HSA FAQs

Our HSA FAQs provide a useful guide to help get you started.


HSA Basics

  • What is an HSA?

    It's an individual account designed to work together with an HSA-eligible high-deductible health plan (HDHP). Eligible contributions are tax-deductible, and you can use your HSA money tax-free to pay for qualified medical expenses for you, your spouse, and your qualified dependents. You can choose to invest some or all of your HSA money for potential growth to help pay for qualified medical expenses in retirement. If it grows, that growth is also tax-free. Plus, your HSA is not "use-it-or-lose-it"—the account belongs to you, and your contributions can accumulate year after year.

  • Is an HSA different from an FSA?

    Yes. HSA money is not "use-it-or-lose-it," unlike FSAs, and your entire HSA balance carries over from year to year, forever. In general, HSAs cover a broader variety of qualified medical expenses than FSAs.1 Also, FSAs are generally sponsored by your employer, while your Fidelity personal HSA is a brokerage account owned by you. That means your HSA is always yours, even if you change employers or move to a different state.

  • Is an HSA right for me?

    If you're covered by an HSA-eligible health plan, an HSA can offer a variety of benefits. It's tax-advantaged in 3 ways—contributing, spending for qualified medical expenses, and investment growth are all federal income tax-free. You can also invest your HSA money for potential long-term growth, so HSAs are a great way to save for health care costs through retirement.

  • What are the tax benefits for HSAs?

    HSAs are tax-advantaged in three ways. First, personal HSA contributions using after-tax money may be federal income tax-deductible. If you have an HSA through your employer, you can make pre-tax payroll contributions—this type of contribution saves more on taxes than tax-deductible after-tax contributions.2 Second, spending your HSA money on qualified medical expenses is free of federal income taxes. Third, if you invest some or all of your HSA money, any growth is also tax-free.

  • Can I have more than one HSA?

    Yes. You may open and contribute to as many HSAs as you like. Please note that the annual IRS contribution limit will still apply to the total amount you contribute to all your HSAs, and opening more HSAs will not increase your limit. Also, if you have an HSA through your employer, any contributions your employer makes will count toward the limit. See IRS Publication 969 for more on annual HSA contribution limits.

  • Can my spouse and my dependents use my HSA?

    Yes. You, your spouse, and your eligible dependents can all use your HSA money to pay for qualified medical expenses as long as everyone meets eligibility requirements and you, the account owner, have authorized each of them by requesting an additional HSA debit card in their name.

  • Is an HSA-eligible health plan with an HSA always more expensive than traditional plans?

    An HSA-eligible health plan may cost less. Premiums are generally lower in exchange for higher deductibles, and HSA contributions, earnings, and distributions are all federal tax-free when used to pay for qualified medical expenses. HSA-eligible health plans have an annual out-of-pocket maximum expense amount, which limits your total yearly health care spending with additional costs, such as co-pays and co-insurance. Consider your own personal situation carefully before making a decision about enrolling in an HSA-eligible plan and opening an HSA.3

Eligibility

  • How do I know if I'm eligible for an HSA?

    You're eligible to open and contribute to an HSA if:

    • You're covered by an HSA-eligible health plan on the first of the month
    • You're not covered by an ineligible health plan
    • You're not enrolled in Medicare
    • You cannot be claimed as a dependent on someone else's tax return
  • What happens if I open an HSA while I’m ineligible for one?

    There are no taxes or penalties for opening an HSA while you’re ineligible, as long as you don’t make contributions to it. If you opened an HSA by mistake while ineligible, call Fidelity to close your HSA. You will not have to pay federal income taxes and/or penalties until you make contributions to your HSA while you’re ineligible. Any contributions you do make while ineligible will be subject to federal income taxes and/or penalties. However, you can consolidate any old HSAs into one HSA while ineligible, using a direct custodian-to-custodian transfer—this will not count toward your annual contribution limit.

  • What happens if I contribute to an HSA while I’m ineligible for one?

    If you make HSA contributions while you’re ineligible to do so, your contributions may be taxable and you may have to pay penalties.

  • What is an HSA-eligible health plan?

    For 2019, the IRS defines HSA-eligible plans as high-deductible health plans (HDHPs) with a deductible of at least $1,350 for an individual and $2,700 for families. These health plans must also have an annual out-of-pocket maximum spending amount of no more than $6,750 for an individual and $13,500 for families. See IRS Publication 969 for more about HSA-eligible health plans.

  • What is an HSA-eligible health plan?

