Health Savings Accounts (HSAs)
- What is an HSA and how does it work?
- A health savings account (HSA) is a tax-advantaged account that works in conjunction with an HSA-eligible health plan that meets IRS guidelines and allows the participant to save tax-free money for eligible medical expenses. Money in an HSA rolls over year after year and is owned by the participant even if they change jobs or health plans.
- How do employees save on taxes with an HSA?
- Account holders receive a "triple tax benefit":
- Reduce taxable income - HSA contributions through payroll are made pre-tax, which lowers tax liability on paychecks. Manual contributions are tax deductible when filing taxes each year.
- Tax-free earnings - Interest growth earned on HSA funds is never taxed.
- Tax-free distributions - HSA funds are not taxed when used for eligible expenses.
- Is a debit card available?
Yes. A Visa® debit card is available for eligible medical expenses, and can be used at the point of purchase or after care.
This card is issued by the Bancorp Bank, pursuant to a license from Visa U.S.A. Inc. and can be used for qualified expenses wherever Visa debit cards are accepted.
- What are the IRS guidelines the health plan must meet?
- An HSA can only be opened with a health plan that meets the following IRS rules:
Minimum annual deductible
An individual (embedded deductible) on a family policy cannot be less than the minimum family deducible amount listed established by law
The maximum for the health plan cannot exceed these amounts
- You cannot be claimed as a tax dependent by someone else
- You cannot be enrolled in Medicare or Tricare.
- You cannot be covered under a health plan (as an individual, spouse, or dependent) that is not an HDHP
- If you are also covered by a medical flexible spending account (FSA), it must be a limited FSA, covering only vision and dental expenses.
This applies even if the FSA is in your spouse's name.
- If you are also covered by a health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), it must be a limited HRA, covering only vision and dental expenses.
This applies even if the HRA is in your spouse's name.
- What expenses can be paid from an HSA?
Any out-of-pocket and unreimbursed medical expenses allowed under section 213(d) of the Internal Revenue Code, including medical premiums (under limited circumstances) and long-term care expenses.
For a detailed listing, see Eligible Expenses.
- How is an HSA funded?
- Contributions to an HSA can come from the account holder, the employer, or both. The HSA contribution limits for individual or family health plans change annually and are as follows:
The table below displays the current HSA contribution limits. Current contribution information can be found on the U.S. Department of Treasury website at treas.gov.
Tax Year Individual Coverage Limits Family Coverage Limits 2020 $3,550 $7,100 2021 not yet announced not yet announced
Once age 55, members can contribute an additional $1,000 towards their HSA (either individual and family coverage).
- What HSA investment options are available?
- If desired, the account holder can leave the entire HSA balance at CareFirst, where it earns interest, or choose to invest a portion of it. Once an HSA base balance exceeds $1,000, the account holder can open a basic, self-directed investment account, which gives access to more than 30 no-load and load-waived pre-selected mutual funds. At least $1,000 must be kept in the base balance of the HSA account.
In addition, when the basic investment account balance exceeds $10,000, the account holder can open a self-directed brokerage investment account with Charles Schwab. This account allows access to more than 2,500 mutual funds from a variety of families, as well as stocks, bonds, and other investments.
- Do you have an FDIC-insured HSA plan?
- Yes, our CareFirst Select HSA plan is FDIC-insured.