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How to use my health savings account (HSA)

You have a high-deductible health plan. Learn how to get the most from it with an HSA.

What’s an HSA?

Think of a health savings account (HSA) as a special bank account for medical costs. You can put money into an HSA when you have a certain type of health plan, called a high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Then, you can save your money or spend it on eligible health care expenses that your plan doesn’t pay for. The money in your HSA:

  • Is yours to keep even if you leave your job
  • Is pre-tax money
  • Rolls over from year to year

Your HSA saves you money with lower taxable income, tax-free health care spending and tax-free interest earnings. You can even save it all the way to retirement – and pay for health care expenses later in life.

What’s a high-deductible health plan?

High-deductible health plans (HDHPs) and health savings accounts (HSAs) work together. They help you manage your health care needs and costs.

In order for your health plan to be a qualified HDHP and have an HSA, it must meet IRS standards. These standards determine what you pay before your plan kicks in and the most you’ll pay all year. In other words: your deductible and out-of-pocket maximum. If you don’t know whether your plan qualifies for an HSA, ask your employer.

Did you know HDHPs usually come with a lower premium? Since less comes out of your paycheck each month, you can stash some of the cash you save into your HSA. Use that money to pay for care until you reach your deductible or for coinsurance after that.

What can I spend my HSA on?

  • Doctor visits
  • Lab fees
  • Prescription medicines
  • Dental care and braces
  • Vision care and LASIK surgery
  • Medical equipment you use at home

Need help finding HSA eligible products?

HealthPartners has access to Health Shopper, an easy way to find and purchase eligible HSA products.

How much should I contribute and how do I set up my HSA?

Choosing how much to put in your health savings account (HSA) is a personal decision. You should add up how much you spent last year on eligible expenses, like doctor visits and prescriptions. Then, think about how those costs will compare with this year.

Once you decide an amount, your employer may help you by deducting money from your paycheck and sending it to a bank they’ve chosen. Or, you may be able to choose your own bank or credit union. Check with your employer. You can also deposit money into your HSA account at any time. After-tax deposits are tax deductible, so you still get the tax savings.

Your employer may also contribute to your HSA. No matter how, where, when or who puts money in your HSA, just make sure you stay below the IRS annual limits. For 2020, HSA contribution limits are $3,550 for individuals and $7,100 for families. If you're 55 or older, you can make an extra $1,000 contribution. Visit irs.gov for details.

Sign up for a myHealthPartners account

HealthPartners members can stay on top of their health plan claims and balances. It’s easy – just sign up or log on.

  • See how much money is in your HSA and review the last 10 deposits or withdrawals. (Not available for everyone, check with your employer.)
  • Check your deductible
  • Review and manage claims

How do I use my HSA money?

You can use your HSA money like a regular checking or savings account. Most HSAs come with a debit card or checkbook. Use it to pay for eligible expenses like a doctor’s bill, prescription medicine or glasses. Ask the bank your HSA is through about your options for spending HSA money. Be sure to save a copy of your bill or receipt.

What’s the difference between HSA, FSA and HRA?

All of these accounts help you save money with tax benefits.

  • Health savings account (HSA) is pre-tax money contributed for you and your dependents’ health care expenses. Both you and your employer can contribute money to this account. Eligible withdrawals aren’t taxed and interest is earned tax-free too. Unlike other accounts, the money in your HSA is yours to keep forever.
  • Flexible spending account (FSA) is pre-tax money you contribute for medical, dental or vision costs. Typically, this money is “use it or lose it” at the end of the year. Other reimbursement accounts can help you save on things like child care or transportation.
  • Health reimbursement account (HRA) is pre-tax money from your employer for eligible health care expenses this year. Your employer decides the amount of money in your HRA and what’s an eligible expense.

Frequently asked questions

Find answers to questions on rules, fees and taxes:

 

We’re here to help. See what your employer’s plan covers by logging on to view your health plan benefits. Or call us at 952-883-7000 or 866-443-9352, Monday – Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. CT.

Call the bank your HSA is through for tips and resources to make the most of your account.

Action plan

  1. Choose how much to put in your health savings account this year.
  2. Use your HSA money to pay for medical costs before your plan kicks in. Save your receipts.
  3. Manage your costs and find ways to save money. Log on to compare the costs of office visits, tests or medical procedures. And learn how to save on prescriptions.

This webpage has general HSA information. Please log on and refer to your employer’s plan document for information specific to your health plan.

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