    Generally, you are not eligible to open or contribute to an HSA if you are covered under a health plan that is not a high-deductible health plan (non-HDHP), with certain exceptions for plans with preventative care benefits and some types of permitted insurance and permitted coverage.

    HSA-ineligible health plans include:

    • A spouse's non-HDHP coverage that covers you. However, you still may be eligible to open and contribute to an HSA if your spouse has a non-HDHP that does not cover you
    • Medicare or Tricare
    • Veterans Affairs (VA) medical benefits received during the previous three (3) months
    • A general-purpose health flexible spending account (FSA) or health reimbursement arrangement (HRA), including coverage through your spouse, that pays or reimburses medical expenses before you meet your HSA-eligible health plan's deductible

    Have questions? See IRS Publication 969 or consult with your tax advisor.

Fidelity HSAs

  • What fees are associated with Fidelity HSAs?

    There are no fees for opening a Fidelity personal HSA or for money movement.

    If you choose to invest in mutual funds, expenses will still apply for those funds. There may also be commissions, interest charges, and other expenses related to transactions or holding specific investments, such as mutual funds. See www.fidelity.com/commissions for more information.

    If you have a Fidelity HSA through your employer, your account may be charged an administrative fee of up to $12 per quarter ($48 annually), unless it’s paid by your employer. That administrative fee may be waved for households established before a certain date and meeting certain asset minimums at Fidelity.

  • What is the minimum balance to open a Fidelity HSA?

    There is no minimum balance to open a Fidelity HSA.

Life Events

  • What happens to my HSA if I change jobs or leave my company?

    Your HSA and your balance are always yours, even if you change employers or move to another state. You can contribute to your HSA—even an HSA offered by your previous employer—as long as you continue to meet eligibility requirements. Even if you become ineligible to contribute to your HSA, you can spend your HSA money tax-free for qualified medical expenses any time, including through retirement.

  • What if I don't keep the same health insurance plan?

    Your HSA is always yours, even if you change health insurance plans. However, if you switch to a health plan that is not HSA-eligible, you will no longer be eligible to make future contributions to your HSA.

  • What if I retire and haven't used all my HSA money?

    Your HSA is always yours, so you can still spend your HSA money on qualified medical expenses with no federal income taxes or penalties in retirement.

    Retirement-related qualified medical expenses, covered by your HSA, could include:

    • COBRA coverage costs
    • Health care coverage while you’re receiving unemployment benefits
    • Medicare premiums other than Medicare Supplemental coverage
    • Qualified long-term care coverage

    If you choose to use your HSA money for something other than qualified medical expenses, you will be responsible for paying federal income taxes on it and may be penalized if you’re under age 65. You’ll also still be eligible to contribute to your HSA in retirement as long as you aren’t enrolled in Medicare4 or covered by an ineligible health plan.

Contributing

  • How can I contribute to my HSA?

    There are three ways you can contribute to your Fidelity HSA. First, you can link a bank account for fast direct deposits, and you can set up automatic recurring deposits. Second, you can transfer some or all of your balance from another HSA or HSAs, as often as you like, to consolidate your accounts. Third, you can move money from an IRA to your HSA once in your lifetime for a federal income tax deduction. Please see our Guide to Moving Money at Fidelity for more information.

  • Is there a minimum I must contribute to my HSA each year?

    There is no minimum for annual contributions to your Fidelity HSA.

  • What are the annual HSA contribution limits?

    The IRS defines HSA contributions each year. For 2018, HSA contribution limits are $3,450 for individual health plans and $6,900 for family health plans. For 2019, HSA contribution limits are $3,500 for individual health plans and $7,000 for family health plans. If you're age 55 or older during the tax-year, you may also be eligible to make an additional $1,000 catch-up contribution annually. Please note that if you have an employer-sponsored HSA, any contributions made by your employer will count toward these limits. If you’re married and covered by a family health plan, you and your spouse can both contribute to your HSA. If you do, all of your contributions will count toward the yearly contribution limit for family health plans. See IRS Publication 969 for more on annual HSA contribution limits.

  • Who can contribute to my HSA?

    Anyone can make an after-tax contribution to your Fidelity HSA. Generally, contributions another person makes to your HSA will not be tax-deductible for the contributor, and the IRS's annual contribution limits will still apply. See IRS Publication 969 for more on annual HSA contribution limits.

  • Can my employer contribute to my HSA that is not offered through them?

    Check with your employer about their HSA contribution policies and capabilities. You can also make after-tax contributions from your paycheck—those contributions are federal income tax-deductible.

  • What is an HSA catch-up contribution?

