1.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.
2. 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).
3. How do I enroll for an HSA?
When you change your medical plan to one of the three CDHPs offered through the PEBB within your first 31 days of hire, if you have a special open enrollment, or during the annual open enrollment in November, taking effect the following January 1. You will automatically be enrolled in an HSA.
4. 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.
5. 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.
6. How much money can be contributed to my HSA?
The maximum contribution for 2019 is $3,500 for an individual, or $7,000 for a family. This limit is being raised to $3,550/individual and $7,100/family in 2020. If you’re over age 55, you can contribute an additional $1,000 annually.
WSU will contribute $700.08 to an HSA for an individual, or $1400.04 for family. The WSU contribution counts towards the maximum contribution level.
7. Can I access and manage my HSA online?
Yes. You can view your account information and balances, claim transactions, pay providers, request reimbursements, and manage your personal information through the HealthEquity Member Portal.
8. How do I make contributions to my HSA? You can make one-time or systematic contributions to your HSA online through the HealthEquity Member Portal. Contact HealthEquity to determine if there are other ways you are able to make contribution.
9. How do I access the funds in my HSA?
You can make payments online through the HealthEquity Member Portal. You will also be issued a debit card and/or checkbook.
10. 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.
11. 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 website. To determine if other investment options may be available to you, contact Health Equity.
12. 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. Check your plan details or contact HealthEquity for more information.
13. 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.
14. My child(ren) are not covered under my Health Insurance. 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.
15. 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.
16. 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
17. What if I currently have an FSA in and switch to an HSA for the next year?
If you are currently enrolled in an FSA and are switching to a CDHP/HSA for the following year, you must use all your FSA funds by December 31st. You will not have the normal grace period to use your current year FSA funds.
18. 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.
19. How do I contact HealthEquity?
You can call HealthEquity Member Services at 866.346.5800, or visit their website at http://www.healthequity.com/pebb.
20. I want more plan-specific information. Where can I go?
Visit the following websites for additional plan-specific CDHP/HSA information:
Kaiser Permanente CDHP
Uniform Medical Plan Options Comparison
Uniform Medical Plan HSA Basics