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Health Savings Account FAQ

What is a Health Savings Account (HSA)?

An HSA is a tax-free savings account that can be used to pay for insurance deductibles and qualified out-of-pocket medical expenses.  HSA’s work with low premium/high deductible insurance plans to cover major medical expenses.

What kind of health insurance do I need to be enrolled in to have an HSA?

You must be enrolled in any qualified high-deductible health plan.  At WSU, these plans are the Consumer-Directed Health Plans (CDHPs).

How do I enroll for an HSA?

When you change your medical plan to one of the three CDHPs offered through the PEBB, you will automatically be enrolled in an HSA.

What is a qualified medical expense? Can I use my HSA for eye glasses/contacts, dental expenses, or cosmetic surgery?

A list of qualified medical expenses can be found on the HealthEquity website, the IRS website, and the HSA Guidebook.

Your HSA can be used for eye glasses/contacts and dental expenses, however, these expenses may not apply to your deductible.  Check with your insurance plan for more information.

Your HSA can only be used for cosmetic surgery if it is prescribed by a physician as being medically necessary.

Can I use my HSA to pay for co-payments and doctor’s office visits?

Yes.  View the HSA Guidebook on the HealthEquity website for more information.

How much money can be contributed to my HSA?

The maximum contribution amount for 2013 is $3,250 for an individual, or $6,450 for a family. Maximum contribution amounts for 2014 are $3,330 and $6,550, respectively. If you’re age 55 or older, you can contribute an additional $1,000 per year.

WSU will contribute $700 to an HSA for an individual, or $1400 for family.  The WSU contribution counts towards the maximum contribution level.

Can I access and manage my HSA online? 

Yes.  You can view your account information, balances, claim transactions, pay providers, request reimbursements, and manage your personal information through the HealthEquity Member Portal.

How do I make contributions to my HSA?

WSU offers employees the option to contribute to their HSA on a pre-taxed basis, through payroll deduction. Employees must complete the Employee Authorization for Payroll Deduction to HSA form and submit the form to HRS. This option is available for 2014 and onward deductions only and is NOT available in 2013. Employees may start, stop or change their contributions amounts at any time.

Employees also have the option to make one-time or systematic contributions to your HSA online through he HealthEquity Member Portal. These contributions will be made on a post-tax basis.

How do I access the funds in my HSA?

You can access your funds through the HealthEquity Member Portal or you can also be issued a debit card and/or checkbook.

Does the money from my HSA rollover from year to year?

Yes. The money in your HSA is yours to use whenever you need it for qualified medical expenses.

Does the money in my HSA earn interest?

Yes. It will be tax-free also. For questions regarding how interest is administered, visit the HealthEquity interest rate page. To determine if other investment options may be available to you, contact Health Equity.

Can I invest the money in my HSA?

Yes, you can typically invest in pre-selected mutual funds after you reach a $2,000 balance in your account. Contact HealthEquity for more information.

What happens if I use the money in my HSA for something other than a qualified medical expense?

You will have to pay income taxes on the withdrawal plus a 20% penalty. Contact HealthEquity or a qualified tax advisor for more information.

My child(ren) are not covered under my HSA. Can I still use my HSA to pay for their medical expenses?

Yes, you can use your HSA to pay for qualified medical expenses of any family member who qualifies as a dependent on your tax return, however, those expenses will not be applied toward your deductible.

A possible exception would be if your child(ren) is also covered under an FSA.  Consult with your FSA administrator and HealthEquity to address this scenario.

If I or a family member am currently covered under Medicare, but would like to enroll in a CDHP/HSA, can I dis-enroll from Medicare to capitalize on the HSA benefit? 

Contact Medicare for information as to whether this is possible, and if so, what the process and/or implications of dis-enrolling from Medicare would be.

What is the difference between an HSA and a Flexible Spending Account (FSA)?

Visit the following links to see differences between an HSA and an FSA: FSA-HSA Comparison Chart

What if I currently have an FSA in 2013 and switch to an HSA in 2014?

If you are currently enrolled in an FSA for 2013, and are switching to a CDHP/HSA for 2014, you must use all your FSA funds by December 31, 2013.  You will not have the normal grace period to use your 2013 FSA funds after the end of the year.

What if I separate from WSU? 

You will still be able to use the money from the HSA, and the accrued funds will be available for use for your lifetime.  If you are married, and you pre-decease your spouse, your HSA account may continue to be used by your spouse for the remainder of their life.  Contact HealthEquity for additional information on this.

However, if you are on Medicare or work for a new employer that doesn’t have a qualified HDHP, you will not be able to continue making contributions to your HSA.

If you retire and are covered by a qualified HDHP, and are not on Medicare, you may continue to make contributions.

How do I contact HealthEquity?

You can call HealthEquity Member Services at 877.873.8823, or visit their website.

I want more plan-specific information. Where can I go?

Visit the following websites for additional plan-specific CDHP/HSA information:

Additional Resources:

HealthEquity HSA Frequently Asked Questions

HealthEquity HSA Guidebook

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