    HSA-eligible individuals age 55 or older during the tax-year can contribute an additional $1,000 annually.

  • My spouse is 55 years or older. How can we take full advantage of HSA catch-up contributions?

    Only the HSA owner can make a catch-up contribution, so if your spouse is eligible to make a catch-up contribution and you’re not, your spouse will need to open their own HSA to make a catch-up contribution. If both you and your spouse are 55 years or older during the tax-year, you can both make a catch-up contribution to the HSAs you each own.

  • How can I transfer my IRA money into my HSA?

    You can make a once-in-a-lifetime5 contribution to your HSA from your IRA. This is sometimes called a "qualified HSA funding distribution from an IRA." Qualified IRA transfers are not subject to federal income taxes or the 10% penalty for early withdrawals. If you choose to do a one-time IRA transfer, you can effectively use your IRA money to pay for medical expenses, such as a major unexpected expense, without having to pay federal income taxes or penalties on it, as you would if you took an early IRA distribution to pay for that expense. However, contributions from an IRA will count toward the IRS’s annual limits on HSA contributions—unlike a rollover between two HSAs—and those IRA contributions are not tax-deductible.

    • Fidelity IRA to Fidelity HSA transfers: Contact your Fidelity IRA representative to initiate a direct transfer of your Fidelity IRA to your Fidelity HSA. Make your distribution check payable to Fidelity Personal Trust Company.
    • External (non-Fidelity) IRA to Fidelity HSA transfers: Request a one-time distribution from your non-Fidelity IRA to your Fidelity HSA by phone. Make your distribution check payable to Fidelity Personal Trust Company.
  • Where can I find my Fidelity HSA account number to make contributions to my Fidelity HSA?

    Your account number can be found on your Account Summary page when you log into Fidelity.com. This account number can only be used for depositing money in your HSA, not for spending your HSA money. For further information and instructions, see our resource on determining your routing and account numbers.

  • What is the routing number for making contributions to my Fidelity HSA?

    The Fidelity routing number is 101205681. This routing number can only be used to deposit money in your HSA, not for spending your HSA money. For further information and instructions, see our resource on determining your routing and account numbers.

  • What happens if I contribute more than the IRS's annual limits to my HSA?

    If you contributed above the IRS's annual limits unintendedly, submit a completed "Fidelity HSA® Return of Excess Contribution" form to Fidelity in accordance with applicable instructions. If you take no action until you file taxes, you’ll be responsible for paying taxes on and may be penalized for the amount you contributed above the IRS’s annual contribution limits.

Spending

  • How do I withdraw or spend money from my HSA?

    When you or your authorized spouse or dependents have qualified medical expenses that aren't covered by your health plan, you can pay for those tax-free from your HSA using a Fidelity HSA debit card, Fidelity BillPay®, or by writing a check. You could choose to pay for your qualified medical expense out-of-pocket and reimburse yourself from your HSA. You also have the option of making an HSA withdrawal using online money movement or by filling out a one-time withdrawal form.

  • How do I reimburse myself using my HSA money?

    You can reimburse yourself for qualified medical expenses you paid out-of-pocket using Fidelity BillPay® and adding yourself as a payee, you can move money directly using electronic funds transfer (EFT), or you can write yourself a check.

  • How do I use Fidelity BillPay®?

    You can receive and pay electronic bills for qualified medical expenses from participating doctors and hospitals, pay one-time and automatic bills, review your payment history, reimburse yourself for qualified out-of-pocket expenses, and set up bill reminders. You can pay bills any time, anywhere you have internet access.

  • Are my HSA contributions available to spend immediately?

    Direct-deposit contributions from a linked bank account are usually available in your HSA within a few hours. Transfers from other HSAs or an IRA are usually available in your HSA within a few business days, once Fidelity receives the money from a third-party provider. Please see our guide to moving money with Fidelity for more information.

  • What if I need $1,000 tomorrow for a qualified medical expense?

    If you don’t have enough set aside in cash in your HSA, you can pay for your qualified medical expense out-of-pocket now and reimburse yourself later, once you have enough money in your HSA. If you’re investing your HSA money, you can sell some of your investments any time, and that money will be available to use when the trade settles, usually within a few business days.

  • When can I cash out my HSA?

    You can choose to cash out your HSA any time, but if you're not using the money to pay for qualified medical expenses, your withdrawal will be subject to taxes and may be subject to penalties.

  • When can I withdraw my HSA money without penalty?

