible for all employees in the same "class". You can vary the level of contributions for "full-time" vs. "part-time" employees, and employees with "self-only" coverage vs. "family coverage". You do not need to consider employees who do not have HDHP coverage as they are not eligible for HSA contributions.

Our company offers benefits through a Section 125 plan, do contributions have to be comparable under these plans as well?

Section 125 plans (also known as "salary reduction" or "cafeteria" plans) must meet a different set of rules. Under these plans, contributions (both from employer and/or employee) must meet "non-discrimination" rules. These rules require the employer to ensure that contributions do not favor higher compensated employees.

Our company wants to offer "matching" contributions, can we do that?

Yes, but your company can only offer "matching" contributions through a Section 125 plan. Remember that the non-discrimination rules still apply.

I don't offer health insurance, but some of my employees have opened HSAs and I'd like to help them out, what can I do?

Your company can make pre-tax contributions to your employees' HSAs as long as you do so for all eligible employees. However, the comparability rules apply. If you have a Section 125 plan, then the non-discrimination rules apply.

How are contributions treated for owners and shareholders of S corps?

Owners and officers with greater than 2% share of a Subchapter S corporation cannot make pre-tax contributions to their HSAs through the company by salary reduction. In addition, any contributions made to their HSAs by the corporation are taxable as income. However, they can make their own personal contributions to their HSAs and take the "above-the-line" deduction on their personal income taxes.

How are contributions treated for partners in a partnership or limited liability company (LLC)?

Partners in a partnership or LLC cannot make pre-tax contributions to their HSAs through the partnership by salary reduction. However, they can make their own personal contributions to their HSAs and take the "above-the-line" deduction on their personal income taxes.

May a self-employed person contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis?

No. Self-employed persons may not contribute to an HSA on a pre-tax basis and may not take the amount of their HSA contribution as a deduction for SECA purposes. However, they may contribute to an HSA with after-tax dollars and take the above-the-line deduction.

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