    You can withdraw your HSA money penalty-free any time before or during retirement to pay for qualified medical expenses. If you use it for any other expense before retirement, your withdrawal will be subject to taxes and may be subject to penalty. If you use your HSA money for any other expense after age 65, you'll just have to pay the taxes, and you won't be penalized. Please see IRS Publication 502 for a complete and up-to-date list of qualified medical expenses.

  • Can I use my HSA money to reimburse myself for qualified medical expenses from last year or before?

    Yes. As long as you incurred your qualified medical expense after you established your HSA, you can reimburse yourself for those expenses using your HSA money any time.

  • How do I prove that I spent my money on a qualified medical expense?

    Keep all your receipts for your out-of-pocket qualified medical expenses as well as documentation for your claims and your explanations of benefits (EOBs).

  • What happens if I spend my HSA money on something other than a qualified medical expense?

    If you use your HSA money on something other than qualified medical expenses before retirement, your withdrawal will be subject to taxes, and it may be subject to a 20% penalty. If you use it for something other than qualified medical expenses after age 65, your withdrawal will be subject to taxes but not penalized.

  • What do I do if I accidentally withdraw HSA money by mistake?

    To make a repayment to your Fidelity HSA, submit a completed "Fidelity HSA® Return of Mistaken Distribution" form to Fidelity in accordance with applicable instructions.

Fidelity HSA Debit Cards

  • How do I use my Fidelity HSA debit card?

    Once you've activated your HSA debit card, you can use it to pay for qualified medical expenses at eligible health care providers, such as doctors' offices and pharmacies, where Visa debit cards are accepted. They can't be used at ATMs or to get cash back on purchases.

  • Is there a daily spending limit on my Fidelity HSA debit card?

    Yes. The daily spending limit is $10,000, or the total amount you have available in your HSA cash balance. You're limited to 10 debit card transactions per day, per HSA debit card attached to your HSA.

  • Will my Fidelity HSA® debit card know if an expense is qualified or not?

    No. You are responsible for determining if an expense is qualified before using your Fidelity HSA debit card to pay for it. Your card may work for both non-qualified expenses and qualified expenses the same way. However, your debit card may be restricted for use with certain merchants. Please see IRS Publication 502 for a complete and up-to-date list of qualified medical expenses.

  • How can I get Fidelity HSA debit cards for my covered family members?

    Log into Fidelity.com, navigate to the "Manage Cash" tab, and you’ll see an option to order Fidelity HSA debit cards for your family members.

  • What happens if I lose my Fidelity HSA debit card?

    You can report a lost, damaged, or stolen Fidelity HSA debit card, and order a replacement card, by logging into Fidelity.com and navigating to the "Manage Cash" tab from your Account Summary.

  • Why did my Fidelity HSA® debit card get declined?

    Your Fidelity HSA debit card may be declined if you have insufficient balance in your HSA to cover the amount being debited at that time. Your card also may be declined due to restrictions for certain merchants that aren’t medical-related, such as retail stores that don’t sell medical equipment or supplies.

Investing

  • Can my HSA lose money?

    The SIPC protects your uninvested HSA money, up to $500,000.6 If you choose to invest some or all of your HSA money, those investments could lose money. All investing involves risk, including risk of loss.

  • How often can I change my HSA investments?

    You can buy and sell your HSA investments as often as you like. However, you will be subject to standard commissions and investment-related fees. See www.fidelity.com/commissions for more information.

  • How quickly can I access my invested HSA money?

    Accessing your invested HSA money is as simple as selling your investments in the same way you’d sell any other investment. The money should be available for withdrawal when the trade settles, usually within a few business days.

Taxes

  • What tax forms can I expect to receive for my HSA?

    Form 1099-SA reports all withdrawals, including charges to your HSA debit card, you have made from your HSA during the tax-year. You should report the withdrawal amounts from Form 1099-SA on Form 8889 only if you withdrew from your HSA.

    Form 5498-SA summarizes your HSA contributions, holdings, and fair market value. This form is informational only and does not need to be filed with your taxes. Please refer to our tax information guide for further details.

    Form 990T – Fidelity will complete and file this form on your behalf, if necessary. This form only applies to investments in limited partnerships, so most HSA owners should not expect to need or receive one of these.

  • When can I expect to receive my tax forms for my HSA?

    Fidelity will send you Form 1099-SA in January if you have withdrawn from your HSA during the tax year. Fidelity will send you Form 5498-SA in May.

    Please refer to our tax information guide for further details.

  • Where can I see how much I contributed to my Fidelity HSA during the previous tax year?

    You can view your contributions history on your Portfolio Summary page after you log into Fidelity.com.

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